Sitka Gear
Heading to UT elk camp
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
nmwapiti 17-Aug-22
ND String Puller 17-Aug-22
elkmtngear 17-Aug-22
Bowboy 17-Aug-22
'Ike' (Phone) 17-Aug-22
Jordan 17-Aug-22
jdbbowhunter 17-Aug-22
EmptyFreezer 17-Aug-22
Breakfast Boy 17-Aug-22
BULELK1 18-Aug-22
nmwapiti 18-Aug-22
Old School 18-Aug-22
nmwapiti 18-Aug-22
nmwapiti 18-Aug-22
nmwapiti 18-Aug-22
Scoot 18-Aug-22
TGbow 18-Aug-22
Norseman 18-Aug-22
YZF-88 18-Aug-22
nmwapiti 18-Aug-22
nmwapiti 18-Aug-22
nmwapiti 18-Aug-22
nmwapiti 21-Aug-22
nmwapiti 21-Aug-22
scentman 21-Aug-22
nmwapiti 23-Aug-22
nmwapiti 23-Aug-22
drycreek 23-Aug-22
nmwapiti 25-Aug-22
nmwapiti 25-Aug-22
nmwapiti 25-Aug-22
nmwapiti 28-Aug-22
Bowboy 28-Aug-22
BULELK1 29-Aug-22
nmwapiti 29-Aug-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 01-Sep-22
EmptyFreezer 01-Sep-22
bowhunt 01-Sep-22
nmwapiti 02-Sep-22
Scoot 02-Sep-22
Tracker 02-Sep-22
nmwapiti 02-Sep-22
nmwapiti 02-Sep-22
APauls 02-Sep-22
SteveB 02-Sep-22
nmwapiti 03-Sep-22
nmwapiti 03-Sep-22
nmwapiti 03-Sep-22
EmptyFreezer 03-Sep-22
TREESTANDWOLF 03-Sep-22
nmwapiti 03-Sep-22
scentman 03-Sep-22
midwest 03-Sep-22
nmwapiti 04-Sep-22
BULELK1 04-Sep-22
Vaquero 45 04-Sep-22
nmwapiti 04-Sep-22
fastflight 04-Sep-22
nmwapiti 04-Sep-22
ND String Puller 04-Sep-22
nmwapiti 06-Sep-22
nmwapiti 06-Sep-22
nmwapiti 06-Sep-22
nmwapiti 06-Sep-22
nmwapiti 06-Sep-22
EmptyFreezer 06-Sep-22
nmwapiti 06-Sep-22
nmwapiti 07-Sep-22
nmwapiti 09-Sep-22
nmwapiti 09-Sep-22
nmwapiti 09-Sep-22
nmwapiti 09-Sep-22
NorCalVineyards 09-Sep-22
nmwapiti 10-Sep-22
nmwapiti 10-Sep-22
BULELK1 11-Sep-22
Inshart 11-Sep-22
nmwapiti 12-Sep-22
nmwapiti 12-Sep-22
nmwapiti 12-Sep-22
nmwapiti 12-Sep-22
nmwapiti 12-Sep-22
nmwapiti 12-Sep-22
nmwapiti 13-Sep-22
nmwapiti 14-Sep-22
Grunter 14-Sep-22
HUNT MAN 14-Sep-22
nmwapiti 14-Sep-22
NorCalVineyards 14-Sep-22
BowHiker 14-Sep-22
APauls 14-Sep-22
nmwapiti 14-Sep-22
BULELK1 15-Sep-22
nmwapiti 15-Sep-22
nmwapiti 15-Sep-22
nmwapiti 15-Sep-22
Kodiak 15-Sep-22
fastflight 15-Sep-22
nmwapiti 16-Sep-22
nmwapiti 16-Sep-22
nmwapiti 16-Sep-22
nmwapiti 16-Sep-22
BULELK1 16-Sep-22
fastflight 16-Sep-22
Norseman 16-Sep-22
Inshart 16-Sep-22
nmwapiti 16-Sep-22
greg simon 16-Sep-22
Norseman 16-Sep-22
nmwapiti 16-Sep-22
BULELK1 17-Sep-22
cmbbulldog 17-Sep-22
nmwapiti 17-Sep-22
From: nmwapiti
17-Aug-22
It's hard to get real excited this early in the year, but UT archery elk and deer seasons open Saturday. Have a bull tag and a buck tag to fill. Will be in the high country on and off for the next month. Gotta get it done before they let the rifle guys loose on them 17 Sep. Hoo frickin rah!

