Mathews Inc.
utah elk
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
TENPOINT 23-Dec-23
HDE 23-Dec-23
nmwapiti 23-Dec-23
HDE 23-Dec-23
TENPOINT 24-Dec-23
pav 24-Dec-23
Don K 24-Dec-23
Silentstalker 25-Dec-23
HDE 25-Dec-23
TENPOINT 25-Dec-23
Firsty 25-Dec-23
HDE 25-Dec-23
nmwapiti 25-Dec-23
Bill in MI 25-Dec-23
Bill in MI 25-Dec-23
Silentstalker 25-Dec-23
SteveB 25-Dec-23
808bowhunter 25-Dec-23
JakeBrake 26-Dec-23
Silentstalker 26-Dec-23
midwest 26-Dec-23
Straight Shooter 26-Dec-23
HoytHntr4 26-Dec-23
Silentstalker 26-Dec-23
badbull 27-Dec-23
midwest 27-Dec-23
Bowboy 27-Dec-23
SteveB 27-Dec-23
c3 27-Dec-23
Silentstalker 27-Dec-23
Silentstalker 27-Dec-23
BULELK1 28-Dec-23
midwest 28-Dec-23
WI Shedhead 28-Dec-23
Bake 28-Dec-23
Tilzbow 28-Dec-23
nmwapiti 28-Dec-23
SteveB 28-Dec-23
HDE 28-Dec-23
nmwapiti 28-Dec-23
HDE 28-Dec-23
nmwapiti 28-Dec-23
Silentstalker 28-Dec-23
BULELK1 29-Dec-23
HDE 29-Dec-23
Silentstalker 29-Dec-23
400 Elk @Home 29-Dec-23
Silentstalker 29-Dec-23
Silentstalker 29-Dec-23
KHNC 29-Dec-23
HDE 29-Dec-23
Spaz 03-Jan-24
From: TENPOINT
23-Dec-23
18 points going into utah elk draw next year any info that would help on unit choice

From: HDE
23-Dec-23
I'm going to sound like a jerk, but the Utah Hunt Planner on the Division of Wildlife website is by far the best place to begin.

It will have links to draw "odds" and harvest reporting from those that were surveyed.

With 18 pts and looking to do do an archery hunt, either the Central Manti or Wasatch may be your best best. Maybe Fishlake as well.

From: nmwapiti
23-Dec-23
It isn't a terrible hunt, but I wouldn't burn 18 points to hunt Manti. Did it as a resident 2 years ago. Didn't kill. Was mostly frustrated by the lack of bugling and elk in general.

From: HDE
23-Dec-23
^^^ welcome to UT. Their season dates are wrong for archery.

I wouldn't burn a single pt on a UT archery hunt, unless that were the only hunt in the unit that allowed you to hunt until Sept 30.

From: TENPOINT
24-Dec-23
thanks guys research shows archery dates are not to favorable for sure , was possibly looking at muzzleloader fish lake

From: pav
24-Dec-23
The archery elk dates in Utah may not be "favorable" relative to the peak of the rut, but my hunt in the Book Cliffs back in 2010 was and remains the best archery elk hunt of my life. Started out a bit slow in late August, but after Labor Day the flood gates opened for sure. Have never seen as many elk or experienced as much bugling action on any hunt prior or since. Would love to draw another archery elk tag in Utah...but the five year waiting period after that hunt made a return trip highly unlikely.

From: Don K
24-Dec-23
I would burn any points for a Utah archery elk tag. Im with PAV the dates suck but I enjoyed my hunt when I went and would do it again in a heartbeat. Problem with Utah is getting the tag........

25-Dec-23
A lot has changed since 2010. The book cliffs are struggling badly. The Wasatch and Manti both had the worst year they have had in 25+ years in regards to antler score.

What kind of a hunt are you after? What size of a bull would you hope to shoot?

The archery hunt in Utah is extremely difficult due to the dates and the sheer numbers of recreationalists, deer hunters, and general season elk hunters.

That said, most LE units hold a lot of elk and with a lot of effort you should get a chance or two at a 5 pt or better bull.

From: HDE
25-Dec-23
A 330 bull is a realistic expectation in the Wasatch and Manti.

Muzzleloader (even open sight) and rifle, of course, make it much more doable.

From: TENPOINT
25-Dec-23
62 years of age have a pope and young 5x5 i harvested in wyoming was debating on even going to utah not into outfitter price tags as well

From: Firsty
25-Dec-23
Ya I probably wouldn't even waste the gas money to get there.

From: HDE
25-Dec-23
^^^ so you just throw away 18 pts?

