With the end of the 2016 Elk Hunt Season quickly approaching for many, and for some has already come to an end. Now is the time to start planning your 2017 Elk Hunt!
The deadline for your 2017 Elk Hunt application is January 31, 2017. We’d like to present to you the 3 Hunts we have to offer:
Hunt 1 – River bottom Elk
This hunt is a limited quota area. It will take preference points to draw this area. Over the last ten years in this camp we have had a success rate of 37 out of 38 trophy bull hunters. This area has easy terrain making it one of the easiest and most successful hunts in the State. This area has a high bull to cow ratio making it an archer’s dream. You will be spending a lot of time glassing rolling hillsides and hay meadows looking for the right trophy bull.
Hunt 2 – Foothill Elk
This is a General area making tags more available then limited quota but you will still have to draw this tag. Deadline is January 31 of each calendar year. This ranch is easy to hunt we have four wheel drive access to all parts of the ranch. It has gentle rolling hills covered in ponderosa and lodge pole pine. The elk herds range in sizes of 5 to 250 depending on the time of year you hunt them. These elk usually stay in the meadows during the morning and evenings and head up to the dense pine for mid day cover.
Hunt 3 – Mountain Elk
This ranch is new to the Tyler Sims Outfitting operation. 2012 was the first year we guided on this ranch and with 100% success on trophy bulls we could not let this ranch go. Before 2012 this ranch had not been hunted for 15 years. You will again see herds from 5 to 250 depending on the time of the year you book your hunt. We only offer a limited number of hunts on this ranch. This ranch is the most physical elk hunting ranch I have to offer but the rewards are worth it. You will be glassing rolling foothills, timber parks, and two different drainages. This hunt is also a tent camp. You will be staying in wall tents and guides will prepare meals for you on the spot. Once you fill out you will be transported to our main lodge.
With the application deadline of May 31 makes it near impossible for hunters to plan a trip for 2016. So with this Being said it is time to start planning for 2017 and we are offering 2016 prices for 2017 for a limited time. So if you are interested in hunting 2017 it is not too late to get started. If you book before August 15 you will get 2016 prices for 2017 and we will pay for your preference point for your 2017 hunt. If you book after August 15 we will still buy your points if booked before October 31.
The key to drawing a tag in Wyoming are preference points.
It will allow you to draw a tag when you want to. Preference points can be purchased from July 1 to October 31. These points will help you be ahead of other hunters who apply last minute. Tyler Sims Outfitting can apply for you with our preference point program that we started in 2009. We offer a 3 and 5 year program where we deduct that money you put into the points from your hunt cost.
Example: In 2016, you apply into our program for a 5 year plan which cost $50 a year so you would send us $250. Whenever you decide to hunt even if it is 2017 we will deduct the full amount off your hunt. A big question that I have always had is what if I decide to hunt with another outfitter. In this case we will send back the money that we have not purchased points with and you can hunt with them. We have never had a client choose another outfitter but we want to make sure your dream hunt becomes a success.
Another reason to start planning ahead is Tyler Sims Outfitting only takes a limited number of hunts each year and it is a first come first serve on hunting dates. We will only be offering a total of eight mule deer hunts for 2017 so these will sell fast.
Right now we are setting up camps, doing maintenance on lodge, scouting, hanging trail cameras, and next week we will be setting up blinds for archery antelope hunters. It has been hot and dry so far this summer so antelope should be hitting the watering holes strong.
My friend Tyler Sims, of Tyler Sims Outfitting, guides for prairie dogs, varmints and big game out of his lodge headquartered in McFadden, Wyoming. From the air, and off Interstate 80, the topography around McFadden, Wyoming looks as flat as the proverbial “table top”. In reality it is cut through and through with numerous cuts, draws, ridges and small hills – perfect terrain for a rimfire hunter to prowl and take close shots at the many prairie dogs that live in this terrain!
Hunting prairie dogs with a rimfire rifle or handgun offers many advantages to the outdoorsman. First, even though prices for all types of ammunition have exploded, rimfire ammunition is still considerably cheaper than centerfire ammunition. Cheaper ammo results in more shots for your hard earned dollar! Second, rimfires are easy on the shoulder and ears as well. Younger shooters and smaller framed hunters really benefit from reduced recoil and muzzle blast, but truth be known many full sized male shooters enjoy the rimfires as well. Third, a very large number of shots will be available, at least initially, close to the shooting benches Tyler sets up for his guests to use. Finally, rimfires are…… just plain FUN! Hunting with a rimfire takes me back to my Dad’s farm, where I was free to roam armed with my trusty .22 Remington and accompanied by my wonderful German Shepard, Mike! If I had a pocket full of .22 hollow points I felt rich beyond belief!
