Let's Talk Spike Hunting

slamdunk

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I live in Utah County on the Pleasant Grove/Lindon border up on the east side close to the mountain.

I just got done looking at a giant herd of Elk, I lost count at 50 and there were probably 25 more than that kept appearing over a rise.
In the bunch, I counted 17 spike bulls, and 4 rag horns.

This brings my question and what I will say is a very valid observation.

Spike hunts are not hurting our bull numbers, absolutely not in the least.

This Timpanogas part of the Wasatch unit gets absolutely pounded by Spike hunters annually.
There is 17 carry over bulls that won't even be looked at through a rifle scope for another 5 years, and this is one single herd in an absolute giant unit.

Makes perfect sense why the biologists are saying our LE units are "Bull Heavy", because they are.

Out of these 17 spikes, maybe two will achieve "Trophy" status enough to be harvested in 5-9 years from now, the rest will just be junk bulls regardless of age.

How many spikes survive year after year after year on our LE units to be carry overs and basically useless for the duration of their lives?

More than most people care to wrap their heads around....
 

Vanilla

Long Time Member
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We have the biological data to support your position here.

Almost every LE unit needs more bulls killed to sustain the herd. Since herd health will never be measured biologically in inches, it is hard for some to comprehend how excess bulls is not a good thing.

Spike hunting is not hurting bull numbers. You are correct.
 

slamdunk

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We have the biological data to support your position here.

Almost every LE unit needs more bulls killed to sustain the herd. Since herd health will never be measured biologically in inches, it is hard for some to comprehend how excess bulls is not a good thing.

Spike hunting is not hurting bull numbers. You are correct.
I drove up Hobble Creek last weekend, also part of the Wasatch and there were very solid numbers of spikes scattered amongst the hill sides.

I would dare wager we aren't even remotely close to the 10% the DNR initially suspected to survive hunting, it's probably more closer to 40% if not higher.
 

Vanilla

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I have no idea how many survive. I won’t even guess. I just know nearly every unit has excess bulls, and removing more off the landscape would benefit herd numbers and herd health overall.
 

slamdunk

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So, why shouldn’t we shoot the forkies?

I’m just trying to wrap my head around what’s different between deers and elks.

Spikes are yummy. :p
I'm actually not sure why they don't find a way to utilize those raghorns, that's where the bulk of bulls lie.
 

Bluehair

Long Time Member
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6,650
I was talking deer….my bad. There is just a very strong “let the forkies live” contingent around here. I agree w you btw.
 

elkassassin

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Gonna Load You Boys Up For A Ride In The Book Cliffs!

Why The PHHUCK Would You Kill Future Big Bulls In LE Units?

If You'd Let Them Grow!

Which You Won't!

We Could Offer A Few More LE Big Bull Permits & Thin A Few Points Holders Out!

But That Sshitt Ain't Happening!

Let's Kill Em As Spikes/MOTL Rather Than Letting Them Grow In To Something Somebody Might Be Proud Of!
 

Weiserbucks

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It's giant for this small piece of the Wasatch Front.
It's one group, and I stopped looking at them as they kept coming.
Maybe there was a hundred in all, I didn't see every one of them.

Should I have said "large herd" so you would have offered an insightful comment? 😉
No, it doesn't matter how you word it, small herd and my insight doesn't matter.
 

slamdunk

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Gonna Load You Boys Up For A Ride In The Book Cliffs!

Why The PHHUCK Would You Kill Future Big Bulls In LE Units?

If You'd Let Them Grow!

Which You Won't!

We Could Offer A Few More LE Big Bull Permits & Thin A Few Points Holders Out!

But That Sshitt Ain't Happening!

Let's Kill Em As Spikes/MOTL Rather Than Letting Them Grow In To Something Somebody Might Be Proud Of!
Ok you got me there....I should have definitely excluded the Book Cliffs, that herd is in trouble.
 

elkassassin

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So?

I Guess We Shouldn't Have Any Spikes Left This Time Of Year?

We Do Need A Few To Survive To Maybe Grow In To Something,Shouldn't We?
 

Vanilla

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Bess, notice how I said “almost all” and “nearly all” LE units?

You should go listen to the biologist talking about the Books from the wildlife board work session. Fascinating.

And I agree there are LE units that are in trouble. The Beaver could be in for a crash because we’ve let way too many bulls live beyond being spikes! 😜 Way too many bulls on that landscape. It’s not the only place.
 

elkassassin

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Hey Niller!

If There Is a Place Like The Beaver With an Over Abundance Of Trophy Bulls?

It Wouldn't Be Hard To Thin Em Down a Little!

NOTICE I SAID A LITTLE!

Give a Few More Points Holders A Chance!

But Don't Decimate The Unit Like They Have The Book Cliffs & Anthro!

GEEZUZ HFC!

Can Anybody See The Light?

Or Just The F'N Dollar Signs?


