Big Enough for LE Opening day??

BLooDTRaCKeR

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Thought I’d stir things up a bit and see what some consider big enough for a Utah LE hunt. Not saying this bull is from Utah, but since I live in the state, and understand what quality is here, I wanted to throw this picture out and see who would squeeze the trigger on the opener of an LE hunt based upon this view. And I will help you out a bit.....yes, he is a 6x6.

Also, I’m not an inches guy but if you wanna throw out a score, feel free.

EFDD183F-F9F6-4418-B9A2-48531F0F510D.jpeg
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

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For the inches community, I’ll post a few more angles later on once the thread gets rolling.
 

GoHigher

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Not to complicate the question, but it would depend on if I saw bigger bulls during some earlier scouting trips. I would agree that in many units, you can find a little bigger.
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

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To the above responses, what constitutes a better unit? Opportunity? Or antler size?

There are definitely a lot of variables that play into the decision to take this bull....is it archery, early rifle, late rifle, or muzzy?

Personal preference....if score doesn’t matter, then what is it that gives a bull that “wow factor” for you?

For me, I am a sucker for big back ends....whale tails and big fifths really get me going. I do like the look of big thirds and nice curls on the front though. Width on elk isn’t a big deal for me. But deer....I’m a sucker for big, wide bucks. Cannot explain why....just always been this way.
 

WHT_MTNMAN

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Ive never had the pleasure of hunting elk in Utah but in AZ after waiting for quite a while for a tag I wouldn't shoot him opening day unless it was a late hunt. Looks like decent tine length but young small bodied bull it looks like with thin horns. my .02 I'm guessing no more than 330" from that picture, and probably less.
 

cantkillathing

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its crazy how 20-25 years ago this is what Utah had as best quality. This bull would have been shot anywhere in utah then. Now everyone has waited 20-25 years to draw a tag and its all about 350+ bulls. I would much rather hunt elk on a yearly or every other year on the hopes of shooting a good one but not wasting 25+ years waiting to hunt them one time. We are not raising 400 inch bulls for the average joe we are raising 400 inch bulls for the rich. To me the hunt structure needs to change to allow big ones to survive but allow 5 times the amount of hunters in the field at the hopes of killing a big one but not guaranteed.
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

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its crazy how 20-25 years ago this is what Utah had as best quality. This bull would have been shot anywhere in utah then. Now everyone has waited 20-25 years to draw a tag and its all about 350+ bulls. I would much rather hunt elk on a yearly or every other year on the hopes of shooting a good one but not wasting 25+ years waiting to hunt them one time. We are not raising 400 inch bulls for the average joe we are raising 400 inch bulls for the rich. To me the hunt structure needs to change to allow big ones to survive but allow 5 times the amount of hunters in the field at the hopes of killing a big one but not guaranteed.
I agree. What you just mentioned is another factor that plays into the game of choosing your bull. 25 years is a looong time to wait for an opportunity at what we hope will be a nice bull. Never a guarantee. But a chance at seeing one....maybe. I cannot imagine the pressure of drawing a tag after that many years when it comes down to choosing a bull. I don’t think it is very healthy for the mind to go through that process and then finally kill a solid bull (if it even happens) walk up and not be disappointed in some aspect of what the animal is or isn’t. Yet another reason why deep pockets get the guide service posse’s combing the hills for the biggest bull around.

But like you said cantkillathing, I’d rather have more hunting opportunity with a potential to have a chance at a stud bull rather than raising a few giants for the rich. The Utah 5 year waiting game after you draw is junk imo.
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

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Sounds like the majority would pass on the opener. How about the last three days of your hunt....say....you haven’t been seeing much up to this point. Willing to eat tag soup at a chance that you might find something better? Or are you shooting?
 

elkhunterUT

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I'm passing that bull on all Utah LE units, except for the lower tier units. He is a decent bull in that 4-5 year old 315" range, but I prefer some mass and age, especially if I have waited 20+ years to hunt.

I don't care much at all about score, but the WOW factor for me includes mass, age, and character.
 

bonepicker

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Generally, he is a second half of the season bull for me. No the first half, yes to the second. I'd be happy with him.

