Guy Eastman’s Top WY Antelope Areas 2020
Guy’s Top 10 Wyoming Antelope Picks (2020)
The antelope outlook for this fall in Wyoming is shaping up to be very strong. With a very mild winter and a warm, dry spring our antelope are headed into summer in very, very good condition. We will however need a somewhat wet summer to finish off the bucks into tip top shape as far as horn growth is concerned. Along my travels throughout the state this spring we have already seen some very solid bucks in my areas throughout the state. There are a few exceptions to this outlook however. The areas in the Southwest portion of the state did see a very tough winter and may be something to avoid when it comes to application choices. I would seriously consider avoiding hunt areas 59, 95, 99 and 112. Short of those four areas, the remainder of the state should see a very positive outcome for this year’s antelope season. The areas in Northern Sweetwater, Carbon, Fremont and Natrona counties should be exceptional if we get those steady summer storms we are all hoping for.
When I make this list each year, I try to build the very best listing possible given the current situation as if I was choosing antelope hunt areas for myself regardless of preference points. These areas are my best guesses based on the available information at the time of this writing and are geared toward the best areas for a DIY public land hunter to kill the antelope buck of his lifetime. There are a lot of very solid antelope hunt areas in Wyoming that do not take massive amounts of points to draw but can still offer up a good opportunity at a respectable buck antelope. This listing is not based purely on opportunity however, this listing is based on trophy quality as the primary factor as it relates to current conditions as well as an areas historic track record to produce big antelope bucks, those in the 80” and better category.
10) Area-73-1: This antelope hunt area is one of the best in the state for the point burn in my opinion. For only four or five points you can hunt this unit which offers up some very good antelope hunting in a prime county with the potential for some very good bucks. I have personally killed an 81” buck in here with my bow and there have been numerous Boone and Crocket bucks killed in here in the past decade. There are a lot of tags available for this hunt and hunting on the opening weekend would certainly not be recommended. The Western side of the hunt area is loaded with plenty of public land to hunt.
9) Area-96-1: The West Farson hunt has rebounded very nicely over the past four or five years. This hunt only has 50 tags available so the over-all experience of the hunt here is very high quality. Seven or eight points will be needed to hunt this area but the wait could be well worth it for some. The area is large and over 80% public. Mix that with the fact that the season is nearly two months long in a prime Wyoming county, and this hunt is hard to overlook in my opinion. This area is known for bucks in the 78 to 84-inch range on the right year.
8) Area-74-1: The Deer Creek antelope hunt is one of my favorites when it comes to the tradeoff between opportunity and quality of bucks. This area can produce Boone and Crockett class bucks on a good year. With 60% public land and decent draw odds, this area can be very hard to beat if you only have five or six preference points to spend. A hunter can easily look over 50 to 150 bucks per day in this unit, but trying to find that needle in the haystack of a buck can be a chore here. This would be an outstanding choice for a fist time antelope hunter.
7) Area-75-1: A definite favorite by many residents, this antelope hunt is probably the perfect blend of quality and quantity of antelope over-all. The Badwater antelope hunt is known for open country and lots of antelope. With 600 tags now on quota for this hunt, the antelope here have done very well over the past ten years. An extremely high-quality hunt for only three or four preference points on the “special” draw this hunt is about as good as can be expected. This area has produced plenty of records book bucks over the years, and I think this year could be another great one here. The country here is very easy to hunt and the access is very good with plenty of public land to choose from. Another outstanding choice for the first-time antelope hunter.
6) Area-80-1: The Badger Basin antelope hunt can produce mixed results from one year to the next. However, on the right year this area is definitely a big buck producer. This should be a very good year in this area, and I have already seen some good bucks here. This hunt takes quite a few points to draw and the antelope are somewhat pocketed in this area. With only 50 tags on quota and a lengthy season this hunt might be a very good choice if you want to get away from the crowds and stay close to town. On a good year, an 80” antelope is almost common in this area. Access can be a bit of a chore here but certainly not impossible.