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WY Family vacation/scouting Region X
So my brother and I drew general mule deer tags for Region X and I'm wanting to take my wife and kids for a scouting mission later this summer. I'd like to find some areas that hold a few deer for later in the fall as we will be going out for the archery opener on September 1st.
We aren't big into fishing, but I see that Big Horn River that runs through Thermopolis has some world class fishing. Not sure if the kids will want to fish much, but any advice on fishing there would be great. Anything else the kids wouldn't want to miss while in the area?
While I'm out scouting I'm sure my wife will want to stay in town and shop...which towns have the shops that my wife will spend the least amount of money in? LOL
I was pretty convinced we were going to hunt in unit 127 North of Thermopolis, but now I'm thinking I should check out the areas around the Yellowtail Reservoir in 123. Most everything I read is telling me that the mule deer are going to be spending most of their time in the irrigated fields near the rivers and head up into canyons and bowls to bed for the day and make their way back to the fields in the evenings. I'm not sure what the archery pressure is like in the area, but I'm hoping to get away from the crowds for sure. If you are familiar with the area and want to help, just send me a pm. Not looking for a honeyhole, more just looking for places to avoid due to high hunting pressure.
I remember visiting Cody on a family vacation when I was a kid (I think our minivan broke down there and we had the radiator replaced, LOL) so I'm thinking we will want to go there. Do they still have a rodeo there every night?
Thermopolis is a neat little town with the famous hot springs, but that's more for the cold weather months to enjoy it. Fishing on the river is first class and to fish a big stretch of it you'll want a reservation stamp. Most of the area that is accessible in unit 127 down there is in the northern 1/3 since most of the unit to the south is reservation country that is off limits. Your wife could max your CCs up in Cody and there is a rodeo each night up there. You'll definitely want to visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum if you go up there, as it's so big and so much to see that the ticket you buy is good for two days. I wouldn't worry any about hunting pressure anywhere in September compared to the rifle seasons. In the hotter months of the year you'll definitely want to look for water sources like you mentioned in your post.
I was just in Cody and will echo what Topgun said about the BB Center of the West. Go for a few hours on different days. There is so much to see you will burn yourself out trying to do it in a day. The art work alone in that place is astounding. Remington and C.M. Russell originals just hanging out in the open. I'm talking millions upon millions of dollars worth of western art. It is an incredible place. Check out the AmericInn on the west end of town behind Bubba's BBQ. The guy that owns it has one hell of a sheep and goat collection on display. They don't mind people just stopping by to look. The place next door he owns as well, The Kings Inn, he has a lot of African stuff in there.
Take half a day and do the Chief Joseph Highway/Beartooth Pass Loop. Allow plenty of time for stopping and gawking. Get an early start and you will have most of it to yourself for awhile.
EDIT If you are planning on eating in Cody, most of the better places will require a reservation.
We are on our way west pulling a travel trailer with plans to do some disbursed mountain camping. Cody is one of the places on our possibilities list. Scouting for future hunts is always in the back of my mind as well while on these trips. What a great way to spend a family vacation!
Is there a good spot to find Big Horn Sheep or Mountain Goats in the area?
Watched the solar eclipse last year on a mulie scouting trip, it was chaos in that town ,..great though.
Goats all over Baronette mountain that is in the park west of Cooke City. A few miles west of there, check out the Slough Creek area for sheep. May have to make a short hike on the trail to find them. The goats are readily visible from the road. Don't go anywhere in the park without a can of bear spray on your hip.
I see they are issuing 12 Grizzly tags for our Region. That makes my wife even more excited about the scouting trip.
Any specific areas that I should avoid going in this region because of low deer numbers? has anyone here hunted this area in the past. I'm really hoping to glass for deer along the alfalfa fields in the bottoms. Has anyone camped up by the Montana line in 123? Are those good spots to take the kids with me for a hike/scouting?
Talked with the biologist. She says that 123 is good habitat, but it has been taken over by whitetails! I assume my tag is good for either?
She recommended that I check into the Walk-in-Areas. Any advice on how to pick the right one that isn't going to be crowded? She seemed to think that there would be very little pressure during the archery season.
I live in Region X, not really a great area. Few patches of deer here and there. 123 is a zoo during rifle, but I'm assuming your going bowhunting.
Thanks for the info in this thread as well as the PM's. I just returned from a long scouting trip. Region X has very low mule deer numbers. I'm not feeling really confident in my spots. I was able to locate one decent buck, but probably only 12-15 deer total. Five bucks and the rest does and fawns.
Any tips on using google or onX maps to find water holes?
I couldn't believe the number and quality of crops in the irrigated bottoms. There was corn and soybeans, but there was another crop that I wasn't familiar with. I would guess it is sugar beats or a type of radish...any ideas what that might be and how the deer would be using it in early September?
That's why you were able to draw a tag. Its a very low percentage row to hoe.
But the good news is you only need one............and he's in there.
Any advice on finding water from an aerial photo? Or a link to another thread talking about e-scouting for water?
Yes, those were sugar beets Korey. They are not quite as good at bringing in deer to then IMHO as alfalfa or soy beans, but deer and antelope will go to them. Sugar beets might be the main crop from about the Worland area on north toward Powell.
Yup, sugar beets, barley, and wheat mixed in with some sunflowers. Used to be nice when the Two Dot used to let people hunt Heart Mountain area. Now they let some outfitter lease it.