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  1. #1
    Senior Member Where's Bruce?'s Avatar
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    Yo Utah! Need to pick a unit for archery elk

    Here's what I cannot find easily online and could use some "local" knowledge. Of the 16 any elk I'd like to select one with the following;

    Horsepackers
    Hotels/Motels/ B&B nearby
    Meat processing services

    My original plan was to hunt Wasatch near Strawberry Res as all the services I'd want are nearby. Figured i'd stay at the lodge there and know they have horsepackers in the surrounding area and a meat guy in Heber but that's a spike only unit which is not what I want. Not asking for directions to any honey holes or anything, just help selecting a unit for a NR OTC tagholder. If there are bars/restaurants nearby (within 20 mins) as well, that's a plus. After a long hot day in the mountains in August a cold beer and steak are always welcome, especially if you just filled your tag. Will likely be hunting solo...waiting to hear from a buddy to see if he can join me (longshot).

    Thank you for any assistance you can offer.



    My initial research is pointing to Kamas. Seems to rich in public land, has the services noted nearby (horsepacking may be necessary due to high August weather temps) but I could be wrong. I realize most of these units are somewhat poor on quality and quantity of elk. Kamas might get some crossover from the WMR.
    Last edited by Where's Bruce?; 03-20-2017 at 04:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member realunlucky's Avatar
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    Bruce if your willing to shot a cow I'd head for a le unit. Any bull units have low public land or few elk. I'd focus on North or South slope. North slope has nothing close maybe you could use vernal and hunt the South slope but I'd think you'd do better further from town. Plenty of packers but they mostly do the book cliffs but I'm sure a few stay close to home. That's my thoughts. I've hunted them both but not from a town.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Where's Bruce?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by realunlucky View Post
    Bruce if your willing to shot a cow I'd head for a le unit. Any bull units have low public land or few elk. I'd focus on North or South slope. North slope has nothing close maybe you could use vernal and hunt the South slope but I'd think you'd do better further from town. Plenty of packers but they mostly do the book cliffs but I'm sure a few stay close to home. That's my thoughts. I've hunted them both but not from a town.

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    Tired of eating tags but want a bull. Will shoot anything after mid-hunt. Cannot eat another tag. A baby 3 legged cow would be game. LOL

  4. #4
    Senior Member Beendare's Avatar
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    If you draw the Book Cliffs roadless give me a shout...off the chart elk hunt...one of the best hunts I've done.

    Its remote...in fact you need to pack in a min of 3 miles to get through the indian res easement....but thats one reason why I liked it. Getting a big bull with a huge hind end [that makes Rosie Odonnell look skinny] out is a bit of a chore though.
    “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.” ― Jimmy Buffett

    "You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” ― Edwin Louis Cole

  5. #5
    Senior Member weaver's Avatar
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    Other states would give you a better shot at an otc bull imo.

  6. #6
    Senior Member realunlucky's Avatar
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    Every resident wants to shoot a bull too and any bull is the only choice. I personally hunt Colorado more than Utah for that fact.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Where's Bruce?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weaver View Post
    Other states would give you a better shot at an otc bull imo.
    Like where?

  8. #8
    Senior Member MuleyFever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Where's Bruce? View Post
    Like where?
    Like any of them with an OTC hunt. I would go to CO or ID and pay the non res fee before I bought an any bull tag here for the $50 or whatever it is. I don't really elk hunt but I have heard enough around here to know your better off heading out of state for a bull on an OTC hunt. I am sure there are people who have figured it out in the Uintas or in a few places but I would go to a different state.

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  10. #9
    Senior Member Where's Bruce?'s Avatar
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    CO has recently passed laws that make it less attractive to bow hunt there so that's out. Considered ID but the exta driving time from So. Cal. cuts my hunting time down. I can do UT in a day. CO and ID is twice that.

  11. #10
    Senior Member ckleeves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Where's Bruce? View Post
    CO has recently passed laws that make it less attractive to bow hunt there so that's out. Considered ID but the exta driving time from So. Cal. cuts my hunting time down. I can do UT in a day. CO and ID is twice that.
    Fill me in on these new bowhunting laws?


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  12. #11
    Senior Member MuleyFever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Where's Bruce? View Post
    CO has recently passed laws that make it less attractive to bow hunt there so that's out.
    You don't HAVE to wear pink Bruce.

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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckleeves View Post
    Fill me in on these new bowhunting laws?


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    Yeah^^^^


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  15. #13
    Senior Member CorbLand's Avatar
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    Idaho would offer more opportunities. Better season dates, longer season and the chance to go back with a rifle after the archery season.

