Book Cliffs Archery

buck1fish2

New Member
Messages
1
Drew out for the books archery mule deer finally! I live in Carbon County and was wondering if anyone has any tips or general area to start heading up? Is it worth going through the thompson spring side or going through the other end? ANY tips of anyt general direction would be appreciated!
 

khunter

Active Member
Messages
189
Get thyself no more than 1/4 mile from the main road on top and leave the hordes of lazy slob road hunters behind. When I had the tag guys were literally sitting in back of a pickup, arrows knocked in some cases as a buddy slowly drove the road with bucks standing edge of road. Bucks being shot from the vehicle by "bowhunters". Some lazy slob Utahns drew the year I pulled a nonres tag. To be sure there were some serious hunters out there too, but the slobs were plentiful and drove up the road, down the road, up the road....repeatedly saw same vehicles going back and forth.

One fatso, I swear and wish I had taken a, had a camp chair strapped to back deck of his ATV and his buddy drive him down the road. Thankfully he gave up after 5 days and did not punch his tag despite 3 reported shots...

That said the hunting is good all day long, start glassing under rock ledges and in shadow of trees to find bucks to stalk all day long. I had a ball on the hunt when I drew 10? years ago. Tons of bucks then. The road hunters had killed the 3 point bucks and gone home by day 4-5 so I had almost no competition it seems, and never bumped into anyone where I was hunting away from the road even in the first few days.

You live pretty close so will be able to scout. You are in for a fun summer if you do. Awesome county and tons of deer.

I only came up through Thompson since it was closest access for me. Can't answer you question other than hard to imagine why you would drive around the long way from Carbon County since both routes lead to the road that runs the length of unit on top...
 
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Outdoordan

Very Active Member
Messages
1,818
/\ Same experience with the road hunters. Deer are everywhere up top, but the bigger ones tend to come out later than the younger deer.
 

OpeningDay

Active Member
Messages
495
Get thyself no more than 1/4 mile from the main road on top and leave the hordes of lazy slob road hunters behind. When I had the tag guys were literally sitting in back of a pickup, arrows knocked in some cases as a buddy slowly drove the road with bucks standing edge of road. Bucks being shot from the vehicle by "bowhunters". Some lazy slob Utahns drew the year I pulled a nonres tag. To be sure there were some serious hunters out there too, but the slobs were plentiful and drove up the road, down the road, up the road....repeatedly saw same vehicles going back and forth.

One fatso, I swear and wish I had taken a, had a camp chair strapped to back deck of his ATV and his buddy drive him down the road. Thankfully he gave up after 5 days and did not punch his tag despite 3 reported shots...

That said the hunting is good all day long, start glassing under rock ledges and in shadow of trees to find bucks to stalk all day long. I had a ball on the hunt when I drew 10? years ago. Tons of bucks then. The road hunters had killed the 3 point bucks and gone home by day 4-5 so I had almost no competition it seems, and never bumped into anyone where I was hunting away from the road even in the first few days.

You live pretty close so will be able to scout. You are in for a fun summer if you do. Awesome county and tons of deer.

I only came up through Thompson since it was closest access for me. Can't answer you question other than hard to imagine why you would drive around the long way from Carbon County since both routes lead to the road that runs the length of unit on top...

For someone that was Non-Slob hunting so far from the roads, you sure have a lot of info on what was happening on the roads. haha
I have been on this hunt several times. My recommendation would be to come up through Ouray. Its paved almost all the way to the Divide Road on top. There are many great glassing points from the Divide road. Our best success came from "Slob- Road Hunting the divide. Not looking for a buck to shoot from the road, but to cover and glass as much ground as possible. You will have a great time and see many deer.
 

one_dryboot

Long Time Member
Messages
4,781
I had the tag last year. Didn’t have much time to scout, Spent a day and a half driving the roads on Top scouting in July. Saw 180+ bucks but only a few big bucks. I went back the night before the hunt and found the best buck I saw scouting. Opening morning there were a lot of hunters around. Another hunter bumped my buck and I got lucky and worked down around and they came right to me. Tagged out within the first hour.
If I had the time to scout I would rather get away from the roads and pressure. driving the roads glassing can be a very effective way of covering country and looking over a lot of bucks. Good luck
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BrowningRage

