2021 Utah Elk Rifle Hunt

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hcooper84
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2021 Utah Elk Rifle Hunt

Unread postby hcooper84 » Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:21 am

I am going with a few buddies and my dad on our first elk hunting trip. We are planning a DIY Public land hunt for the opening week of rifle season. My dad is late 40's so we should hopefully be able to trek back into some tougher country. We are planning to go to the South Slope. Not for sure on either the Yellowstone or Vernal unit of the South Slope. I was initially thinking the Vernal/east side just to save some driving time. None of us have ever been to this area and will not have a chance to until the hunt. My buddies are hoping to leave a few days earlier to get some preseason scouting in. My dad and I will not have that opportunity due to work.

I am more wondering about what to expect this time of year from anyone who has done a similar hunt. From what I've read weather will dictate how high they are at that moment. But what are the typical conditions of the elevation they may be at? Where are some places to avoid? Are you aware of any migration corridors or where the elk like to migrate to if the weather does change for the worst? There is a lot of info online but it is typically very general. This post is mainly searching for tips to make the hunt more successful. Not as interested in gear info, more on elk behavior and how they move due to weather, hunting pressure, etc.

I am mainly worried about getting out there and never seeing an elk. We are going to try our absolute best but do realize the odds for 1st time elk hunters. If we can just feel like were in the game I would be happy.


camelcluch
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Re: 2021 Utah Elk Rifle Hunt

Unread postby camelcluch » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:36 pm

I don’t know Utah very well but be prepared for different weather. I would start taking hikes with weighted packs. It will be a big benefit later. Good luck to you guys!
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PeteD
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Re: 2021 Utah Elk Rifle Hunt

Unread postby PeteD » Wed May 05, 2021 8:22 am

Never hunted Utah general elk as I think there is better options like CO, MT, ID etc. Lots of e-scouting youtube videos out there which would be a good start. Have a plan A, B, C at minimum. Split up into pairs or even individually to cover ground to check your A, B, C, D, etc. spots. Divide & conquor.

With the lockdown lots of non-US options are off the table and so CO for instance had record applications this year. OTC tags are expected to be a zoo again this year.

I did hunt UT Fishlake unit but that was a draw tag.
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hcooper84
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Re: 2021 Utah Elk Rifle Hunt

Unread postby hcooper84 » Thu May 06, 2021 1:32 am

PeteD wrote:Never hunted Utah general elk as I think there is better options like CO, MT, ID etc. Lots of e-scouting youtube videos out there which would be a good start. Have a plan A, B, C at minimum. Split up into pairs or even individually to cover ground to check your A, B, C, D, etc. spots. Divide & conquor.

With the lockdown lots of non-US options are off the table and so CO for instance had record applications this year. OTC tags are expected to be a zoo again this year.

I did hunt UT Fishlake unit but that was a draw tag.


From what I have researched and read typically areas that hold elk are roughly a mile in from any road. I am sure there are definitely exceptions to that. I have also read that most people dont get a half mile from any road. Have you hunted public land in any of the states you mentioned? Does that seem to be accurate?

Also just general knowledge of mountain hunting would be helpful. Are elk moving up the mountains in the morning before the thermal shift? If so then I think we would want to camp lower and hunt our way up in the morning before the shift as well. Or camp higher to be more adjusted to the elevation and just make sure we arent pushing our wind down in a direction we think elk will be. Lots of possibilities..
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PeteD
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Re: 2021 Utah Elk Rifle Hunt

Unread postby PeteD » Wed May 26, 2021 9:37 am

Sorry I dont get on forums much anymore. To busy researching, applying, and planning hunts! Yes typically a mile plus from roads. Sometimes closer if everyone just drives by because its a climb right off the road for example. Elk are very nomadic and are where you find them. E scout Bedding on N and NE slope benches and start there. I have hunted CO, WY, UT, NM, AZ for elk and other species. MT elk will be this year along with WY. ID I have yet to hunt there. I research a ton and know whats going on out west. Hunting high makes it easier in the morning for running ridges to glassing spots etc. if its possible. More pressure if access is easy. Pay attention to where the pressure is to find the pockets that elk get pushed to. Focus on finding elk and having a hunt plan written down from detailed reasearch with areas A,B,C D, etc. Details kill.


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