Bess, notice how I said “almost all” and “nearly all” LE units?

You should go listen to the biologist talking about the Books from the wildlife board work session. Fascinating.

And I agree there are LE units that are in trouble. The Beaver could be in for a crash because we’ve let way too many bulls live beyond being spikes! 😜 Way too many bulls on that landscape. It’s not the only place.
 
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elkassassin

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A Simple Question For All you Professional Game Managers:

If PUNK'S Daughters Bull Woulda Been Killed as a Spike?

How Big Would He Have Been This Year?
 

elkhunter81

Member
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49
Hey Niller!

If There Is a Place Like The Beaver With an Over Abundance Of Trophy Bulls?

It Wouldn't Be Hard To Thin Em Down a Little!

NOTICE I SAID A LITTLE!

Give a Few More Points Holders A Chance!

But Don't Decimate The Unit Like They Have The Book Cliffs & Anthro!

GEEZU HFC!

Can Anybody See The Light?

Or Just The F'N Dollar Signs?
I noticed slam and vanilla use the word "bulls", but you use the word "trophy bulls". Interesting spin
 

2lumpy

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Nobody can convince me it’s a bad idea to cut both of my thumbs off…….. I’ll have to see myself to believe it.
 

slamdunk

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A Simple Question For All you Professional Game Managers:

If PUNK'S Daughters Bull Woulda Been Killed as a Spike?

How Big Would He Have Been This Year?
I see the point you are trying to make and you are 100% correct in saying our 382" bull wouldn't have made it had he been harvested as a spike, that goes without saying.

But also....her bull was about 8.5, (haven't got the results back) and the spike hunting on Manti has been ongoing for 3 decades now.
So that means her bull was obviously a survivor and proves the point of my post.

There is a "fairly large" herd above my home right now with 17 survivors in it that will make it to maturity.
Will they be 380" bulls?
If the stars align, two of them might have the genetics to make it while the remaining 15 will be 9 year old 280-320" bulls till they die.
 
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middlefork

Active Member
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612
If You Don't Already Know What's Happening/Happened on a Few Units You Should!
I have an idea what is happening.
I'll give you Book Cliffs. What are the others?

Some units went to no spike for a few years to "save the herd" and up the age. So how long do we carry them before they are suitable.
Still waiting on your definition of trouble.
 

Dangbig

Active Member
Messages
173
I was watching a herd on the cache of 600 head yes we counted them, 145 were rags 36 were 5x or 6x nothing over 320. O there were 22 spikes. Some of us did wonder what we growing all these bulls for? The CWMU’s?Cause the 20ish public tags aren’t making a dent. A lot of guys who have only hunted spikes would find a 240 6x a good bull…… again this is just one herd not the entire unit… I wish we had a 4X or bigger every 3rd year winter range shouldn’t have animals on it we aren’t going to use. But folks keep telling me deer and elk don’t compete for food lol done ranting sorry
 

elkassassin

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I Won't Argue That!

But Decimating Spikes On LE Units Is TOTAL BULLSSHIITT!

Once Again!

Don't Take My Word For It!

Just Go To The Book Cliffs & Waste a Few Hundred Dollars Worth of Fuel & Do The Counts!

I'll Be Waiting For The Results I Already Know!



I see the point you are trying to make and you are 100% correct in saying our 382" bull wouldn't have made it had he been harvested as a spike, that goes without saying.

But.....there is a "fairly large" herd above my home right now with 17 survivors in it that will make it to maturity.
Will they be 380" bulls?
If the stars align, two of them might have the genetics to make it while the remaining 15 will be 9 year old 280-320" bulls till they die.
 

elkassassin

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I Guess You've Never Heard Of The Anthro Unit?

It Was Proven Many Years Ago The Unit Would Grow Bulls As Big As Any Other Unit!

With PISS POOR Management Here We Are Today!

If You Can't See That Units Have Fallen Off Some You Are Very Secluded!

I have an idea what is happening.
I'll give you Book Cliffs. What are the others?

Some units went to no spike for a few years to "save the herd" and up the age. So how long do we carry them before they are suitable.
Still waiting on your definition of trouble.
 

slamdunk

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The issues in the Book Cliffs aren't caused by over hunting bulls.
But I agree Bess, any and all bull hunting should be paused on that unit until they figure it out.
Even at that, as cow numbers dwindle, they have to keep ratios in check by reducing bulls to match.
Excess bulls don't create calves, more cows do.

The cows are aborting calves for unknown reasons leaving minimal calf crop each year to sustain numbers.

What calves survive birth, are hammered by predators, especially the very high bear population.

Several studies are showing these issues, and anyone can speak to the biologists or members of the Wildlife Board on this very topic and they will gladly explain.
 

elkassassin

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So?

A Known Fact That Calves Are Not Surviving and or Being Aborted!

So We Keep Slaughtering Cows on the Unit?

