Hunting Wyoming: Campbell County Known For Antelope — If You Can Get To Them

Outdoors writer Mark Heinz is doing a series on hunting in all 23 counties in Wyoming. For Campbell County, Mark says the high plains big game herds are plentiful, but getting permission to access some of the best areas can be challenging.

Mark Heinz

October 22, 20235 min read

Hunting Wyoming campbell county 10 22 23

Campbell County boasts some of Wyoming’s richest high plains grasslands supporting ample big game herds, but finding hunting access can be a bit tricky.

“There’s a lot of private land, and getting permission for hunting access can be tough,” Kevin Nickisch, general manager at the Gillette Rocky Mountain Discount Sports store, told Cowboy State Daily.

However, Campbell County boasts the vast Thunder Basin National Grasslands, which are on public land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Nickisch said local hunters like to try their luck there for all three of Wyoming’s premier big game species – elk, mule deer and antelope.

Elk On The Move

Campbell County’s elk herds aren’t as massive as those in other parts of Wyoming, but there’s still a “healthy population” of the critters, Nickisch said.

But hunters out for wapiti should be prepared to put on some miles searching because the herds are always on the move, he added.

“They can be tough to hunt. They move around, like a lot of high plains elk do. They’re here one day, and then gone somewhere else the next,” he said.

Trophies In The River Breaks

Parts of Wyoming experienced devastating losses this past year, with some of the prime mule deer and antelope herds in central and southwest Wyoming all but wiped out.

Campbell County’s herds suffered too, though not quite as badly, Nickisch said. There were hunting tag cuts and shortened seasons in some of the deer hunt areas, with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department aiming to give deer a break.

The county’s mule deer tend to hang out on private land, which can make access difficult, Nickisch said. But there are some sweet spots in the Powder River Breaks, and some surviving monster bucks can be found there.

“Guys do pull some good bucks out of the breaks,” he said.

Whitetail deer are few and far between in Campbell County, but can also sometimes be found along the river, he said.

Non-Residents Love Antelope

Antelope numbers are also down in the wake of winterkill, and there have been hunting tag cuts for that species as well this year. Even so, Nickisch said most of his nonresident customers are excited to come chase speed goats in Campbell County.

“We don’t tend to have the trophy quality that Natrona County is known for, but we used to have a lot of quantity, although that’s down right now,” he said. “Most of the out-of-state groups that come here are after the antelope. A lot of them go on private land, where they have trespass fees or guided hunts.”

For local hunters wanting a crack at antelope, he again recommends the Thunder Basin National Grasslands.

Overall, big game hunting in Campbell County has slowed a bit this fall because of the winterkill, but Nickisch said there’s no reason to think it won’t bounce back.

“It’s definitely been a slower year, with the seasons being shortened and some of the deer and antelope tags being cut. But that’s a good thing, with the populations being down a bit,” he said. “Hopefully we can recover and start producing some good numbers and big bucks again.”

Bird Hunting Is Sparse

Campbell County also has a healthy population of wild turkeys, he said. But upland game birds and waterfowl are sparce, Nickisch said.

“There aren’t really any pheasants hunt here, but there’s a few grouse scattered about,” he said.

Just about anywhere in the county where a hunter can get access and find a place to hunker down and hide should be good for turkeys, he added.

Doggin’ It

During the off-season, the Thunder Basin National Grasslands are also known for a great place for hunters to go blast prairie dogs.  The Forest Service will sometimes temporarily shut down prairie dog shooting in certain areas to allow populations to recover.

So, hunters itching to get in some long-range varmint shooting come springtime should check the agency’s regulations before heading out.

Other Wyoming Hunting Features

Hunting Wyoming: Elk Doing Well in Sweetwater County, But Deer, Antelope Down

Hunting Wyoming: Weston County Famous For Its Mountain Lions And Turkeys

Hunting Wyoming: Winterkill Hits Carbon County’s Trophy Herds Hard

Hunting Wyoming: Albany County Waits For Cooler Temps To Heat Up Hunting

Hunting Wyoming: Fremont County Great For Elk, If You’re Willing To Work For It

Hunting Wyoming: Teton County Has Great Outlook – Just Watch For Grizzlies

Hunting Wyoming: Elk Superb, Deer And Antelope Down In Sublette County

Hunting Wyoming: Come For the Big Game, Stay For The Birds In Natrona County

Hunting Wyoming: Larmie County Thick With Antelope, Small Game

Mark Heinz can be reached at

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter