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Utah cow elk hunts, semi-guided or guided

This is a fun hunt for those who enjoy off-season big game hunting as well as a nice winter supply of tasty elk venison. Hunter success is typically high. We book a number of cow elk hunts in Utah and for the past 25 years we have conducted a few hunts every winter. Over that time we have had about 85 percent success on guided hunts and 50 percent on unguided hunts. We've had 100 percent success a couple of years, and our worst year saw us go one for four on guided hunts although everybody saw cows.

In November and December 2017 and January 2018 we offer guided and unguided cow elk hunts on ranch in northern Utah where we encountered elk most days despite some problems with vehicles and unusual weather.

The hunt price includes a landowner voucher that allows you to buy a cow permit directly from the state without having to go through a tag drawing. . Another advantage of the landowner voucher is that the depredation season is normally very long, whereas public-draw hunts usually are short, which doesn't leave a lot of room for flexibility in case weather conditions are unusual.

Meals and accommodations are not included, but you may camp on the ranch, and if the roads are dry you can pull a trailer to the ranch. The price of the hunt does not include the state cow elk tag or the hunting license.

Hunt EK4599COW
Unguided hunts Guided hunts
You receive a trespass permit and a map to the ranch along with a combination to the gate. You supply your own transportation to and on the ranch and are responsible for packing the meat to a road. Note that late season hunts sometimes require the use of an ATV with chains or a snowmobile.

Price per person/guide:hunter ratio

$800 3-5 days in mid-to late November and in December.

Unsuccessful hunters may return in January on days when no guided hunters are on the ranch.

One guide per 2 hunters. The guide provides transportation to and on the ranch. The guide is responsible to pack the meat out to the road then into town, but he expects able-bodied hunters to help pack boneless meat to the road.

Price per person/guide:hunter ratio

$1,750 3 days 2x1
$2,250 5 days 2x1

1x1 hunts are an extra $750

Season Hunter success
The last half of November and through December and January. Hunter success over the past 20 years has been about 85 percent on guided hunts and about 50 percent on unguided hunts. Most hunters who have not scored have missed, passed up, or hit and lost animals. This hunt is for wild elk, which are wary and unpredictable. If you want a 100% kill rate, book a trip on a high-fenced game ranch.
Meals and accommodations Meat care

Not included. Most hunters stay in a local motel and eat restaurant meals. Call for the phone number of a motel near your hunting area. The motel is only one mile from the ranches we have been hunting the past two seasons, and there is an inexpensive cafe that our hunters like just across the street. The motel is probably a two-star motel typical of small towns throughout the West. If you want a nicer place, there is a highly rated motel in a college town about 20 miles away.

Usually the weather is cold during the November, December and February cow elk hunts, so skinning and quartering the animal is all the processing you need before you drive home. If you're flying home, you can have the meat processed by a local butcher and shipped to your home. For $100, we will debone the meat and cut it into small enough pieces to fit into gallon size freezer zip bags. Click here for more information on meat care.

Licenses Weather

This price of the hunt includes a depredation voucher that allows you to buy an antlerless elk tag from the state for $223. You'll also need a $65 hunting license. You're responsible for paying for the tag and license. You need hunter safety certification if born after Jan. 1, 1965.

Can vary from 80 degrees in the daytime in November to below zero on a cold day in January. Snow is usually on the ground on north slopes and sometimes on all slopes. It's best to be flexible on your hunting dates because a delayed winter can result in warm weather than allows elk herds to stay at higher elevations, usually above the cow elk hunting areas. If you can come about a week after the first big snows in November, there are usually of plenty of elk to hunt.

Unguided hunt advice


Unguided hunts are not for everybody. Don't book an unguided or semi-guided hunt unless you're flexible on timing or have the right gear for transportation. Details. If you book in advance, we often can supply a four-wheel-drive Polaris Ranger or an older snowmobile at $100 a day (plus gasoline).

You also will probably see big bull elk and mule deer. Bring a camera. Fishing and duck hunting also can be done at nearby locations. Round trip airport shuttle is $100, or you can drive to the ranch, which is a bit less than two hours from the SLC airport.

Note: On some ranches antlerless tags are available through a public drawing, and non-resident tags are usually undersubscribed. You can save $250 if you draw, but holders of tags issued through the drawing are limited to specific hunting periods. In some areas the seasons are two months long.