That Should Fix EVERY-F'N-THING!

Along With The Other BS Management That Goes On Out There!




The issues in the Book Cliffs aren't caused by over hunting bulls.
But I agree Bess, any and all bull hunting should be paused on that unit until they figure it out.
Even at that, as cow numbers dwindle, they have to keep ratios in check by reducing bulls to match.
Excess bulls don't create calves, more cows do.

The cows are aborting calves for unknown reasons leaving minimal calf crop each year to sustain numbers.

What calves survive birth, are hammered by predators, especially the very high bear population.

Several studies are showing these issues, and anyone can speak to the biologists or members of the Wildlife Board on this very topic and they will gladly explain.
 

slamdunk

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8,954
So?

A Known Fact That Calves Are Not Surviving and or Being Aborted!

So We Keep Slaughtering Cows on the Unit?

That Should Fix EVERY-F'N-THING!

Along With The Other BS Management That Goes On Out There!
I can't answer the cow harvest question, I haven't dug into that.

But if they are harvesting cows out there on anything besides depardation tags, then I can agree that wouldn't make sense.
 
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elkassassin

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They Shot The Book Cliffs Deer Herd Out Several Years Ago!

Maybe They're Gonna Do It Again!

Maybe Shoot The Elk Herd Out While They're At It!
 

Vanilla

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Book Cliffs is an outlier on the results. One would be wise to ask themselves “Why?”

Why had the spike hunting decimated the herd on the Book Cliffs but not anywhere else? Maybe, just maybe…spike hunting isn’t what has decimated the herds.

I promise stopping hunting bulls on the Book Cliffs is not the answer.

Bobcat- the term “carrying capacity” means something. If you can’t see that one unit with the same management as the rest of the state is responding vastly different isn’t due to hunting, then I’ve got some ocean front property for you in Arizona. It’s a great deal too!
 

elkassassin

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I Never Said It Was JUST The F'N Spike Hunts!

Add All of The BS Up That Goes On & You'll Sere The Light,Maybe!

You Won't Admit PISS POOR Management I Guess?

Maybe You Can Preach The Bears Killed Everything!



Book Cliffs is an outlier on the results. One would be wise to ask themselves “Why?”

Why had the spike hunting decimated the herd on the Book Cliffs but not anywhere else? Maybe, just maybe…spike hunting isn’t what has decimated the herds.

I promise stopping hunting bulls on the Book Cliffs is not the answer.

Bobcat- the term “carrying capacity” means something. If you can’t see that one unit with the same management as the rest of the state is responding vastly different isn’t due to hunting, then I’ve got some ocean front property for you in Arizona. It’s a great deal too!
 

Vanilla

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Bess, you can’t stay on topic because you have to distract from your crazy takes on elk hunting!

We aren’t talking about hunting spike deer, or deer hunting at all. We aren’t talking about the fawn survival studies. We aren’t talking about predators and the insanely high percentage of fawn deer killed by them on the Book Cliffs.

For once, stay on topic. Quit trying to move the goal posts. This thread is about spike hunting and if it negatively impacts our elk herds. The answer is a definitive NO!!!!
 

woodruffhunter

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3,346
“The cows are aborting calves for unknown reasons leaving minimal calf crop each year to sustain numbers.”

Maybe it’s because the elk herds are hammered from August through January. But what would I know as I do not have a degree in biology. I have never understood the spike hunt and would rather see it eliminated and then add more any bull tags. Reduce bull tags by eliminating the spikes hunts, adding a few more any bull would be fine by me.

But, I realize I’m in the minority here….
 
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Dangbig

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173
“The cows are aborting calves for unknown reasons leaving minimal calf crop each year to sustain numbers.”

Maybe it’s because the elk herds are hammered from August through January. But what would I know as I do not have a degree in biology. I have never understood the spike hunt and would rather see it eliminated and then add more any bull tags. Reduced bull tags by eliminating the spikes hunts, adding a few more any bull would be fine by me.

But, I realize I’m in the minority here….
I agree add to the LE and do away with the spike hunt
 

slamdunk

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I agree add to the LE and do away with the spike hunt
I may be completely off by saying this but I will anyway.

In my mind, we cannot replace the 15000 spike tags with LE tags or we'd decimate the age class of the bulls.

And if your thoughts weren't converting those 15k spike tags to LE tags, where are we going to control the already high bull numbers on "most" units?
 

Dangbig

Active Member
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173
I may be completely off by saying this but I will anyway.

In my mind, we cannot replace the 15000 spike tags with LE tags or we'd decimate the age class of the bulls.