A DAY IN DOG TOWN – Remembering the old saying that the “wind rises with the sun” my prairie dog hunts with Tyler developed a fairly predictable pattern. Following a very hearty and delicious breakfast at Tyler’s lodge and the paring of hunters and guides, 4X4 trucks were loaded with rifles, ammunition, shooting benches, shooting boxes, cleaning gear, water, sodas, and lunch – all the equipment needed to sustain enthusiastic prairie dog hunters! On arrival at “dog town” guides and hunters pitched in to assemble the shooting benches and the fun started. From early morning to mid-morning a great many dogs can be taken with accurate rimfires shooting right off the bench. While hunters armed with .223s and even larger calibers can hammer away at distant targets the rimfire shooters can concentrate on dogs that will range from “hard off the muzzle” out to 175 to 200 yards. Once the notorious Wyoming winds started to kick my tiny 17 and 30 grain bullets off course I’d bid farewell to the others and hunt on foot – WITH TYLER”S PERMISSION and a full understanding of just where I could go and when I must be back to the trucks!
My strategy was to slip into a draw that blocked the wind and had good sign, then take a stand. Most of my shooting was done from the sitting position using crossed sticks. At times I also shot from the prone position using my day pack as a rest. Both sitting and prone positions are deadly when you take your time and remember the fundamentals of breathing and trigger control. As a side benefit, this is GREAT practice for your fall antelope hunt with Tyler! The combination of an accurate rimfire rifle, topped with a ballistic scope, proved to be deadly when coupled with a laser ranger finder. During one afternoon I was able to reel off one string of seventeen straight kills using a .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (HMR) – from the same stand! The longest shot on that string was ranged a 155 yards.
RIMFIRE OPTIONS – If the only rifle I had available was a .17 Mach 2 or a .22 Long Rifle I’d buy several bricks of quality ammunition, call Tyler and then go prairie dog hunting. However, most shooters opt for a .17 HMR or the .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (WMR). These two cartridges offer better range and energy figures than their smaller brethren. As a side benefit they offer exceptional accuracy when chambered in good rifles and topped with the correct optics.
Introduced in 2002, the .17HMR turned the shooting world on its ear! This little cartridge offered shooters accuracy and velocity in an easy to shoot and affordable package. By chance, I was offered a great deal on an Anschutz 1717 D HB Classic. My local gun shop recommended that I top this rifle with the Burris 4-12X Ballistic Plex scope. This scope turned out to be a wise choice which paid dividends time and time again on Wyoming prairie dogs. My rifle shoots the Hornady 17 grain V-MAX bullet into sub-MOA groups at 100 yards. As with any rimfire try several brands of ammunition and bullet weights in your weapon to see which one shoots the best.
I was a pre-teen when the .22 WMR was introduced in 1959 and remember thinking that it was about the best thing since sliced bread. A close friend had a Winchester Model 61 pump action rifle and we wasted no time turning it on tough Texas jack rabbits and Colorado rock chucks. Compared with the .22 Long Rifle cartridges we had been using, this new rimfire magnum killed critters with authority! My current .22 WMR is a Clark/Ruger M77/22 sporting a heavy Walther barrel with match chamber. It is topped with a Leupold 2-7X rimfire scope and shoots better than I can hold under field conditions. Here in West Virginia and Virginia I use the Winchester 40 gain hollow point (HP) bullet to take ground hogs and tough old fox squirrels. In Wyoming I switch to Hornady 30 grain V-MAX bullets to gain higher speed and better trajectory. At 50 yards this load shoots into a ragged hole and is sub-MOA at 100 yards.
The new .17 Winchester Super Magnum appears to be a great cartridge on paper, but in all honesty I have never fired or owned one. Come to think on it, I have never even seen one at my local gun range either.
TIPS FOR RIMFIRE ACCURACY – Modern rimfire weapons and ammunition offer the shooter astounding levels of accuracy. However, there are steps the shooter can take to bring out the ultimate accuracy from their particular rimfire weapon.
Most rimfire rifles show a preference for certain types of ammunition. Try ammo from several different manufactures to see what shoots best in your weapon.
Once you find what ammunition your weapon prefers buy ammunition from that “lot” in quantity. For a prairie dog hunt with Tyler bricks of 500 are only a starting point!
Ballistic scopes offer the rimfire shooter real advantages when shooting at extended ranges and in the wind. Coupled with the use of a quality laser rangefinder they are a deadly combination!