17-Aug-22
Good luck Jason... post some pics of your progress for us waiting for mid September!

From: elkmtngear
17-Aug-22
Good luck...find water...kill stuff !!

From: Bowboy
17-Aug-22
Go get them! I expect pictures soon.

17-Aug-22
It'll be epic...Good luck!

From: Jordan
17-Aug-22
Yes! About damn time to kick 'er off!

From: jdbbowhunter
17-Aug-22
Good Luck!

From: EmptyFreezer
17-Aug-22
I'll see ya up there Friday Jason. Might bring my boat as much rain as their gettin. Beautiful green mountains here we come.

17-Aug-22
Good luck and safe travels fellas!

From: BULELK1
18-Aug-22
I always daydream about getting a Velvet bull over the early opening wknd dates.

I never have though.

Have fun, be safe and Pick-a-$pot--------->

Robb

From: nmwapiti
18-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Grass is starting to brown. Fall is coming.

From: Old School
18-Aug-22
Good luck Jason. A little over 3 weeks till we head west.

From: nmwapiti
18-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Not a bad first morning glassing. Elk and deer.

From: nmwapiti
18-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Decent bucks.

From: nmwapiti
18-Aug-22
Sorry the pics aren't better. Everything went into cover long before the sun hit them.

From: Scoot
18-Aug-22
Sweet- good luck! These pics get my juices flowing!!!

From: TGbow
18-Aug-22
Good luck

From: Norseman
18-Aug-22
Good luck!

From: YZF-88
18-Aug-22

YZF-88's embedded Photo
YZF-88's embedded Photo
I packed in a little spike camp yesterday morning and glassed up the three bucks I’ll be chasing. Gonna be tough stalking but fun!

From: nmwapiti
18-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Some young bucks

From: nmwapiti
18-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Some young bulls

From: nmwapiti
18-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Little better

From: nmwapiti
21-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Got to watch a couple 5x5s push each other around yesterday. They're thinking about the rut...

From: nmwapiti
21-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Maybe a little better pic...

From: scentman
21-Aug-22
Live the dream brother!

From: nmwapiti
23-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Saw a good one. Some bugling.

From: nmwapiti
23-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Another angle.

From: drycreek
23-Aug-22
Still hotter than the hubs of hell here in the Lone Star State but it’s still one of my favorite times of the year because you elk hunters are getting ready to perform ! Go get ‘em !

From: nmwapiti
25-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Came home to rest over the weekend. Found a few more herds. Two 5x5s and a small 6x6 tending them. Heading back up next week.

From: nmwapiti
25-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Another group.

From: nmwapiti
25-Aug-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Had a couple spikes walk right up to me. What everyone else in the mountain is looking for...

From: nmwapiti
28-Aug-22
Got rested up and restocked over the weekend. Heading back into the hills tomorrow. Probably stay until I kill this time. Just shy of 3 weeks to get it done. The hunting should improve every day that passes. I'll try to post pics when i can, but i won't be carrying the tripod and spotter any more. Here we go...

From: Bowboy
28-Aug-22
Get a big one Jason!

From: BULELK1
29-Aug-22
Have fun and be safe!

Looks like we are getting back into the 100-degree days this week into Labor Day.

I put the sneak on a Raggy that was half assed bugling yesterday morning so that is a good sign of getting vocal.

Pick-a-$pot------->

Robb

From: nmwapiti
29-Aug-22
All packed up. Concur with that, Robb. It's going to be a warmer week, but up high I don't think it'll be hot enough to suppress rutting activity much. I heard some bugling last week if I got far enough away from people. Most of the bigger bulls were still laying low, but they should show up around Labor Day. Hoping to crawl into a few deep holes and get into them. Will get plenty of exercise either way...

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22
Been a tough few days. The bulls are talking a little, but mostly at night. Worse than that, they have moved into the nasty steep timbered hideouts.

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22
Looks like I didn't have enough signal from the the to post pics. Trying again from the truck.

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Home sweet home the past few days. Camped by a quad trail. Have decided I'm gonna have to take it in deeper on my back next.