And if your thoughts weren't converting those 15k spike tags to LE tags, where are we going to control the already high bull numbers on "most" units?
Your correct I just dislike the spike hunt and other than making it a open bull it leaves little options this why I like the idea of a every 3rd or 4th year open hunt on the spike/LE how to work the numbers I don’t know but it could help balance the carry capacity and if made draw it could clean up some point creep…. Just a thought
 

Bearpaws

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72
Had one on our place years ago, we named him "gimp" because he had an injured front right leg and limped on it the first year. That first year he sported 6-7" tall spikes. The next year he was a small 6 point, nothing special. Then he disappeared for 2 years. On the next opener of bow season he walks out in front of a buddy who didn't recognize him because he was focused on the 18" inside spread, and putting an arrow in him. He sent me a pic right after the kill and I noticed the right front leg injury still visible, and verified he was in fact, the Gimp.

So yeah, once a spike does not mean always a spike. And yes, likely will always be a year behind. But none of that means they are inferior animals.
 

elkantlers

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3,168
“The cows are aborting calves for unknown reasons leaving minimal calf crop each year to sustain numbers.”

Maybe it’s because the elk herds are hammered from August through January. But what would I know as I do not have a degree in biology. I have never understood the spike hunt and would rather see it eliminated and then add more any bull tags. Reduce bull tags by eliminating the spikes hunts, adding a few more any bull would be fine by me.

But, I realize I’m in the minority here….
I agree add to the LE and do away with the spike hunt
Apparently you guys don't understand carrying capacity and the fact that cows have calves.

You can't feed every spike bull for 6 years, to get them to trophy age, and still maintain the same number of cows in the herd.
It's not a hard concept to understand, but good grief some people just don't get it...
 

Shadow

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How many spikes even have the genetics to become trophy size and how many 280 junk bulls do we need on LE units?
Back to Slams original topic, there are more than enough spikes that survive the season, evident by the number of 2-4 year old rag horns running around.
 

elkantlers

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3,168
How many spikes even have the genetics to become trophy size and how many 280 junk bulls do we need on LE units?
Back to Slams original topic, there are more than enough spikes that survive the season, evident by the number of 2-4 year old rag horns running around.
Why don't you tell us Mr. Biologist? And cite your source. I don't want some answer you pull out your arse.

And, calling a 280" bull a "junk bull" is pretty offensive to those of us that love hunting for what it should be and not what Instagram say it is.
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
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30,778
Like I Said!

Just open Everything Up & Kill Them All!

Manage The Other Units Like The Book Cliffs!

Manage Them Like Anthro!

Then You All Can PISS & MOAN When There Ain't a F'N Thing Left!

Open It Up UN-F'N-LIMITED!

Open It Up Year-A-Round!

Then When All The Opportunists Ain't Got a F'N Thing To Hunt They'll Wake The Hell Up!

But I Doubt It!
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
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8,477
Ok you got me there....I should have definitely excluded the Book Cliffs, that herd is in trouble.


28years of waiting to draw something "you might be proud of"?

They spoke hunt the hell out of the Manti as well. Hasn't hurt it at all. Adding a bunch of tags on the LE side to lower the age class did, but then the Nebo, Manti, Wasatch were sacrificed to keep the big 5 age class up. Otherwise it would take 50 years to draw a tag(kinda like what it will take for my 12 year old, but I guess it's something he can be proud of at his retirement party)
 

Muley_73

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2,517
Every spike bull is a big bull if we choose to let them mature. Perfect example of the Golden Goose.
 

Shadow

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Why don't you tell us Mr. Biologist? And cite your source. I don't want some answer you pull out your arse.

And, calling a 280" bull a "junk bull" is pretty offensive to those of us that love hunting for what it should be and not what Instagram say it is.
I never claimed to be a biologist but I do spend enough time out (you should try it, it’s fun) to notice the amount of raghorns running around on the spike units.
Sorry to offend you by calling a 280 junk, but it sounds like you want less spikes killed and more mature bulls, so I would assume you wouldn’t be one to spend a pile of points to hunt raghorns, right?
 

woodruffhunter

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Apparently you guys don't understand carrying capacity and the fact that cows have calves.

You can't feed every spike bull for 6 years, to get them to trophy age, and still maintain the same number of cows in the herd.
It's not a hard concept to understand, but good grief some people just don't get it...
I guess you either are misreading my post or I am not explaining what I post well enough. Obviously, you are irritated because I have a different opinion.

Let me try this again since writing must not be my strong point.

1- Yes, I understand that cows do have calves.
2- I am not saying to eliminate the shooting of spikes. What I am saying is eliminate spike only units and increase the open bull tags. Of course there will be less tags overall (as opposed to the spike tags) but there will be an increase in any bull tags. In my opinion, there would be a very large increase.
3- Do you believe that by doing this all elk units would be over maximum carrying capacity?

Does Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming need spike only units?
 

Vanilla

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I don’t think Utah “needs” spike only hunts. I think it’s a great way to give 15k hunters a chance to hit the hills with a permit in their hands that they otherwise would not have, and in doing so, not hurt the resource at all.