GEAR – Here are observations which might prove useful as you plan your prairie dog hunt with Tyler.
The summer Wyoming sun can be brutal! I wear BDU pants and a light tan long sleeve shirt for protection from the sun. While I wear a baseball cap many other shooters I know favor a hat with full brim.
Uninsulated hunting boots offer more protection from twisted ankles AND cactus thorns than sneakers.
In my day pack I keep a compass, sun screen, bug dope, water bottle, sunglasses and the like.
High quality scopes, range finders and binoculars are always a good investment and money well spent.
CONCLUSION – If you love to hunt, love to shoot, and love the outdoors you need to schedule a western prairie dog hunt with Tyler Sims Outfitting. McFadden, Wyoming is a 1,700 mile drive from my home. The hunting, camaraderie, scenery, and great chow coupled with Tyler’s new lodge make the trip worthwhile!
NOTE; Parts of this article first appeared in the JUNE 2009 issue of FUR-FISH-GAME.
It is again the time to apply for elk, deer and antelope preference points. If you are planning a hunt to Wyoming in the future, purchasing preference point is a wise idea. They are on sale from July 1 to September 30, and the cost per point is: antelope $30, deer $40 and elk $50 and only $10 for youth hunters. Please take the time to look at our website for out preference point program that I offer. With this program I will pay for your points in the end. How it works is you select a 3 or 5 year program you pay for these points upfront. When you decide to apply for a license we will deduct your point money from your hunt. If you choose to go somewhere else in Wyoming we will refund your money that was not spent on points. Please remember the money we do not refund is money we spent on your points that you can use anywhere in Wyoming.
I have five reasons why preference points are important:
1. With purchase of preference points your chances of drawing increase significantly
2. With enough points you can buy the lower price license and save money
3. Applying and managing your points is done with one form and Tyler Sims Outfitting takes care of them
4. In the end I will be paying for your increased opportunity to hunt Wyoming
5. Hunt when you want to, if you accumulate enough points you can draw in hard areas when you want to.
Here at Tyler Sims Outfitting we are always striving to make sure the hunters we apply for draw tags and the key to Western hunting is preference points. We are currently booking for the 2016 and 2017 season. Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions.
Here is a link to our points page:
With a strong snowpack and wet summer 2014 has been one of the best years for wildlife in southeastern wyoming. In most our hunt areas of antelope fawn ratios were record breaking high this was due to weather and aggressive predator management from ranchers, state agencies and TSO.
The antelope hunting this fall was unbelievable with all the moisture during the summer allowed for awesome horn growth. The archery season was a little colder and wet than we like to see but we pulled through with great success.
Rifle antelope season was another success by itself. Success was 100% and we really took some large bucks this year on the average. We also had the opportunity of hosting a long range antelope hunt with some of the best shooters across the country.
Elk season was a blast The rut was probably the strongest We have ever seen. Some of the archery elk hunts only lasted a couple of days with the Bulls acting unbelievably aggressive. This year We also harvest the largest bull ever takin by TSO on our river bottom hunt. We watched this bull over the summer and fall but we lost him the week before rifle season but let’s just say we got lucky on October 1. He decided to come out and a long time hunter with Steve Sheaffer Outfitters and first time hunter with me harvested this bull. The bull grossed 374!!!
Lastly the mule deer season. We had a slow start with a hot fall but everyone went home with nice bucks.
With the successful year behind us we are looking forward to next year hunts already.
Tyler Sims Outfitting had two entries for the 2014 competition one making First Place while the other misses third by less than 1/2 of an inch.
Heather Krammes from Pennsylvania won First Place in the 2014 Wyoming Outfitter and Guides Association Big Game Competition. This monster buck scored 84 1/8 SCI. She was guided by Tyler Sims Owner of Tyler Sims Outfitting LLC. She harvest this buck on a Combo elk/antelope hunt during the fall of 2013. We were coming off the mountain on the morning of September 26th when we discovered this buck chasing a doe. After crawling, and using the terrain to our advantage we were lucky enough to get within 250 yards of this buck. Heather took her time and made and awesome shot. As soon as the buck dropped I knew she had a chance of making a strong run in the WYOGA Competition. The WYOGA Big Game Awards is a competition between all the outfitters who are members in WYOGA. After each fall Outfitters have to get there best animals into WYOGA. From there the Board of Directors and Committee look at pictures, score sheets and outfitter reports to look for discrepancies.
Heather Krammes has hunted with Tyler Sims Outfitting since 2012 harvesting both elk and antelope. This year she will be chasing Rifle elk in October again with Tyler Sims.