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22
First evening saw a decent herd across the canyon. Thought it only had a 5x5, but a nice muddy bull showed up close to sunset. Guess I'll have to go that way in the morning.

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22
Got up at 4:30 and took the hour plus atv ride to the other side. Dropped down where the elk had been. Heard a smaller sounding bull working north. Tried to catch up, but never did get eyes on him. Had a cow and 2 calves at 30.

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22
That evening sat on a glassing spot over a good bowl. Right before dark, a nice looking 6x6 and about 20 cows feed out into the brush. Will have to see if he does it again tomorrow.

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Had a couple bulls bugling within earshot during the night. Then everything shut up about an hour before sunrise. Looked for the bill from yesterday without any luck. Did see some aspen rubs.

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Finally committed to bailing off into the steep stuff and had a couple close calls. Had heard a couple faint bugles off a ridge the morning prior. Headed down at 5:30 to see what I could find.

Had a bull answer my bugle halfway down. Had to swing around to get the wind right, but got level with him. Closed a little quicker than i thought. First thing i saw was this spike. That's the brown spot in the pic :)

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22
Hmmm... maybe I only got a pic of that thistle and thought I got the elk. Anyway, there were 2 spikes and about 6 cows. One of the cows heard me and started moving away. I thought, crap, bumped them. Might as well see if he will come to a bugle. I sent one his way and he answered. I could see his rack coming down the ridge above the brush. Only a small 6x6 with crabby last forks. He was about 70 yards out. He rounded up his girls and headed the other way. Guess he knew he wasn't the biggest bull around.

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Decided to swing around to the east slope. That's where the bugles came from yesterday. When I got to the pines, there were obvious elk trails all over. I sent a bugle and got an immediate growly response from maybe 100 yards below. He was probably already in his bed and the wind was blowing to my right, but I had to try. I slipped down a ways and tried to get him fired up. He responded several times, always growly and pissed sounding. I heard a bunch of branches breaking and thought he might be coming, but he went down the ridge and caught my scent. Smart bull. I got a look at 2 of his cows at 38 yards. Never did see him. Pic of the thick stuff he was in.

From: nmwapiti
01-Sep-22
That's it for now. Back after them again tonight.

From: EmptyFreezer
01-Sep-22
Keep at em Jason. Sounds like your playin with the big boys now.

From: bowhunt
01-Sep-22
Thanks for sharing, and good luck. Sounds like you have an LE bull tag.

A lot has probably changed, but I have never experienced elk hunting like what we had in 2007 when I went with my roommate that drew Utah LE bull tag.

If I’m remember correctly they started bugling a lot around the 5-6th of September, and after the tenth we couldn’t even sleep at night with bulls screaming.

Have fun.

From: nmwapiti
02-Sep-22
Yeah. My buddy and I cashed in a fair number of points for a mid tier LE unit. I like to chase them. Not willing to wait 20 years for a top tier tag. Might actually draw another one before I die this way.

Everyone we talk to says don't get frustrated or burned out. It gets better every passing day. That last week should be fun if we don't tag out first.

From: Scoot
02-Sep-22
Lovin' this hunt so far! I predict you fling an arrow within the next few days. Good luck and thanks for the updates!

From: Tracker
02-Sep-22
Thats beautiful country. What part of the state is that?

From: nmwapiti
02-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Found a good one today. Rolled the dice and went out on a distant ridge to glass across the canyon. First stop only produced a cow. Moved up ridge about a mile and found 20 head or so. Nice bull tending them. The pics aren't great since I was glassing into the sun. I'll try to close in on him this evening.

From: nmwapiti
02-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
I'm in the central part of the state.

From: APauls
02-Sep-22
What a beauty! This has been fun to follow. Good luck!

From: SteveB
02-Sep-22
Im so jealous! Keep it coming!!

From: nmwapiti
03-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Hiked down that ridge, dropped onto the bench, worked my way around, stayed till almost dark. No elk. They moved or got pushed out during the day. Oh well. Ton of sign in there. Will have to check back later. Pic of a nice wallow.

From: nmwapiti
03-Sep-22
Had a good morning. Dropped off the ridge where the muddy bull was hanging. On the way down we heard antlers clacking. Spotted a couple rags pushing each other around. While we hustled down we heard 2 bulls bugle below. Standard problem, downhill breeze. Think the middle bull smelled us and shut up. We tried working toward the right bull, but he got into thick stuff and we backed out.