And when you say increase “any bull” or “open bull” tags, are you just talking that increase on the general OTC any bull hunts? Or are you talking about increasing significantly the LE tags on spike only units to help keep bull numbers down?
 

woodruffhunter

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3,346
"And when you say increase “any bull” or “open bull” tags, are you just talking that increase on the general OTC any bull hunts? Or are you talking about increasing significantly the LE tags on spike only units to help keep bull numbers down?"

I am talking about increasing significantly the LE tags on spike only units. Now, what those numbers would/should be, I of course do not know. There are certainly good arguments for both sides here. I do like to see a lot of opportunity, especially for the youth.

Given the current Utah population of people and the demand, I do not believe there is one perfect solution.
 

Shadow

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1,436
Woodruff, are you thinking more LE tags overall or maybe some sort of management hunt on the spike units to clean up some of the undesirable (junk) bulls?
 

elkantlers

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3,168
I never claimed to be a biologist but I do spend enough time out (you should try it, it’s fun) to notice the amount of raghorns running around on the spike units.
Sorry to offend you by calling a 280 junk, but it sounds like you want less spikes killed and more mature bulls, so I would assume you wouldn’t be one to spend a pile of points to hunt raghorns, right?
Just like teenagers become adults, Rag horns become mature bulls.
I fully support spike hunting on LE units.
I guess you either are misreading my post or I am not explaining what I post well enough. Obviously, you are irritated because I have a different opinion.

Let me try this again since writing must not be my strong point.

1- Yes, I understand that cows do have calves.
2- I am not saying to eliminate the shooting of spikes. What I am saying is eliminate spike only units and increase the open bull tags. Of course there will be less tags overall (as opposed to the spike tags) but there will be an increase in any bull tags. In my opinion, there would be a very large increase.
3- Do you believe that by doing this all elk units would be over maximum carrying capacity?

Does Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming need spike only units?

You said that reducing bull tags by eliminating spike tags was fine by you. That's where my response came from.

I am coming from a point where I, and many others, would rather hunt spikes every single year than have to wait a decade or two to hunt a big bull. And I don't think more Any bull units are the answer just because then you do take away tags for people that want that LE experience.
 

DaveD

Active Member
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165
No knowledge of the situations in Utah but something came to mind reading this. Some states are starting to issue limited bull tags where a hunter can only shoot a bull if it has 5 or less points on one side. I believe this is an attempt to bring ratios in line while not hitting the upper end trophy bulls. Has Utah tried this?
 

Bluehair

Long Time Member
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6,650
Yeah….we have no spike and branch antler units. That’s why we are overrun with giant bulls.

I think what you kill is a lot less important than how many you kill.
 

Elkslayer2015

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739
I have been on almost every unit in this state.

The book cliffs is the most easiest elk hunt of the state especially for rifle hunters. Because of the open terrain and roads down every canyon.
There is really no comparison at all with the other unit's. spike hunting has hurt the quality out there and other things.

I know why it isn't effecting other units as bad. Because it's harder they have more cover and far less roads. but it is taking away from our LE tags.

Slam
Also I did a little research.

What unit is over objective right now? Beaver right. what unit did they just open back up to spike hunting after 6 years? Monroe.

The Monroe is a stones throw away from beaver. I was also told last year the Monroe is over objective as well.
(If you really want to get technical every unit is over objective now with the new Elk plan)

I'm not trying to stir the pot here but Vanilla and Slam explain to me and everyone else that it didn't have anything to do with the spike closure on the Monroe.
 
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woodruffhunter

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3,346
Woodruff, are you thinking more LE tags overall or maybe some sort of management hunt on the spike units to clean up some of the undesirable (junk) bulls?
I am thinking (and that is a scary thought in itself) to increase any bull tags in spike units. Of course one could still shoot a spike if they wanted to do it. Overall, there would still be less bull tags (by elimination of the spike only tags).
 

Vanilla

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I don't know what units are over-objective without looking that up, and I'm not interested in looking that up because it actually doesn't address what we are talking about.

There are two objectives: herd numbers (and bull tags are not determined by this) and age objective (bull tag numbers ARE determined by this).

Age class objectives has been the reason why some of those top end units are so out of whack ratio-wise. Age class was coming in under age objective so tag numbers had to be decreased, yet herd numbers were higher than overall population objectives allowed under the plan and agreements. So what does that result in? Increased killing of cow elk.

If anyone thinks our best idea is to let more bulls run on the landscape and reduce the cows then I can't help you. Beaver is nearly at a 1:1 ratio. Other units really aren't all that far behind. Can you imagine would happen on the Beaver if we had some catastrophic weather event on the unit? We'd lost that entire herd due to mismanagement and keeping excess bulls on the landscape.

