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August giveaway - $1,000 gear shopping spree for five INSIDERs -
posted 9 months ago
You should post the draw odds for these giveaways...
April INSIDER Giveaway: 5 Mathews VERTIX Bows! -
posted 1 year ago
Pick Me, Pick ME, I NEVER GETTA GO!
Wyoming Antelope Unit 26 -
posted 1 year ago
As a side note, I'm researching for next season. There are 16 units with at least 50% chance of drawing as a second choice unit and 26 units with at least 50% chance of drawing as a 1st choice with 0 points. 21 of those units have more public land than unit 26, but the question is not how much public land is contained in the respective units, but how much is accessible? Unit 26 is 14.9% public, but I'd venture to say far less than 20% of the public land in 26 is accessible; reasonably, more like 10% . If that is an accurate representation, unit 26 being 1827 square miles with 270 square miles of public lands, but only around 27 sections are accessible. I was on all of the accessible public in the southern half of the unit that is not on Ross Road and that is 6 square miles.
I was in this unit for the opener this year. The HUGE drawback to this unit is access. You and 950 other hunters are all hunting the same few sections of land. I spent a lot of time talking with F&G officials and the Game Warden, Cody Bish (super nice guy). BTW, we saw folks getting $435 tickets for getting on those two tracks, so BE CAREFUL where you go. Many of the private roads are better than the county roads and have speed limit signs and what-not . They are ALL actually private property. They may lead from a county road to the public land, but they were built by energy companies and belong to the landowners. The land owners have no duty to label them private and many don't, but you have a duty to figure out whether you are on a private road or public road and the price for getting it wrong starts at $435.
In Wyoming, you can only access public ground that touches a county road. Unit 26 has little of that...very little. On opening day we glassed a section of land and watched 8 other orange hats hunt as well. There were 10 hunters on 1 square mile and the terrain allows you to see the entire section, which means the terrain allows a bullet to fly unobstructed for a long way. Ross Road was littered with orange has and trucks so we avoided it all together.
The biggest buzz-kill was the ranch owners. Wyoming has 9 million land-locked acres and unit 26 is the poster child of land-locked public land. I too am a landowner. I get it. I don't tolerate trespassing and I will prosecute those who Vandalize or steal. But what I witnessed bordered on hunter harassment. At one section of public we could get to, the adjacent land owner has such a reputation for harassing hunters that no less than 5 other trucks that drove by us warned us about him and these other hunters were all from out of state. This rancher drove up and down the road most of opening morning, stopped and took photos of hunters trucks, called the game warden and so on... just as the other hunters said he would. We looked up the landowner info and found that he has several thousands of public acres behind his fence and no gate, so in fairness, he likely has folks driving on his private roads frequently; however, we were legally on public land. On another section of public that is divided by a county road there were "private property, no trespassing" signs hanging on the fence, but it was clearly and legitimately Wyoming state land.
In short, there is a very good reason one can get tags in Unit 26 with no points. To say access can be difficult or challenging is very understated. In a week, we were on ALL of the accessible public ground in Unit 26 that is not on Ross Road (hunterpalooza road). And the sum total of legally accessible public ground is 6 sections. All of that said, I filled my buck and doe tags, but a good friend of mine hunted with his family in another unit and also hunted without points, filled all of their tags and had miles and miles of trouble-free access.