Long Time Member
Messages
3,530
You're going to have a great time no matter what kind of hunt you are looking for. If you are looking for a challenge in finding and harvesting a true trophy, the Book Cliffs can offer that. Some of these bucks can be found from a road, but rarely harvested near them (it does happen though). Or if you have a situation where there are other people you hope to have with you when you take a nice animal (kids or parents or whatever) you will be able to do that as well in the Book Cliffs (there are lots of roads).

Despite the number of tags, there are not roads in every canyon. The Divide Road will provide plenty of viewing of bucks, you can see dozens and dozens every morning and evening. But, you can find canyons and areas that roads just don't get you to. You can find points to glass from and cover lots of ground that way. One Dry Boot definitely killed a top-end buck for the Book Cliffs and anything like his buck should be considered a shooter. You will see a TON of 3 year old bucks. Many people harvest these deer early on- 3x4s and 140" 4-points. In 2016, I saw plenty of people taking much smaller bucks out of there than I would have harvested.

Good luck and I hope to see some updates from you throughout the year.!!
 

Jenks

Member
Messages
70
Thomson springs side is a rough ,but not too bad of road.Easy driving from other side.
McCook and Patterson is a good area to look at.
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,644
Father-in-law had the archery tag last year but injured his back and had to surrender his tag. He drew it again this year.

We saw some good bucks last year, but not near the # of deer from previous years. Still a good hunt and a ton of fun if you are not too stuck on a specific score. Lots of great and different ways to get it done out there-you can sit water, spot and stalk all day long hitting shade pockets, or hard core road hunt:ROFLMAO: Big bucks have been killed doing it all, so just enjoy the tag and the hunt! Wish you the best and may see you out there in August!
 

BOWUNTR

Active Member
Messages
400
I drew the tag as well and will be heading up there th he first week in June to learn the lay of the land. I'll be doing the hunt solo and can hunt the whole season. 16 points as a non resident is a long time to wait for a tag. Buck1fish2 good luck and maybe I'll see you up there. Ed F
 

WhiskeyDog

Active Member
Messages
221
Couple points to consider from someone who spends his life on the unit.

There are some of the better bucks killed right off the road every year. As much as it seems lazy, when the roads go right through where the deer are, it makes sense to use the roads.

The unit is nothing like it was 15 years ago, or 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. Getting general info from folks that were there in 2008 is fine, but just because they say they seen four 200" bucks on magic ridge, don't expect to see the same.

If you go through Thompson springs, you're going to end up at the Sego gate to access the roadless. There's very little deer country huntable without crossing the tribal land right of way and into the roadless. It can be a good place to hunt, but takes a fair amount of planning and commitment, especially without stock animals. If you're going to access the majority of the unit from the south end, it would be through Hay canyon, East Canyon, or San Arroyo. From Carbon county, you'll be just as close and better roads going in the north side through Ouray on Seep Ridge, though there is a section under construction this spring that you will have to detour(supposed to be completed this summer).

Cover as much country and look at as many bucks as you can(thus the road hunters). Most bucks getting killed are in the 140"-160" range. Some guys put in the time and turn up something better. But don't expect to see a bunch of bigger bucks running around, it's just not what the unit is anymore.

Take more gas than you think you'll need, then take more than that. It's a long ways out there and you'll burn a ton of fuel, even if you don't road hunt.

Expect every canyon and ridge to be packed with people on the opener. It's just as crowded as a general hunt because most tags have a group of guys along to help.

If you find a good buck scouting, get him killed in the first couple days, or someone else will.

Remember it took a lot of years for many of the other hunters out there to draw a tag too, including the elk and bear hunters. Don't be a d*ck and accept the hunt for what it is, you'll enjoy it more.

Post pictures here when you kill, we'll all be waiting to see them.
 