I'll let Slam get "official" answers for you, but I can tell you this about the Monroe: the pausing of the spike hunt on that unit had way more to do with sociology than biology. Maybe I'll be wrong and they found a legitimate reason to pause that hunt, but even that should be considered a success story if that is true. I've said numerous times on this forum that if biology requires cutting back or ending a hunt, I'll be the first one advocating for that.

Until then, we should get opportunities to hunt these animals. I'm not a tree hugger that just wants to look at them and read about how a few individuals online got to hunt them.
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
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8,477
Just like teenagers become adults, Rag horns become mature bulls.
I fully support spike hunting on LE units.


You said that reducing bull tags by eliminating spike tags was fine by you. That's where my response came from.

I am coming from a point where I, and many others, would rather hunt spikes every single year than have to wait a decade or two to hunt a big bull. And I don't think more Any bull units are the answer just because then you do take away tags for people that want that LE experience.

Dear gawd I hope so, I have teenagers, I'm anxiously waiting
 

Elkslayer2015

Active Member
Messages
739
I'll let Slam get "official" answers for you, but I can tell you this about the Monroe: the pausing of the spike hunt on that unit had way more to do with sociology than biology. Maybe I'll be wrong and they found a legitimate reason to pause that hunt, but even that should be considered a success story if that is true. I've said numerous times on this forum that if biology requires cutting back or ending a hunt, I'll be the first one advocating for that.
Okay far enough.

I already know why they paused it on the Monroe and it wasn't sociology the DWR wanted to see if it would bring the age class back.
Which it's kind of hard to do that when you have LE unit's surrounding that unit but in my eye's it did bring population of bulls back.
That's what I was told from the Biologist. Which it somewhat did bump age class like half a year. Now a few years later after they opened it back up and now it's over objective.
pretty interesting.
But this is what else it did bring back more LE bull tags on the Beaver.
Those Elk constantly travel from those 2 units and Because it over objective (it wasn't over age objective)there for it allowed for more tags to be issued.
age class objectives has been the reason why some of those top end units are so out of whack ratio-wise. Age class was coming in under age objective so tag numbers had to be decreased, yet herd numbers were higher than overall population objectives allowed under the plan and agreements. So what does that result in? Increased killing of cow elk.

So Age class objective is probably not the right way to manage.

We probably would of been more in line with a bull to cow ratio with all the units if we ran it that way?

What would you prefer Age class objective or population objective?

Age class will limit you on how many tags you can give out for each unit. this is something I don't agree on.

Population objective. Bull to cow ratio this is something I agree on because it allows for more tags.
 
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slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,954
Here's a little twist to stir the brain on this, all hypothetical of course.

Let's say on the Manti, there are 200 spike bulls born each spring.
10% are harvested which leaves 180 carry over bulls that should reach 6 years old which is the projected age class wanted.
180 additional bulls each year x6 years is 1080 bulls added in 6 years.
Are we harvesting 1000 LE bulls in 6 years on a single unit?

Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm at work and only thinking with 50% of my brain.....lol
 

elkantlers

Long Time Member
Messages
3,168
Here's a little twist to stir the brain on this, all hypothetical of course.

Let's say on the Manti, there are 200 spike bulls born each spring.
10% are harvested which leaves 180 carry over bulls that should reach 6 years old which is the projected age class wanted.
180 additional bulls each year x6 years is 1080 bulls added in 6 years.
Are we harvesting 1000 LE bulls in 6 years on a single unit?

Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm at work and only thinking with 50% of my brain.....lol
2020 harvested
Manti 350 LE Bulls, 569 total hunters, 61% success
Wasatch 493 LE Bulls, 934 total hunters, 52% success


2021 harvested
Manti 369 LE Bulls, 544 total hunters, 68% success
Wasatch 465 LE Bulls, 933 total hunters, 50% success

2 years total harvested
Manti 719
Wasatch 958
 
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fullthrottle

Very Active Member
Messages
1,269
No way are they only killing 20 spikes out of a group of 200 on the manti. Maybe 20 out of 200 on the archery hunt. Those "hypothetical" numbers are way out of line, just saying.
 

coyoteslayer

Active Member
Messages
318
Here is my observation. The spike hunts can work and be a great asset to help control the bull population. What I have observed in a few of the southern units is that they have been killing 400+ cows for years. This is what is going to cause the problem in the future. There are very few spikes on the Beaver and other areas, because they have removed so many cows that there are hardly any calves and some people shoot bull calves on antlerless tags. You can have spike tags and it can be successful, but only if you keep the cow population at a high enough rate for recruitment. The DWR are selling spike tags, and some of these spike units have very few spikes to hunt due to killing to many cows. I believe they counted 3-400 bulls and 3-400 cows on the beaver last winter. If we had 900 cows then the spike hunt would work. I would not be opposed to a management 5 point hunt to get rid of some extra bigger bulls. Make people use their points and have it in August before people start to shoot busted bulls. I am predicting the Beaver to tank for big bulls in the near future, but having said that, I have predicted that the past few years and they killed giants this year.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,954
No way are they only killing 20 spikes out of a group of 200 on the manti. Maybe 20 out of 200 on the archery hunt. Those "hypothetical" numbers are way out of line, just saying.
I assumed I'd be way off without researching it.