From: nmwapiti
25-Dec-23
The hunting in Utah has definitely changed since 2010. I hunted with a buddy 2 years ago. He killed a cow on an archery tag in Manti in 2008. Said the number of elk in 2022 were half or less than 2008. He had herds with bugling bulls in almost every canyon back then. I would just pick the best unit you can find and hunt. It will be better than otc colorado. Don't pass up a decent bull though. Shot a 300 if you get a chance.

From: Bill in MI
25-Dec-23
Nothing stays the same, good or bad. 21 years in and debating hard with myself. In my mind I was holding out for a true 350+ bull. Not sure if that’s wise anymore for what will be a once in a lifetime tag given my age.

From: Bill in MI
25-Dec-23

25-Dec-23
Ten point,

I would not discourage you from coming to Utah and if you do - send me a PM and I will help you with intel on whatever unit you draw.

I know the Wasatch and Manti really well.

330 bulls are no longer the “herd bull” of the unit. 330 type bulls are few and far between. As of this past season it seems the Wasatch and Manti have finally dropped into their respective management age classes.

That said, a 300” bull is still a great bull and would be a great trophy.

From: SteveB
25-Dec-23

SteveB's embedded Photo
SteveB's embedded Photo
I just drew Book Cliffs archery with 18 points and had a very successful hunt.

From: 808bowhunter
25-Dec-23
Steve you really showing how Utah archery is no good! Heck of a bull

From: JakeBrake
26-Dec-23
300” bull with 18 points??? Truly sad if that’s what the DNR has reduced Utah to :(

26-Dec-23
Gorgeous bull Steve! What year was that?

From: midwest
26-Dec-23
What a dink, Steve. ;-)

26-Dec-23
TTT dink. ??

From: HoytHntr4
26-Dec-23

HoytHntr4's embedded Photo
HoytHntr4's embedded Photo
I know all units aren’t created equal in terms of size and number of bulls but I wouldn’t discourage anyone from applying for an archery tag in Utah. I’m confident I will never experience rut and bugling action like I did on my hunt this past September. This was the 10th bull I was into that morning, and was full draw on about a 340 at 12 yards 20 minutes before calling in and killing this bull (on 9/15). I drew the random NR tag but this unit did take more than 18 points for the other NR archery tag. It will be interesting to see how the quality over all in the state does with the new hunt codes and tag quotas. It’s almost app season, good luck to everyone applying

26-Dec-23
Hoythntr4,

That is an incredible bull and that unit would rival any in the country! That is the beauty of Utahs system! Everyone has a chance to draw!

From: badbull
27-Dec-23
Nice bulls, congrats to you guys.

From: midwest
27-Dec-23
Not only 2 great bulls but fantastic trophy photos!

From: Bowboy
27-Dec-23
Nice bulls guys!

From: SteveB
27-Dec-23
For those who asked, yes it was this past September for me. I had 18 points, so it took 19 years. It happened the first evening, so I may have been "cheated" out of some hunting....but who's complaining! lol The action was mind boggling....only once before have I seen action like this and it was off-the-charts. I'd recommend doing your homework, picking out a unit and going for it.

From: c3
27-Dec-23
Yes, Utah LE elk hunting is a waste. Make sure to let everyone know. So what if there were a couple good bulls killed this year. No one should put in for the manti, especially if you're a resident. Just not worth the points and all the hassle to get there.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it :)

Cheers, Pete

27-Dec-23
Duplicate…

27-Dec-23
Duplicate…

From: BULELK1
28-Dec-23
I'm not sure how this will format but they have month long early Bow LE elk hunt and late date LE bow elk hunts too...

September archery

Hunt name Hunt # Season dates

Cache, North EB3132 Sept. 1–Sept. 30

Plateau, Barney Top/Kaiparowits EB3135 Sept. 1–Sept. 30

Southwest Desert, North EB3136 Sept. 1–Sept. 30

West Desert, Deep Creek EB3137 Sept. 1–Sept. 30

Archery hunts — late season (new) Note: Multi-season limited-entry elk permits are not valid on this late-season archery elk hunt.