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JakeH

Very Active Member
Messages
2,862
My son shot this buck on the books when he was 14. Its a fun hunt and you will see a ton of deer. Take your time, be patient. If I ever hunt it again (especially on the bow hunt) I will hunt the last 3 weeks of the hunt and just wait for everyone to leave after the first week.
Man thats a mature looking 14 year old kid. Lol. Great buck, good job.
 

rtoreson

Member
Messages
17
My son and I had the archery tag last year and had a great time. Saw tons of bucks. We both filled our tags on decent four pts shortly before we had to leave. We both had multiple chances at better bucks and couldn’t get it done. I could give u excuses but my fingers will get tired typing. Dryboot killed a great buck and the pics r great but having hands on those antlers really was impressive. He’s a great guy that got us on a couple really good bucks. It was much appreciated. Hope to meet up again on a future hunt! Whiskey seems to be spot on with all his intel from our limited experience last year. We used Ouray to access and spent most of our time up and off the divide rd. We spent some time down hay canyon and that road is ok but the Ouray road is paved the whole way and in good shape with the exception of a couple frost heaves in the road u will need to keep a lookout for. We would use the roads to access glassing spots and deploy the spot and stalk method which was a lot of fun. Bring spare tires for whatever u bring that will have rubber rolling on the roads. Those roads r tough on tires. I will add that u will probably run into some guides and their spotters as well. Some of these fellas weren’t real friendly and don’t always play fair. Like whiskey said, competition is pretty fierce on the divide rd and if u spot a buck off of it there’s a pretty good chance someone else has seen it. We lived too far away to scout and those that can have a big advantage. If u can find a couple shooters off the beaten path, keep an eye on them and try to get ur #1 buck in the dirt quick. The roadless area looked pretty impressive and if u have the will and means to head in, there r great bucks to be had. Most of all, enjoy the experience and country u get to hunt. Take lots of pictures and soak it in. It will be a hunt u won’t soon forget.
 

OwnMoreBone

Active Member
Messages
725
I had the tag last year. Didn’t have much time to scout, Spent a day and a half driving the roads on Top scouting in July. Saw 180+ bucks but only a few big bucks. I went back the night before the hunt and found the best buck I saw scouting. Opening morning there were a lot of hunters around. Another hunter bumped my buck and I got lucky and worked down around and they came right to me. Tagged out within the first hour.
If I had the time to scout I would rather get away from the roads and pressure. driving the roads glassing can be a very effective way of covering country and looking over a lot of bucks. Good luckView attachment 7089View attachment 7090View attachment 7091
Nice buck one_dryboot
 

trophyhunter

Very Active Member
Messages
2,126
Get thyself no more than 1/4 mile from the main road on top and leave the hordes of lazy slob road hunters behind. When I had the tag guys were literally sitting in back of a pickup, arrows knocked in some cases as a buddy slowly drove the road with bucks standing edge of road. Bucks being shot from the vehicle by "bowhunters". Some lazy slob Utahns drew the year I pulled a nonres tag. To be sure there were some serious hunters out there too, but the slobs were plentiful and drove up the road, down the road, up the road....repeatedly saw same vehicles going back and forth.

One fatso, I swear and wish I had taken a, had a camp chair strapped to back deck of his ATV and his buddy drive him down the road. Thankfully he gave up after 5 days and did not punch his tag despite 3 reported shots...

That said the hunting is good all day long, start glassing under rock ledges and in shadow of trees to find bucks to stalk all day long. I had a ball on the hunt when I drew 10? years ago. Tons of bucks then. The road hunters had killed the 3 point bucks and gone home by day 4-5 so I had almost no competition it seems, and never bumped into anyone where I was hunting away from the road even in the first few days.

You live pretty close so will be able to scout. You are in for a fun summer if you do. Awesome county and tons of deer.

I only came up through Thompson since it was closest access for me. Can't answer you question other than hard to imagine why you would drive around the long way from Carbon County since both routes lead to the road that runs the length of unit on top...
Checkout by the towers going down towards I-70 near the top there is an old road on the left. Park and walk down in there that area holds bucks , go slow and quiet, Good Luck
 

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