Sometimes you just need some freezer meat

About this time of year, many of us who hunt find ourselves in one of two camps. Either we’re in the “got my critters” camp, or the “freezer’s empty” group. But if you’re in the latter, there’s still time.

One of the greatest things about Wyoming is the fact that we can hunt the archery season, and if we don’t get what we’re after, we can go out again in the rifle season. And because we have a lot of game animals, we can often pick up additional tags for the antlerless versions of our quarry, too.

That comes in handy this time of year. There are quite a few hunt areas around the state that have leftover doe/fawn or cow/calf licenses for deer and elk. Many of those areas have surplus tags because there’s not a lot of public access to hunt there. But in those cases, there are usually quite a few landowners who welcome hunters who will come in and reduce the number of deer or elk that tear up their hay stacks or cause other damage.

I prefer to hunt out in the wilderness, where I can go for hours, or even days, without seeing so much as a sign of other humans. But I’m also a pretty unsuccessful hunter, in the sense of bringing meat home. So I often spend the first half of the season trying to outwit the denizens of the deepest, darkest forests. Then I spend the second half of the season asking around to see if any ranchers whose land happens to be in areas where there are leftover licenses if they will let me come take a doe deer or a cow elk.

Sometimes those ranch hunts are just as wild and untamed as a wilderness hunt, but often they’re a little more tame. But if I’m hunting on a ranch, I’ve usually already gotten my fill of adventure, so I’m good with taking the easier option. It’s still wild game meat, and it still fills the freezer.

Don’t overlook that option if you’re still looking to fill some empty space in your freezer.