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Elk hunt produces high success on northern Utah ranch

Hunt EKMD4563GC

 Hunt Price/person, hunters per guide
Elk $7,500 1x1 or $6,500 2x1
Elk/mule deer combo $CALL
Lodging/meals  Not included
12x12 cabins. Meals prepared by a cook. Hunting license and tags, taxidermy, butcher fees.
Hunter success Trophy size
Usually 100%. In 2010 only one of 30 hunters did not get a bull, and he hit and lost a bull. Almost all bulls score 260 to 320 Boone and Crockett points. Occasionally a 340 or 350 class bull is taken. The biggest bull in 2010 was 330 class.
Licenses Dates
Special CWMU permits are sold over the counter. Click here for latest tag prices. Sept. 10-Nov. 10 season. Most hunting is in September and early October, when the animals can be located by calling.
Travel Area
Fly to Salt Lake City, rent a car and drive less than an hour to the lodge, which is between both ranches. If you have a group of hunters, airport pickup can be included, but the outfitter still recommends renting a car because many hunters will score in the first two days and might want to check out the scenery and tourist attractions. Aco-op of several different ranches, most of them bordering each other and covering more than 75,000 acres of deeded (private land) between Salt Lake City and the Wyoming border. No high fences.

This hunt typically produces 100 percent success on 5x5 and 6x6 bulls. We've worked with this outfitter for seven or eight years, and he has done a good job for our customers. He controls more than 75,000 acres of private land between Salt Lake City and Evanston, Wyoming, and manages the individual ranches as one.

Trophy quality continues to improve as he harvests fewer than one bull per three to four square miles of prime elk habitat. A Hunts.Net customer, Bill Hall of Michigan, killed a 340 class bull two years ago, but a bull of that size is not common. Almost all the bulls taken on this hunt have been in the 260 to 320 class, meaning they are 5x5 or 6x6 bulls that are attractive and are not raghorns.

We consider this to be a good hunt for hunters who want to book a hunt that offers virtually 100 percent hunter success on mature bulls as long as they don't plan on passing up 300 class bulls.

A group of six hunters can get this hunt for $500 off. The price includes guide service, meals and lodging. A group of hunters can be picked up at the Salt Lake International Airport at no charge as long as they fly in together or close together so that the outfitter has to make only one trip. However, he recommends that a group rent a car among themselves because many hunters fill their tags after a day or two and enjoy checking out the area's stunning scenery and historical sites.

Hunting usually takes place between 6,000 and 8,500 feet in elevation. You do not need to be in outstanding physical condition to be successful on this hunt, but you would have a better chance to get a large bull if you're in shape.

Accommodations are in 12x12 wooden cabins. Meals are prepared by a cook. Most hnting takes place in September and October when the elk are bugling. The scenery is beautiful with yellow aspen trees, orange oakbrush and red and scarlet maplebrush. Sometimes the leaves don't change until about the third week of the season, which starts Sept. 10.

The ranches are enrolled in the state's Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) system, which means the ranch is allowed to take rifle hunters over an extended season in return for limiting its annual bull harvest. That means most hunters see a lot of 3 1/2 to 6 1/2 year old bulls.

The ranches are 60 to 90 minutes from Salt Lake City. Unless you're coming with a large party, plan to rent a car and drive to the ranch.

These ranches are not high-fenced. The animals can move off and onto the ranches at will, but because hunting pressure is light, they tend to stay on the property.

Mule deer of outstanding quality are found on these same properties. You can add a mule deer, but it's not inexpensive. Call for the latest price.

Hunters either walk from four-wheel-drive roads or take four-wheel-drive ATVs or UTVs to jump-off points.