Hunt name Hunt # Season dates

Beaver, East EB3158 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Book Cliffs, Bitter Creek/East EB3161 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Cache, Meadowville† EB3168 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Cache, South EB3170 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Central Mtns, Manti EB3172 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Central Mtns, Nebo/San Pitch Mtns EB3174 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Fillmore, Pahvant EB3180 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

La Sal, La Sal Mtns EB3182 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Monroe EB3184 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Mt Dutton EB3186 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Panguitch Lake EB3188 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Plateau, Boulder EB3190 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Plateau, Fishlake/Thousand Lakes EB3192 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

San Juan Bull Elk EB3193 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

South Slope, Diamond Mtn EB3195 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Southwest Desert, South EB3197 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Wasatch Mtns EB3199 Dec. 2–Dec. 17

Good luck, Robb

From: midwest
28-Dec-23
14 elk and deer points in Utah and feel like I'm 10 years away from a tag. :-(

From: WI Shedhead
28-Dec-23
Midwest- that’s because you are :(

From: Bake
28-Dec-23
15 points here. I may never draw in Utah. I need a good bow bull someday. . .

From: Tilzbow
28-Dec-23
Up to 19 now myself but with 12 in my home state of NV and overlapping seasons I want to get that tag drawn first so I’ll be looking at 20 when I enter the draw. When I started applying in Utah I think the Wasatch tag only took a few points and one could draw anywhere but San Juan with a lot less points than I have now and the quality has decreased.

From: nmwapiti
28-Dec-23
Silentstalker, I have to disagree with you on Utah. I have been a resident for about 5 years now. I grew up in NM and hunt most western states as often as I can. It would be hard to design a draw system that provided less opportunity. Yes, you have a 2% or so chance in a lot of units with less than 20 points. That's the end of the good story though. Any quality area takes close to 20 years to have good draw odds, even for archery. Only talking bull elk. Deer is much better.

From: SteveB
28-Dec-23
Tilzbow: you might want to reassess, as there are VERY FEW good units that you could be assured to draw with your 19 points. Wasatch is no longer considered an upper tier unit either. Good bulls there ....but not like the old days.

From: HDE
28-Dec-23
nmwap - UT's system is way better than NM, UT just doesn't offer enough tags for elk and maybe deer.

Still waiting for NM to pony up and give me an antelope tag, UT already came through...

From: nmwapiti
28-Dec-23
UT doesn't offer many bull elk tags because they give the rifle guys prime rut dates. In order to do that and not wipe out all your bulls, they cut the amount of tags in every pool drastically. They're slowly trending away from that with later archery seasons and shorter rifle seasons, but it's still the game today. Most NM archery elk units were at least a 30% draw when I was a resident there in 2018. I hunted the Gila 3 years in a row. That's a $25k landowner tag today (or low single digit NR draw rate).

So if you want to ensure that you will hunt someday, even if it's 20 years in the future, UT is a little more predictable. As a NM resident, however, you would have gotten a tag 3 or 4 times in that same period. And, by the way, had a chance of killing just as big of bulls.

I don't think either system is optimal, just to be clear. I think bonus points which increase your chance every unsuccessful year, but give everyone a chance is the fairest way to go. Preference points were fine when you could draw every 2-5 years. Once it went over 10, it's not good option any more.

From: HDE
28-Dec-23
You wouldn't need 10 pts if they scheduled the rifle hunts appropriately later in the fall and manage for opportunity rather than "quality". UT did that to themselves.

There is no guarantee you'd pull a NM elk tag 3 or 4 times in 20 yrs either.

NM elk hunts are not (or weren't) 30% draw either. You can't calculate your odds with how NM does its draw. The only thing NM's "odds" show you is how many people got a hunt code awarded to them as a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice. You can't predict that because there isn't a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd run for the draw. It's a crap shoot, winner takes all.

If NM had a system similar to UT, I'd be at 6 pts now for elk, 12 for deer, and a bunch more than that for antelope....

From: nmwapiti
28-Dec-23
Agree rifle should be later. No doubt.

No guarantee you would draw 3 or 4 times, but at 30% each round, you should.

Yes, odds were 30% for first choice. I can show you a spreadsheet where I calculated my odds every single year. It was absolutely spot on. The catch is it only works for first choices because of what you mentioned. Get the spreadsheets from G&F and check. Most odds programs like gohunt do not break that out so they're off.

28-Dec-23
Nmwapiti,

Make no mistake, I’m not saying Utahs system is great. But it is the best out there.

At least in Utah everyone has a chance to draw. The reality is that we have way more applicants than we have tags. We will never meet the demand of the population.

It’s really no different if you relate it to housing. I live in a home that is worth 5-6 times what I bought it for yet my kids pay double what I pay to rent an apartment.

Demand is outpacing supply all around us and inflation is killing us as well.

From: BULELK1
29-Dec-23
I've drawn ressy ~~ LE Bull 3 times and never had even close to max points as the system gives ya a chance with units offering 2 tags or more.

The 1 tag offerings, not so much.

You can still use your bow during the Any Weapon season that most call rifle hunts.