From: nmwapiti
03-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
I had heard one other bugle to the south so we swung that way. Crossed a clearing and I let out a bugle. Ha answered right back. We started closing and I could hear him raking a tree. I'm pretty aggressive and don't rely on bringing them to me. I just kept creeping in. Went through some thick stuff that he wasn't in, fortunately. Came into a little clearing and he was close. He let out a scream from maybe 50 yards behind a big pine. I eased right and there he was. Big 5 on the right. 6 on the left. Maybe 310 class 5x6. Not quite big enough so I motioned for my hunting buddy to get over to me. He isn't as picky, but the bull decided to move down before we could get in position. Pic is the tree he was rubbing.

From: EmptyFreezer
03-Sep-22
Come on fellas, get r done.. u guys gotta be goin crazy around so many bulls.

03-Sep-22
Get ‘em!!!

From: nmwapiti
03-Sep-22
They're starting to talk on their own and they're responding to calls. I'm expecting the mountain to go crazy any day.

From: scentman
03-Sep-22
Good read, thanks for sharing!

From: midwest
03-Sep-22
This is great!

From: nmwapiti
04-Sep-22
Well, chalk up my first good oops of the hunt. Slipped down onto the bench where we left the bull this morning. I had not been there 10 min when a bull bugled well below me. Not where I was expecting him, so I was trying to figure out what to do when a bull responded right where I thought one should be. Then 2 more bulls chimed in. At least 2 of them sounded like they were within 150 yards. Things were going to get interesting.

I decided to adjust my position. I was sitting right in the edge of the pines and a small clearing. I was pretty sure the elk would come through the pines on some very defined trails. I was slipping into the cover when a large rack stepped up right in front of me. A very good bull and I were in a staring contest for about 4 seconds. Then he decided those footsteps were not an elk and spun to leave. I got a good look at his tops from a whole 18 or so yards. His fifths were at least 13, maybe 15 inches. Easily 350, maybe 360 inches. Nice and wide, good mass.

I had no idea he was so close. I didn't even have an arrow on. Oh well, very cool. He ran down the ridge making a racket which shut up the other elk. The one I was trying to find did bugle a couple more times, but decided something wasn't right and shut up. I tried bugling to him, but he's a smart rascal. I think that's 4 times I've been close to him and have not even seen him. We'll rest it for a while and give them another try later. Fun evening.

From: BULELK1
04-Sep-22
Exciting!!

Good luck, Robb

From: Vaquero 45
04-Sep-22
Keep em coming . Thanks for updates, pics , etc . Heads up , stay safe .

From: nmwapiti
04-Sep-22
Drove out to a glassing point this morning. Walked to the edge and a bull was ripping bugles 150 yards below us. I bailed off and tried to find him, but my buddy said they were moving out before I even got to the bottom. The biggest challenge around here is the wind. You're almost always on top of the ridge, elk are down the ridge halfway or more and the wind is blowing right from you to them early and late. Going to try spike camping down low this week to see if I can get positioned better.

From: fastflight
04-Sep-22
Thanks for the updates. This has been a fun hunt to follow along with.

From: nmwapiti
04-Sep-22
Packing up for a 2-3 day excursion into a deep canyon. I'll try to take notes and pictures so I can give a good update when I get back. We're hoping for big talkative bulls far from the roads. Cows should be coming into heat any day. Could be awesome...

04-Sep-22
Good luck Jason thanks for the updates!

From: nmwapiti
06-Sep-22
All righty, had a good couple days in the canyon. Hiked in during the last couple hours of the day. Partly to avoid the heat and partly to find elk along the way. After about 3 miles, we were running low on daylight. Saw 4 spikes in a clearing 100 yards away. I tried to get a pic, but was too slow, sorry. 100 yards later I saw a good bull in a clearing ahead. Maybe 320 class 6x6. I asked my buddy if he wanted to go after him and he said definitely. I backed up 20 yards to a nice area under some pines to set up camp while he chased the bull. He got pinned down by cows and ran out of daylight before the bull was close enough for a shot. Good start...

From: nmwapiti
06-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Had elk bugling around camp pretty steady all night. An hour before light we went after 3 good sounding ones. Long story short, we followed them down the side of the ridge onto some benches trying to keep the wind right and get ahead of them. Had a bull coming down the ridge right across from us at one point. He was 50 yards away behind a pine tree. Bugled a couple times. For some reason he turned and went the other way. Not sure what happened. Never did see his rack.

