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Prime northern Utah ranchland offers trophy-class mule deer

This outfitter leases several ranches in northern Utah, most of which are managed under the state's Cooperative Wildlife Management System. That means you don't have to draw a tag to hunt, and the season is long, allowing maximum flexibility.

Hunter success is uniformly high, but not everybody scores because some holders pass up all but truly trophy-class deer. Bucks in the 180 to 200-class are shot every year, and the occasional buck will exceed 200.

This is a hunt that allows hunters to pass on immature bucks because the limited hunting pressure allows many bucks to grow big racks.

When hunters think of big mule deer, they often think of southern Utah, but the truth is that more truly trophy-class muleys have come from a handful of northern counties. Currently the best hunting is on private ranches, and this outfit leases more than 225 square miles of deeded land sprawling across three counties.

Depending on the specific property you hunt, you can start as early as Sept. 1 and hunt as late as Nov. 10. Antlers are usually still covered in velvet in early September, and most shed by the end of the month.

September hunts also take place when bucks often gather in bachelor herds in fairly open, high-elevation terrain. Most of the ground is at middle elevations that are better hunted from mid-October until early November. On the late hunts you'll often find bucks starting to look for does, and you have a better chance for snow on the ground, which makes it much easier to see deer in the aspens and oakbrush.

Hunt MD4563NO

Hunt, hunter:guide ratio Price per person
5-day rifle hunt, 1x1 $7,500
5-day rifle hunt, 2x1 $7,000
Licenses Lodging/meals
No drawing necessary. Click here for updated prices.The hunting license and tag are not included in the price. Price for 2009: $280. Hunters stay in cabins or rented houses. Meals are included.
Hunter success Trophy quality
75-90% most years, and all hunters have had chances to pass on bucks. The top end bucks every year score 190 to 200 or more Boone and Crockett points. Most bucks taken are 25 to 28 inches wide.
Travel Area
Fly to Salt Lake City. The hunt provider shuttles you between the airport and the hunting area at no extra charge. More than 225 square miles of deeded land, ranging from from lowland sage and oakbrush to high, rocky alpine terrain. Elevations are typically 6,500 to 9,000 feet.