Wyoming Hunting Tips from the Expert
I must admit I’m a fisherman not a hunter. I have no problem with hunting and shooting and killing a big game, in fact I enjoy the whole concept. I went hunting last year for the first time with my uncle from Oregon. He learned from his dad my grandfather and that knowledge never made it to me until last season. My uncle and I got to climb Sheep Mountain a couple times, and went on the back side of Jelm Mountain with little luck. I learned a lot from just watching what my uncle was doing; he would point out Elk poop, tree rubbings and tracks, quietly and deliberately.
He told stories of my Grandfather that I have never heard and how going out and getting your meat for the family was pretty much what everybody did back in the day. I learned as much as you can on a couple hikes and had a good time on the side of the mountain, we did not get any animal and only got one shot off at a buck deer but a great day of hunting.
Recently I talked to a good friend of mine Nate Heineke of N.L.Heineke, INC. here in Laramie to learn a little more about hunting and getting ready for the hunting trip and bagging your big game. Nate builds some of the finest big game rifles and has been out hunting in Wyoming for many years. Here is his advice for sighting in your rifle to processing your meat, if you’re lucky enough get a shot off!
1. Sighting in your Rifle: The Laramie Rifle Range on Rodger Canyon Road is pretty much the best place to sight in your high power rifle. The National Guard has been working at the Laramie Rifle Range making improvements and The Guard also will add new facilities, such as an 800-yard firing range soon.
a. Sight in your rifle and center the paper at 25 yards and then go from there.
b. It’s easier to hold over on a long shot.
73 Rifle Range Laramie, WY 82072 (307) 745-5304
2. Pre season Scouting: This is important to do in the late summer, know where you’re going track animal movements. Know how the weather will impact the animal and their movements.
3. Gear and Packing: Get your gear ready before you go out make sure you have everything you need to pack out the animal as well as 2 or 3 sharpened knifes. The last thing you want to do is sharpen a knife in the freezing cold knowing you should be getting the meat to be processed.
4. Knowing what to do after the kill: For an Antelope since it could be fairly warm in Sept-October bring 2 bags of ice to put into the body cavity after gutting to keep it cooled down. For Elk usually cooler temps no need to ice down but cutting into quarters and getting to the processor quickly to protect the meat is key! Keep the meat clean, cool and dry and out of the sun is important.
5. Preparing and processing meat: Ask around for the best process and bucker shop and call ahead to make sure they can get you in that day, or keep it iced until their ready for your animal.The Butcher Block in west Laramie, and Crow Creek Processing in Cheyenne for example do a great job.
6. Processing your own meat: You really need to know what you’re doing but it is cheaper and rewarding. Get a vacuum packer at most outdoor stores or Walmart and put up your meat for the winter.
7. Safety is the most important thing: Make sure you have taken gun safety class and never be in a hurry, make every movement deliberate and methodical.
Hope you have a great hunting season, be safe and follow hunting guidelines and regulations.
Hunting Quote: "We cannot but pity the boy who has never fired a gun; he is no more humane, while his education has been sadly neglected." --Henry David Thoreau