However......the estimated spike harvest is 10%, but I obviously don't have data in hand showing estimated birth numbers and sex.
 

fullthrottle

Very Active Member
Messages
1,269
The state has no doubt had a history of piss poor cow management over the years. 400 cows on the beaver is a joke. Mountain could carry double that-easy.

I'm all for more bull opportunity. I'd love to see a few more any bull units sprout up, or 4 point or better units. Manti would be a good option for this. Huge unit, just have to control it a little and have the rifle hunt in October where it belongs. enough private land around that mountain it'd do ok. The CWMU's would no longer be able to Mooch off the resource. These CWMU's in spike only units with the freedom to shoot mature bulls is a crock, end that garbage.
 

fullthrottle

Very Active Member
Messages
1,269
I assumed I'd be way off without researching it.

However......the estimated spike harvest is 10%, but I obviously don't have data in hand showing estimated birth numbers and sex.
I have no idea what the numbers are, but surely we are killing more than 10 percent of the available spikes. Our bull numbers aren't that good...
 

Vanilla

Long Time Member
Messages
3,005
I agree, we are bull heavy on many units.

That is all that is really being argued at this point.

You have two options if that is your reality:

1- Eliminate the spike hunt and increase the LE bull tags to compensate and remove more bulls from the landscape. This will cause units to have to carry all bulls in the herd until they are mature, 4-6 years minimum on the landscape before hunters will start targeting them on the LE units. When you factor the spikes killed all living out their lives, that is A LOT more bulls being carried for several years each that normally would not be.

2- Continue to manage these excess bulls by removing them on the front end.

I don't think this is a particularly hard decision to make. I realize other people see it differently than me, and that is fine, but I strongly believe we'd be in a disaster for multiple reasons if we opted for option 1.

What are those that hate hunters actually hunting elk going to complain about next if we were to do that?
 

Elkslayer2015

Active Member
Messages
739
We will never know how many spikes are getting harvested without Mandatory harvest survey.

We are bull heavy now on all the units especially with the new Elk plan.
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
2,258
We will never know how many spikes are getting harvested without Mandatory harvest survey.

We are bull heavy now on all the units especially with the new Elk plan.
I believe the DWR is moving to more harvest surveys (hoping this will be mandatory for ALL hunts in the near future), so that is a good thing and will help give some of the data we really need to manage this appropriately.

What do you mean by your last sentence? Agree that we are bull heavy now and can afford to kill more bulls (spikes or mature bulls, except for the Book Cliffs but that is an exception), but not sure why you say the new elk plan further compounds this issue? If anything the new elk plan opens the door for more opportunity to kill bulls, particularly those "junk" (not my word but someone else's in this thread) bulls in that 280-300" range that will never be anything more. The late archery hunt is a great vehicle for this - guys who want to hunt elk more often with tough success rates will be happy to kill a 280" bull with their bow - there is absolutely no doubt about it.
 

Elkslayer2015

Active Member
Messages
739
I believe the DWR is moving to more harvest surveys (hoping this will be mandatory for ALL hunts in the near future), so that is a good thing and will help give some of the data we really need to manage this appropriately.

What do you mean by your last sentence? Agree that we are bull heavy now and can afford to kill more bulls (spikes or mature bulls, except for the Book Cliffs but that is an exception), but not sure why you say the new elk plan further compounds this issue? If anything the new elk plan opens the door for more opportunity to kill bulls, particularly those "junk" (not my word but someone else's in this thread) bulls in that 280-300" range that will never be anything more. The late archery hunt is a great vehicle for this - guys who want to hunt elk more often with tough success rates will be happy to kill a 280" bull with their bow - there is absolutely no doubt about it.
Perfect I hope they do move forward on the harvest survey

Fair question.
What I mean with the new Elk plan. By lowering age objective on all the units. That would make us bull heavy which allows us to issue more tags. I'm excited about the new plan I just think there could be more done as far as saving a few more spikes and get a few more tags available to the public.
I'm extremely excited about that late archery hunt I know exactly where I'll be.
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
2,258
Perfect I hope they do move forward on the harvest survey

Fair question.
What I mean with the new Elk plan. By lowering age objective on all the units. That would make us bull heavy which allows us to issue more tags. I'm excited about the new plan I just think there could be more done as far as saving a few more spikes and get a few more tags available to the public.
I'm extremely excited about that late archery hunt I know exactly where I'll be.
Gotcha-thanks for the clarification!
 