This is assuming this is a shot under 400 yards and I haven't consistently seen anything bigger so far.
 

c3

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294 gross at best and a shooter all day every day of the general archery hunt up here on the front where I get after them most often :)
 

Founder

Founder Since 1999
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I have a bunch of points for elk here in Utah and when I get a tag, I don’t think I’d shoot one like that. Maybe I suppose on the last day for steaks and burger.
One of these years I just need to do it.
 

Gator

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just remember if you pass doesn't mean he will be there next year.
Last few days he would be a freezer bull for sure.
 

Wiszard

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Haven't read any other comments. I would pass on this bull. I'd say he's shy of 300" so nothing special there.
 

BruinPoint

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No, not in the units I apply for in Utah. I can find bulls like that on OTC tags in Idaho or Colorado and pretty much any WY general unit.
 

Cold AC

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Depends on the unit, and how long you waited, how much time you have, is he in a huntable spot, archery or rifle etc.

I put him right at about 300..

FOR ME... on a 4-5pt archery unit... ABSOLUTELY
8-10pt archery unit... Nope
10-15pt archery unit... HELL NO

A rifle hunt... NO, 2nd half on the Wasatch or Manti units maybe
 

Shadow

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Depends on the tag. On average though, I don’t think many tag holders care or even know if the bull is 310 or 350 and on most every unit, 350 is a tall order. Spend the early rifle hunt kicking around the Wasatch, Manti or Fishlake and tell me how many bulls you see that are bigger than this one.
 

antlerradar

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512
Sounds like the majority would pass on the opener. How about the last three days of your hunt....say....you haven’t been seeing much up to this point. Willing to eat tag soup at a chance that you might find something better? Or are you shooting?
I have been in this situation and didn't shoot. Ate the tag and don't regret it one bit.
Last day of the season I tracked down two bulls about the same size as this one. Could have shot ether one, The thought to pull the trigger crossed my mind but it was quickly replaced with If you shoot you will be packing him out of this hole until well past dark and this is not the bull you are looking for.
 

JPickett

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337
If 300” is towards the top end of that unit. Shoot him. Your going to end up about 10-15 inches shy of that with him but at that point your really not hunting for monsters anyway
 

Zeke

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I agree with the majority on here. This bull has some very nice fifths. Give him a few more years and he will be something special.
MAYBE he'll be bigger in a year or two.
Not all bulls have the genes and environment to pop out 350" plus antlers. Yes, they usually get bigger in some way each year they're alive but not all will get there.

I'm with the crowd right at around 300. I should know, all mine are about there too:ROFLMAO:

Zeke
 

Boulderhunter

Member
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So many questions and hopefully as many answers. You asked “big enough for opening day” ? That completely depends on you. If this is the quality of bull you’re looking for then absolutely but it’s opening day and you have the “whole” hunt to make sure of your goal. This would be and is a good bull for most L.E. units in Utah (not assuming this bull is from Utah) but that said, if you’re talking about a premium (Trophy class) unit then you could do better as I doubt this bull would gross 320 and that’s generous. Just my .02 Bottom line, it really depends on you and what your looking for 👍
 

sb2017

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The pics of the original bull in question are just 4 or 5 year old pics of the Jimmy John bull. You can tell by the curvature in his G2s.
 

legacy

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Had I just burned 20+ points on drawing, then not even a chance. Not saying this even exists, but had I burned just a handful of points on a unit that this was the standard of quality, then I'd say probably.
I can't think of a LE unit in Utah right now where I'd be satisfied killing that bull. Well, maybe the Wasatch... :p
 

why

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285
Thought I’d stir things up a bit and see what some consider big enough for a Utah LE hunt. Not saying this bull is from Utah, but since I live in the state, and understand what quality is here, I wanted to throw this picture out and see who would squeeze the trigger on the opener of an LE hunt based upon this view. And I will help you out a bit.....yes, he is a 6x6.

Also, I’m not an inches guy but if you wanna throw out a score, feel free.

View attachment 21073
better shoot that in book cliffs mite be only 6 point you see
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

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It is funny to observe the talk about this bull. I know many people that would be happy with this bull on any unit. It may come down to this bull being a last day shooter but walking away empty handed isn’t an option for most draw tag holders. If it were me, and I wasn’t seeing what I set out to find and this bull walked out on the last couple days of my hunt, he’s meat in the freezer and one more lasting memory to back up why I hunt each year. Size of antlers is obviously a personal thing.

