Taking a first timer elk hunting... Utah?

wllm1313

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My dad's best friend asked if I would take him on his first elk hunt. He is a resident of Utah... I apply in Utah every year but it's just been hail mary's at this point.

Trying to get a 30,000ft view on Utah's "Any bull elk units". I'm definitely going to have him put in for a limited entry tag, but then assuming he doesn't draw... spike bull v. any bull units... this is just about getting him out and having a wilderness experiences.

What I'm really asking is what's a Any bull elk unit in Utah look like compared to a OTC Colorado unit?

This would be a backpack rifle hunt, dad's friend is 62 but a total beast... led a 5.10c climb up a tower outside of moab last weekend.
 

neffa3

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I've never been near Utah, but they are the only other state besides WA that has the stupid spike only regs that I know of. I can assure you there is nothing more frustrating than seeing big bulls and cows and not being able to chase them. I would rather stay home, it's that kind of blueball frustration.
 

wllm1313

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Fully agree... basically I'm totally ok with it being a heinous adventure where we never see an elk and walk our buts off.

What I'm not into is it turning into a human cluster with other hunters all over the place... with all the overlapping seasons/weapons/etc etc. it's hard to for me to get a read if units general units because they are low elk density or general units because in order to toss a bone to hunters Utah has a few units were they pack as many people as possible into the hills, i.e. the Colorado method of hunter appeasement.
 

TheDudeAbides

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So, for a wilderness experience the north slope would be the ticket. The issue there is the elk could be at 10,000 ft or be across the border into Wyoming during the season. Have a cousin that hunts it and he has a tendancy for missing elk and hitting tree branches with his arrows. ;) He does a lot of miles. 10 miles in at minimum where he goes. It took him many years to find where the elk were and that information comes out about as easy as wood duck spots in Utah.

The spike hunts are in areas that you will see more elk, but you are limited to spikes.

As far as Utah Open Bull vs Colorado. There are more elk in Colorado. There also can be more people in Colorado, which I'm not sure how that is possible.

I think a cow hunt in a spike only zone is a good way to go about it the first time.
 

Benn74

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A cow hunt on many of the spike units can take up to or around 3-5 years to draw! The general any bull units are a tough hunt but you can get lucky! I feel Colorado maybe has better over the counter elk units, but it would definitely be cheaper to hunt utah as a resident!
 

TheDudeAbides

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A cow hunt on many of the spike units can take up to or around 3-5 years to draw! The general any bull units are a tough hunt but you can get lucky! I feel Colorado maybe has better over the counter elk units, but it would definitely be cheaper to hunt utah as a resident!
So, a little known fact about the Utah Draw especially anterless. If you team up with an NR as an R, then you get the NR drawing odds with the R price.


There are also a lot of hunts that take 0-1 points to draw in the spike areas.

If you do your research then you can hunt this year.
 

wllm1313

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Majja

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I am a UT resident and hunt the North slope every year. Expect a lot of people, there are both elk and deer hunts going on at the same time. Most of the spike only areas are to help the management of the Trophy areas, these areas hold a lot more elk, just you will be seeing lots of mature bulls. If this is an archery hunt you will get better weather but be advised lots of ATV/UTV traffic. I usually rifle hunt the area, and there are years we have a few opportunities and see multiple bulls and have years wears just seeing a cow would be nice. One word of advice when looking at some of the Cow units, many of the higher success rates are on mostly private ground and it can be very hard to get permission to hunt it.
 

Goatshoes

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What I'm really asking is what's a Any bull elk unit in Utah look like compared to a OTC Colorado unit?
I presume you are talking about general season. My answer is based on that. I have been doing plenty of research on this An any bull elk unit in Utah falls in 1 of the two 2 following categories and sometimes both.

1. Utah either wants to drastically curtail the number of elk if not eliminate the elk in the unit often because the the agricultural interests want them gone. The biologists managing these units are very effective at getting that job done so you will usually have very low elk numbers in those units relative to the spike only units.

2. The second category is those units which have a paucity of public access. There may be plenty of elk here but good luck to the average Joe getting it. I imagine it can be done, but as a non-resident I don't have the time it takes.

On a side note, a cow tag can be a great option, but if you plan to apply as a party it more difficult when you apply as a party where you have residents and non-residents in the same pool.
 

Majja

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I presume you are talking about general season. My answer is based on that. I have been doing plenty of research on this An any bull elk unit in Utah falls in 1 of the two 2 following categories and sometimes both.

1. Utah either wants to drastically curtail the number of elk if not eliminate the elk in the unit often because the the agricultural interests want them gone. The biologists managing these units are very effective at getting that job done so you will usually have very low elk numbers in those units relative to the spike only units.

2. The second category is those units which have a paucity of public access. There may be plenty of elk here but good luck to the average Joe getting it. I imagine it can be done, but as a non-resident I don't have the time it takes.

On a side note, a cow tag can be a great option, but if you plan to apply as a party it more difficult when you apply as a party where you have residents and non-residents in the same pool.
Utah is mostly managed for Quality, the any bull and Spike only units are here to make them money and try and keep us the masses quiet since we still get to hunt. And in all honesty there is a lot of land that is here to use and holds elk weather permitting. As a out of state guy I would look probably to Colorado.
 

wllm1313

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Utah is mostly managed for Quality, the any bull and Spike only units are here to make them money and try and keep us the masses quiet since we still get to hunt. And in all honesty there is a lot of land that is here to use and holds elk weather permitting. As a out of state guy I would look probably to Colorado.
Yeah I'm not looking for a tag, just looking to help a Utah resident get into hunting. He put in for a cow tag this year, depending on how that goes we will see about next year.

Is the consensus that in terms of a hunt elk every year plan, for a Utah resident and not worrying about license cost, that Colorado provides better opportunity than Utah.

Should I have him get a Utah tag every year and just help him fill that tag, or do Utah general opportunities suck so much that he is better off hunting as a NR in CO?
 
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