Bigwiffy

Very Active Member
Messages
1,213
So Slam sees a "huge" group of elk with 17 spikes on the Wasatch and now every unit has a surplus of bulls? I live in the belly button of some of the top tier elk units in the state and can say there isn't a surplus of bulls, or elk in general in the southern part of the state. Those 17 spikes are probably the only 17 from Provo Canyon to Point of the Mountain.

Carrying capacity is a non issue because we've never seen enough animals that the landscape couldn't sustain.
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
30,778
Hey Wiff!

You're Talkin Like Me Now!

And It'll Get You Nowhere With These MM PRO-F'N-FESSIONAL Game Managers!

So Slam sees a "huge" group of elk with 17 spikes on the Wasatch and now every unit has a surplus of bulls? I live in the belly button of some of the top tier elk units in the state and can say there isn't a surplus of bulls, or elk in general in the southern part of the state. Those 17 spikes are probably the only 17 from Provo Canyon to Point of the Mountain.

Carrying capacity is a non issue because we've never seen enough animals that the landscape couldn't sustain.
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
30,778
Everybody Knows We've Got An Issue With The Points System!

I Told You Before They Started It that It Wasn't gonna Work!

But The Opportunists Have More Power Than Anybody I Guess!

Rather Than Slaughtering Future Big Bulls as Spikes!

Let Em Grow & Issue More LE Bull Tags!

Let Me F'N SPLAIN It:

Let Em Grow!

Let There Be More LE Permits For Bigger Bulls!

Move More Points Holders Through The System without Taking 50 F'N Years To Do So!

Or Keep Your Opportunist Badges Shined & Keep Slaughtering Cows & Calves!

UN-F'N-BELIEVABLE Hunters Will Stoop This Low!

But It's a Proven Fact Right Here On MM They Will!



I'm not an amateur game manager, let alone a professional one. But when the real professionals speak, I listen. This spike issue really isn't that hard.
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,954
So Slam sees a "huge" group of elk with 17 spikes on the Wasatch and now every unit has a surplus of bulls? I live in the belly button of some of the top tier elk units in the state and can say there isn't a surplus of bulls, or elk in general in the southern part of the state. Those 17 spikes are probably the only 17 from Provo Canyon to Point of the Mountain.

Carrying capacity is a non issue because we've never seen enough animals that the landscape couldn't sustain.
Once again, Wiff disects my comment to fit his personal agenda 🙄

Take a ride up Hobble Creek and you'll see dozens more.

Ya, that's also just another fragment of the Wasatch LE unit.
I guess the entire Wasatch herd winters above Lindon and Springville 🤷‍♂️🙄
 
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Bigwiffy

Very Active Member
Messages
1,213
Once again, Wiff disects my comment to fit his personal agenda 🙄
Far from my personal agenda. Killing spikes is ridiculous to me. Get rid of the spike hunt, move the rifle LE hunt out of the rut and quadruple archery tags. Most archery guys are going to be happy to hunt a lot of 280-300" "garbage" bulls in September with the chance of bigger. Most rifle guys would be happy to kill a 300" bull, post it on the internet and say it's 380.

We are the only state in the west that slaughters our spikes.
 

Vanilla

Long Time Member
Messages
3,005
Or Keep Your Opportunist Badges Shined & Keep Slaughtering Cows & Calves!

UN-F'N-BELIEVABLE Hunters Will Stoop This Low!

But It's a Proven Fact Right Here On MM They Will!

Only Bessy would take a thread about hunting spikes and say we’re wrong because of cow hunts.

Never change, cat!
 

slamdunk

Moderator
Messages
8,954
Far from my personal agenda. Killing spikes is ridiculous to me. Get rid of the spike hunt, move the rifle LE hunt out of the rut and quadruple archery tags. Most archery guys are going to be happy to hunt a lot of 280-300" "garbage" bulls in September with the chance of bigger. Most rifle guys would be happy to kill a 300" bull, post it on the internet and say it's 380.

We are the only state in the west that slaughters our spikes.
I won't argue 90% of what you just stated.

I'd be tickled to kill a 300" bull every few years.
 

BrowningRage

Long Time Member
Messages
4,025
Gonna Load You Boys Up For A Ride In The Book Cliffs!

Why The PHHUCK Would You Kill Future Big Bulls In LE Units?

If You'd Let Them Grow!

Which You Won't!

We Could Offer A Few More LE Big Bull Permits & Thin A Few Points Holders Out!

But That Sshitt Ain't Happening!

Let's Kill Em As Spikes/MOTL Rather Than Letting Them Grow In To Something Somebody Might Be Proud Of!
We don't need more, older bulls to issue more LE tags... we just need more LE tag holders who shoot 300" bulls and lesser raghorns.
 

BrowningRage

Long Time Member
Messages
4,025
Time to bust out "management" elk hunts where your tag is good for any bull with 4 points or less on one side... start takin out those "junk bulls" as the OP says... put them at the same time as the other LE hunts and get the spike hunts out of those seasons...
 
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