    PM inbound on Utah though.
    Theres always one who plants an evil seed and preaches fear to pull you to the other side into a world of lies.

  16. #14
    Senior Member Where's Bruce?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckleeves View Post
    Fill me in on these new bowhunting laws?
    Word is now you cannot have more than a 80% letoff or it's a fine. Just pure BS IMHO and my Elite has an 85% letoff that I love. I can hold at full draw all day. Just a stupid regulation that will lead to more iffy and rushed shots by guys struggling to hold at full draw for longer periods. Us older guys need that edge. My Hoyt was a problem after 75 seconds...I'd start getting shaky. Not with my Elite. Groups tightened right up. CO is getting a little too much like CA with these counterintuitive BS regs.

  17. #15
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    You could have drawn a LE Cow tag in WY.

  18. #16
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    You're putting yourself behind the 8 ball by not listening to these guys and insisting on hunting areas that they tell you will be tough. You'll have to decide between convenience and likelihood of tag filling. Access to hotels/b&bs/bars/restaurants will add to convenience not likelihood of success. If that's what you want it's fine but spending time in those places won't increase your likelihood of punching a tag. Mostly they will hurt your odds.

    I agree with them- suck it up and make a trip to hunt areas that give you better likelihood of success. Camp closer to the areas you intend to hunt.

  19. #17
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    Bruce, as a guy who has been hunting the North slope since 2010 and been around the few other areas local to me I will give you what I know.

    Box Elder: Worthless and 90% private, low land
    Ogden: Limited access, lots of private, tons of roads, tons of road hunters
    Morgan Rich: Same as the Ogden unit
    East Canyon: Lots of CWMU's and private land, tons of elk, but the outfitters/guides screw the average guy
    Chalk Creek: Before snow flies it can be productive if you put your feet on the ground and work, other than that still lots of CWMU's and private land to deal with.
    Kamas: Might be your best hope of a Non Resident OTC any bull, lots of roads, don't expect to get further than 3/4-1 mile from a road.
    North Slope: Rough, rugged, sparse elk population. Ive seen exactly 10 elk in this unit since 2010 and I shot a spike in 2015 (also first archery filled tag) 2016 I went to the same area, tons of pre season scouting, then the sheep ranchers cam e through opening weekend. If you want more info on where I went, PM me and I'll give you what I know, just know it's not easy, not fun, and northing is close by.
    South Slope: Lots of access fingers, canyons and also lots of private land the closer you get to HWY 40, If you have the time this can be a productive unit, but again you will work your ass off.
    9Mile: To much private land to contend with to make it worth while. Only a couple of access points and locals are tight lipped and greedy.
    San Rafael: Big unit, low elk numbers, plenty of BLM and access. Get the picture.... Also low level, desert. more wintering land than early season archery hunt.
    Henrys: Deer, not elk. The DWR wants all elk taken off, they have basically lost the last 20 or so that remain in the unit, if you can find'em, I'm sure the lone bull or two aren't that great.

    I have zero knowledge and input of the remaining any bull units.

    This should be my last year to hunt Utah as a resident, I will not come back as a NR unless I draw a Henrys deer tag. Colorado can be a bugger now I understand, south east ID isn't that much further of a drive and can have a better hunt. Montana also has better hunts, will cost more and be another 10 hrs of driving. So another day on either end for a chance to hunt better land is worth it.

    Either way, good luck and again if ya need anything from me, don't hesitate to ask.

  20. #18
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    Utah would be tough to have success from a hotel I think.
    The Kamas area is gorgeous but if you are hunting hard during archery you'll be getting up st 4 to drive to mountains and getting back at 11 in the best case senerio.
    What about hiring a drop camp? You could bring in your own beer and steaks and probably not much more than a week at the hotel.
    I'm sure there are a few drop camp set ups in Utah but CO and ID have tons.
    Good luck on your adventure

  21. #19
    Senior Member Where's Bruce?'s Avatar
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    Can you elaborate? Why a 1 mile limit? Is the area overrun with roads or what?

    Kamas: Might be your best hope of a Non Resident OTC any bull, lots of roads, don't expect to get further than 3/4-1 mile from a road.



    I considered camping in my truck tent or doing a bivy but with daytime temps to 100* possible, thought I might not be able to sleep at night. When it's warm I cannot seem to get any rest and without a good night's sleep i am useless. Getting up at 3am is not a problem...done it many times.
    Last edited by Where's Bruce?; 03-21-2017 at 03:09 PM.

  22. #20
    Senior Member realunlucky's Avatar
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    It's not going to 100 at night. If it's the hot during the day you better gain some elevation to find some elk. These are mountains areas

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