Other variables to consider would be who I was hunting with. This year on my dad’s hunt, we would have been thrilled to take a rag horn on his limited entry hunt because it was about the quality time spent with the one who introduced me to the sport. It was about creating one more (and possibly the last) experience that we can sit back and talk about until we pass on. It was about paying back what my dad has given me all those years as a child....the ability to dream big and pursue my passion with his support. I knew the odds were stacked against us with his physical health. So I went into his hunt satisfied with just experiencing the highs and lows with a man that I love and respect as my father. Never imagined that it would turn out the way it did!

So back to this thread, everyone with an LE tag obviously has different objectives, goals, and expectations. There is no right or wrong answer to this thread. The point was to show that even though we share common ground in the hunting world, we are all at a different stage as to what works for us when defining success.

On a side note.....it’s a good thing that we all aren’t caught up in the inches game. There would be a lot of disappointed folks out there walking into some of these Utah managed LE areas! 350 this and 380 that.....just give me a shot at what I consider a heart stopper and I’m good! And at the end of the day, I couldn’t tell you what that bull is until he stepped out and threw the wow factor at me!

Happy Hunting in 2021!
 

freaknasty

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236
not on the first day, I would have to hold out but definitely has the genes for a real shooter someday.
 

Vanilla

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I wish his swords were better. If so, I’d be really tempted. His back end is cool.

This bull is over 300 inches for those throwing out numbers.
 

Osprey

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70
Not I. The wait is to long. I spend 20+ years to draw a tag it's going to be used on a bull of a lifetime for me. That would be 350+. There are plenty are states to hunt 300" or smaller bulls in.
 

elkchaserreturns

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Messages
240
I wouldn't hesitate for a second, , , , , but that is why I don't have any "book" heads on the wall! :unsure: I will say that, the older I get, "where I find them" has become almost as important as how big they are.
I usually hunt elk with my bow during the rut, and if I am not sure that I can get a bull out to a meat locker quickly (12 hours max!), I will (and have) pass on the shot no matter how big he is!
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

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You and me both Elk!

my garage is full of small racks because I can’t bear the thought of going a year without a freezer full of elk meat lol! I haven’t quite hit that age where location of kill is a factor to pass or shoot. But i am fast approaching it!
 

Longshot

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I am not an experienced elk hunter, but he looks great but young. Last day of the season, "Yes". It would be a long drive back home for me without filling a nonresident tag.
 

doz

Active Member
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185
Y'all don't have a delay in applying after an Elk tag in Utah? In NV, can't apply for 7 years harvested or not.

Yes I shoot.............
 

doz

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185
I don't understand why people would pass on him especially end of the hunt. The fact that it typically takes years to draw a tag plus a wait time after drawing could mean a tag every 10-20 years for a bull. Not enough years in life to pass up because he isn't big enough.

Then again, people have deeper pockets than me and can purchase tags.
 

BigJav

Member
Messages
40
I agree that the bull would be great in 2-3 years but a LE hunt in Utah is a once in 10 year proposition, and I’m being very generous. So if that was the first bull I saw right at first light I may pass but more than likely that bull would very likely be hitting the ground and going home with me
 

JakeH

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2,421
Opening day would be a no from me unless all my scouting had turned up nothing bigger, last couple days of the hunt if it had been a tough hunt and not many bigger found he would probably get shot. He is would be lucky to make 300 I bet.
 

HalfAce

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1,129
There’s a lot of bulls like that on general hunts that a guy can hunt each year if not every other. Ide be passing that on an LE tag.
 

Bullmtn

New Member
Messages
1
Thought I’d stir things up a bit and see what some consider big enough for a Utah LE hunt. Not saying this bull is from Utah, but since I live in the state, and understand what quality is here, I wanted to throw this picture out and see who would squeeze the trigger on the opener of an LE hunt based upon this view. And I will help you out a bit.....yes, he is a 6x6.

Also, I’m not an inches guy but if you wanna throw out a score, feel free.

View attachment 21073
This is a young bull good genetics would be great to see this bull in a few years . It would score about 310-315.I am really not in to numbers more about the experience and memories and when I say experience and memories from when you pull the trigger to the pac out . If that bull excites who ever has the tag that’s all that hunter needs when it’s hanging on the wall all he has to do is take one glance and he will live that hunt again and again . And in my mind that’s what it’s all about. And never pass up on anything the first day what you will shoot on the last day
 

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