During the day I went looking for water. Found a grassy meadow filled with mint. Almost overpowering, see pic. Also found an awesome wallow that was heavily used.

From: nmwapiti
06-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Top of wallow

From: nmwapiti
06-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Lower wallow

From: nmwapiti
06-Sep-22
That evening, my buddy went after a couple bulls we could hear from camp. They avoided him probably due to swirling winds. I walked down the ridge about a mile. Didn't find anything. Came back the last hour of light, but nothing was talking.

Two bulls were going back and forth loud and close about 1 am. Woke us both up. This morning, however, all was quiet. Spooked a group of elk and some grouse on the hike out. Good spot. Will let it rest while we try a couple other spots.

From: EmptyFreezer
06-Sep-22
Followin every move you guys make.. Hopin jim gets a shot on a nice bull as well.

From: nmwapiti
06-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
No elk yet tonight, but some mulie does below me.

From: nmwapiti
07-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Chased one around a bit this morning. He would only bugle in response to me. I was swinging around to try to get ahead of him when I bumped right into a spike and 2x3. They pinned me down for 10 min and the herd moved off. Dropping into another canyon today. Think the heat has the rut suppressed. Not much going on after sunrise. Temps are supposed to drop and chance of rain goes up every day until the end of the season.

From: nmwapiti
09-Sep-22
Well, one more close call yesterday. Was mostly quiet, but had a bull talking across the drainage from me last night. Hated to, but dropped way down. Took forever to get close. Crossed at least 3 deep ravines. I had one of his cows at 41 and one at 30 for a while. Was running out of daylight so I tried to close in using cow calls to explain the noise. I got sight of his tops from about 50 yards. Decent 6x6. Probably 320. Never did see his body. Too thick.

From: nmwapiti
09-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Man I hate these things...

From: nmwapiti
09-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Big enough flat ish spot...

From: nmwapiti
09-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
One timbered ridge had more rubs than I think I've ever seen in one place. Literally hundreds.

09-Sep-22
Cool temps headed your way get ready, it’s about to flip the switch!

From: nmwapiti
10-Sep-22
Cold cold this morning. I would guess 40 or so. Only heard one bugle. Hopefully the elk were just spooky in that spot. Heading into another canyon this afternoon.

From: nmwapiti
10-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Mountain chicken. I'm probably up to 20 now. I don't wack em for dinner like Randy.

From: BULELK1
11-Sep-22
Well hell--------->

I just got back from a week in Wyoming chasing them dang elk and I was hopeful to catch up and see ya had a harvest.

Keep after it no doubt and be safe,

Robb

From: Inshart
11-Sep-22
Great read, great pics. Waiting for that;;;;;;; "well we had a great morning - let the air out of a pretty darn nice one" LOL

From: nmwapiti
12-Sep-22
Well, I did fling an arrow Saturday eve, but didn't connect. I was hiking down the trail to our camping spot with about 60 lbs of my back. Came to this small clearing and 3 cow elk spooked about 50 yards away. I stood there looking at them for a second, thinking cool, when the bull raised his head. He was about a 320 6 point with nice tops. I said something like holy shistolpits and hit the ground. I then did this fun horizontal dance of removing my pack, putting on my release, loading an arrow etc. I was really wishing I could put on my cow elk decoy, but there was no way I had time or the noise tolerance for that.

I could still see the tips of his antlers looking my way. I raised up a bit and tried to range him. At first I got 95 yards. That seemed too far though and it must have been the pine tree in the background. Raised up a little more and got a reading of 59 off his antlers, I think. I figured that should work so I drew and stood. Only problem was I could only see his back above the grass. He was still staring at me and I really couldn't believe he let me get this far so the clock was ticking. I guessed the arrow would clear the grass at around 50 yards and should drop right into his chest, right? So, I held my 50 pin on his back and squeezed it off.