Good luck, Robb

From: HDE
29-Dec-23
nmwapiti - the odds report that NM produces does not show real odds. It merely shows you the distribution of how many got a hunt code as a 1st choice. The other applicants that get the same hunt has their 2nd or 3rd choice could very well have been awarded the tag before 1st choice applicants were awarded theirs.

The 1st hurdle any applicant needs to get over is to have their application fall within the field of the total of all elk licenses available. 2nd, it needs to fall within the field of the licenses available for a given hunt code regardless of where that hunt code falls as their choice ranking.

If an applicant gets to have their elk application come in dead last at the bottom every year after the shuffle, 30% odds are never achievable. That dead last includes all the applications before it; deer, oryx, barbary sheep, javelina, etc.

With how NM does its draw, you cannot calculate the likelihood of how many times you'll "win".

It's like a bag of marbles where there are 300 green marbles indicating a tag. There are 1000 white marbles represented by all 1st choice, 2nd choice, and 3rd choice applicants. White marbles are the total number of all the choices using a hunt code, not stand-alone applications. Each applicant that used the hunt code as a choice is holding a white marble and is wearing a different colored t-shirt, blue for 1st choice, yellow for 2nd choice, and red for 3rd choice. There are 600 wearing blue, 300 wearing yellow, and 100 wearing red. Everyone in the running is standing in a line randomly. As the first person walks up to the bag, they pull out a green marble and toss in their white marble. This process is followed until all 300 marbles have been pulled. As the process progresses down the line, the likelihood of you pulling out a green marble goes down for each white marble that is tossed in.

The process is even more complex than this because on draw day there are multiple bags labeled as a hunt code with green marbles in them. As an applicant walks up to the bag and all the green marbles are gone, they immediately go to another bag with a hunt code labeled as their 2nd choice. If those green are all gone, they go to the bag labeled as their 3rd choice. If there is a green marble, they drew their 3rd choice with you watching which happened to be your 1st choice. No applicant is wearing a colored t-shirt categorizing them as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice.

By the way, you watched this happen through your 10x40 Swaro's from the very back of the line...

With how UT does their draw, if you get "shanked" for 15 years, on the 16th year you're given a VIP pass to the very front of the line. However, every year that ended with getting "shanked", you were given an extra opportunity each year for the chance to draw a VIP pass before the draw process even began while you compete for a "NM random" chance like everyone else on half of the available tags. You just get to be the first one to pull a green marble out of the sack. And it gets even better than that. If you're in a category with 3 other people for 50% of those tags, you're most definitely in a calculatable odd on the outcome. If there is only 1 tag, you have a 33% chance. If there are 2, you have a 66% chance. If there are 4, you have a 100% chance and the next guy in line for that 1 remaining 50% tag cut has a calculatable odd of what that outcome will be. Guaranteed. I was that guy for antelope this year. I am that guy for general deer and antlerless elk next year. Depending on what hunt and weapon I choose, I'm that guy for LE deer and will be one of those 3 above for LE elk. For NM, it's literally a crap shoot.

29-Dec-23
I have hunted resident LE Utah 3x. I currently have enough points to draw a lot of the units for archery again. I have drawn with as many as 8 points as as little as 0. I’m waiting this time around for a little better unit.

I realize that the NR has way tougher odds but so does Az. I drew random Az this past year.

Bottom line for all - you gotta play to win and as my friend Bulelk1 says: “you gotta believe!”-

29-Dec-23
I believe…I just think the states don’t believe in me. Good luck everybody. NM has been good to me for NR elk and AZ has been great to me for NR deer. In Utah, I have to pry the tags from the state when I have max points. I will keep playing the games as long as my legs allow me to keep going after archery elk.

29-Dec-23
Not sure why this keeps creating a duplicate

29-Dec-23
Not sure why this keeps creating a duplicate…

From: KHNC
29-Dec-23
My buddy killed a whopper bull in UT in Wasatch 6-7 years ago, his son did the same 3 years ago on a youth tag. My buddy tried to convince me to start applying in UT the year he killed his bull. Took him 9 pts to draw then. I was smart enough to realize that at 48 years old then, point creep would keep me from ever getting a good tag while i was still capable of a quality DIY hunt in my lifetime.

From: HDE
29-Dec-23
^^^ "point creep" won't necessarily keep you from getting a good tag. But the fewer that apply the better ;^)

From: Spaz
03-Jan-24
@HoytHntr4 has his last year's Utah elk photo on here: https://rokslide.com/forums/threads/vote-on-the-2023-best-elk-hunt-photo.340458/ go vote for it, easily the best photo.

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