The next part was just weird. The bow made its usual thunk at the shot. I clearly remember the arrow flying like 2 feet above the bull. Not sure where that was along the flight path, but it sure seemed high. Then the elk whirled and ran to the right. I didn't hear anything else. No arrow thumping into the bull, no arrow bouncing off trees, no nothing. It's like a sent the arrow into a black hole. I spent the next 45 min looking for the arrow, blood, etc without finding anything. If I was over his back, the arrow would have dropped off behind the ridge somewhere. Could explain the lack of impact noise. Plus that is some really thick, brushy stuff. I went back the next day and again this morning on the way out looking for sign and found nothing. Pretty sure the arrow went over him. Wish I could have found the arrow to confirm.

From: nmwapiti
12-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
The trail sure was pretty...

From: nmwapiti
12-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
My pack when going in. Day pack strapped on top.

From: nmwapiti
12-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
This was interesting. Skeleton from a big bull somebody shot a few years back. Check out the tops on those vertebrae. I know this has been discussed on bowsite before. Don't shoot the top 12 inches of these elk.

From: nmwapiti
12-Sep-22
I will probably start a separate thread on this, but I think Utah has a poor elk management plan. I have hunted harder and longer this year than any hunt I can remember. Partly because I've only hunted this unit a couple times. Partly because I thought this was going to be a good chance to kill a big bull. The reality is I've seen fewer elk, heard less bugling, and had fewer chances than MT general, WY general or any of my NM hunts. I have a theory as to why.

Utah allows unlimited archery spike and cow hunters in here. They also allow a large number of rifle spike hunters. What I have not seen hardly any of on this trip are non-spike young bulls. The count is about two raghorns and two 5 points. I usually see more of those than anything. The pool seems to be about half spikes and half 6s. I'm betting 90% of the spikes don't make it through rifle season. The young bulls are normally the excited, but not as bright bugling elk we pass up most places. They also harass the big bulls with herds and get some really excited herd chasing stuff going sometimes. I have not seen any of that here.

Utah gives gun hunters the prime rut. To maintain that, it's almost a once in a lifetime tag. To help give some opportunity to everyone else, they let everyone shoot spikes pretty much every year. The result, though, is a messed up herd distribution. All the older bulls have cows and are holed up with them barely talking. There aren't a bunch of satellite bulls harassing them so they don't get very worked up. It's the perfect scenario for a lousy rut. I'm seeing more nice bulls now that the cows are undoubtedly in heat, but the bugling has actually lessened. The rifle hunters still like it because they can bump into them and kill them. They can glass them up across the canyon and shoot them. A couple bugles to tell them where to look is okay. A bowhunter that needs a bull to talk a lot or be responsive and come in is in a bad spot.

I'm not trying to blame UT for me not killing an elk yet, but I think I see some of the reason I'm busting my butt and getting mostly frustrated on what should be a good hunt.

From: nmwapiti
12-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Spotted this guy across the bowl tonight. Tried to go get him but couldn't find him. No talking, as usual. Also saw a big 5 in the bottom pushing cows. He didn't make a peep either.

From: nmwapiti
13-Sep-22
Right after I bash on Utah for their elk management, things pick up. Yesterday and today were definitely better. Got within 90 yards of a dark racked 6 pt this morning. He was bugling good and pushing cows. I got caught moving too much. Heard another bull taking regularly until 9:30 am in the bottom of the canyon. Might try to find him tonight.

From: nmwapiti
14-Sep-22
Got into some elk last night. Drove into one herd on the quad. Big 5 point frame with little g5s. Two big sounding boys started talking 30 min before dark. Tough hunting though with blow downs and rain. Ended up on my butt a few times.

From: Grunter
14-Sep-22
Following along. Keep grinding, sounds like a great hunt! Enjoying the pictures and stories. Thanks for bringing us along!

From: HUNT MAN
14-Sep-22
Raining hard over here. Good luck these last few days!! Hunt

From: nmwapiti
14-Sep-22
Raining good here too. Supposed to pretty much over today. Two crazy days to get it done. Lot of bulls talking here though.

14-Sep-22
Headed to Utah for my sons LÊ archery elk hunt tomorrow. Been fun following along on your hunt. Bottom of the ninth, get aggressive!!

From: BowHiker
14-Sep-22
As a resident of Utah I will confirm the management is ridiculous, and the archery elk hunt is not for the feint of heart. I was in the same unit this year chasing the cows and spikes and it was an ass kicker, and a ton of pressure. I won't even get started on the cattle. If you get it done, that really will be an incredible accomplishment. Good luck, and God speed.

From: APauls
14-Sep-22
Pulling for ya! Keep after em!

From: nmwapiti
14-Sep-22
Looks like tonight's hunt may get called for weather. 43 degrees, foggy and raining hard...

From: BULELK1
15-Sep-22
I've been worried about ya down there every time I watch the weather and see the crazy amounts of rain being dumped!

Have the LE Rifle hunters started coming in and 'Scouting' yet?

Good luck, Robb

From: nmwapiti
15-Sep-22
Pretty much stopped raining last night. Roads are a mess, of course. I'm sure there are some rifle guys up here scouting, but I keep dropping into canyons so I haven't seen them. Still several camps around that must be them.

Nasty muddy driving and walking this morning, but I got within 30 yards of a herd with a good bull for about 10 min. I could see the white tips of his rack and then i could see his butt and belly. Couldn't quite get a shot. Could have easily stuck a dozen of his cows and 2 spikes. Eventually a cow picked up something she didn't like and they quick walked down the canyon.

From: nmwapiti
15-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
This is the clearing they were in. I was behind the small aspens in the foreground. The cows were all at the top of the open. Bull was to the right.

From: nmwapiti
15-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Cow standing near the road by my quad when i hiked back down.

From: Kodiak
15-Sep-22
Great thread. Good luck, hang in there.

From: fastflight
15-Sep-22
Man, you are sure putting in the effort. Hope it comes together. How long do you have to hunt til?

From: nmwapiti
16-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Tomorrow is the last day. Passed up this 5 point tonight. Had him multiple times from 80 down to 25.

From: nmwapiti
16-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
He had 7 cows with him. Couldn't believe he was the herd bull. Kept waiting for something bigger to show.

From: nmwapiti
16-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Nice setup. They never had a clue.

From: nmwapiti
16-Sep-22

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
This is probably the best pic. Little father away, but clearer. Was weird tonight. Not much talking and it totally stopped when the storm rolled in.

From: BULELK1
16-Sep-22
Go for it--------->

Nothing wrong with a last day harvest, that is for sure.

I'm out of here in the morning/ Saturday for the last week of the OTC/Any Bull bow hunt over by Flaming Gorge.

All kinds of hunting in Utah this year for many bowsiters..

Good luck, Robb

From: fastflight
16-Sep-22
You must still have a freezer full of meat. No way that one gets a pass for me. Lol. Had to be a fun encounter though.

From: Norseman
16-Sep-22
Good luck. Thanks for the ride!

From: Inshart
16-Sep-22
Great thread, enjoying the pics as well.

From: nmwapiti
16-Sep-22
Another windy, rainy, crummy morning. Slept in. Have lost some hunting time this week to weather, but whatcha gonna do. Bummer since the last five days have been the only good rut action. One last chance tonight. Weather looks good.

From: greg simon
16-Sep-22
Bottom of the ninth is when great things happen!!! Give'em hell!!!

From: Norseman
16-Sep-22
With 0 men on base 2 outs 0-2 count

Swing Hard!

From: nmwapiti
16-Sep-22
Tough night. Only heard a couple bugles. They shut down yesterday. Cold and rainy so I don't know what happened. Will give a recap when I get home tomorrow.

From: BULELK1
17-Sep-22
Thanks, man, for taking us along----->

Good luck, Robb

From: cmbbulldog
17-Sep-22
Thanks for the updates, was a fun follow!

From: nmwapiti
17-Sep-22
So here are the stats: Around 10 points burned to draw (don't want to upset any locals by being too specific). 17 days scouting. 25 days hunting. 600 miles on the quad running from one spot to another (I don't count that as hunting, just a necessary ride). Who knows how many miles and thousands of feet covered. 3 good days of hard bugling elk where we got into them steadily. One arrow flung over the back of about a 320 class 6 point (all my fault on that one). Got within bow range of half a dozen good bulls without a shot. Passed on one 300 class 5x6 a week into the hunt. Passed on that little 5 point the next to last day. Could have shot a dozen spikes. Don't let anyone tell you Utah archery hunts are easy (unless you're on one of the primo cwmu's like Cam). The system is set up to give people one or two peak rut rifle hunts during a lifetime. Almost everyone gets to blast spikes every year. They work archers in around that and its a tough hunt. Had some fun though. Think that's the most time I've dedicated to one hunt. Best of luck to you guys that are still chasing them. Jason

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