Utah SW desert & Plateau Boulder late vs Wastach early rifle elk

DonVathome

Very Active Member
Messages
1,666
I can draw Southwest Desert late elk, Plateau Boulder late elk or Wasatch early? All rifle elk. Thoughts? Also Fishlake mid or late and Bookcliffs Bittercreek South late.


 

2lumpy

Long Time Member
Messages
5,262
You’ve waited a long time and invested fair amount, I certianly understand why you’d like to know. If I were in your boots I’d call three or four of the most successful outfitters, whether you intend to go DYI or with an outfitter. They would know more about those units collectively. The rest of us might know a lot about a unit or two but are not as knowledgeable about how one compares to all the others.

I would call and ask: Doyle Moss, Wade/Kalan Lemon, Taylor Albrecht, and Paul Phillips.

Collectively, there’s not much these gentleman don’t know about these units, and they might even convince you to book a hunt with them. If not......you won’t be the only one who calls them that doesn’t end up hiring them.

Wish you much success, it’s your turn at the plate.
 

yoteduster

Very Active Member
Messages
1,004
IMO I would cross the books off my list completely.. The Wasatch early would be my choice it'll be a fun hunt...good luck to ya...
 

30Hart

Very Active Member
Messages
1,566
Always take an early rifle hunt in an equal or slightly lesser quality area versus a mid or late season hunt in a higher quality area unless you are going guided and I believe you are primarily a DIY guy. Those late season hunts are tough unless you have experience on the unit.
 

bowhunt

Long Time Member
Messages
3,195
You could turn up and kill a great bull on the Boulders, late, but it will be tough, generally. Units with lots of vertical are best suited for late elk hunts, I think. Units where bulls winter is Cedars and in flat areas are TOUGH!
There is nothing like the experience of hunting in the rut. I would opt for that, just for the fun of it.
 

Bigwiffy

Active Member
Messages
878
I would rather be on Boulder or SW Desert with some solitude, compared to dealing with a brazillian people on the Wasatch.
 

littlebighorn

Long Time Member
Messages
4,479
I think Wiffy wants solitude so he doesn't have to share his Oreos. ;)
In my mind your decision depends on what kind of hunt you want. The early season dates are prime for the rut and it's hard to beat listening to bugling bulls while you chase them. I've hunted both early and late and I'd take early every time.
 

Bigwiffy

Active Member
Messages
878
I think Wiffy wants solitude so he doesn't have to share his Oreos. ;)
In my mind your decision depends on what kind of hunt you want. The early season dates are prime for the rut and it's hard to beat listening to bugling bulls while you chase them. I've hunted both early and late and I'd take early every time.
I would share one.....unless it was double stuffed then you're out of luck!
 

Zeke

Long Time Member
Messages
9,823
I've hunted early and late too and have been with many other early and late. I'd take either season in any of those units because they are all great for different reasons!
Generally you'll hear bull bugle on the early hunt and you'll have more solitude on a late hunt. They're both tough, as it should be, in my opinion. It's elk hunting!

Zeke
 

2lumpy

Long Time Member
Messages
5,262
Early rifle vs late rifle, only from my personal experience.

Early rifle, for better or worse.
-bulls antlers aren’t as broken.
-more mature bulls on the unit.
-rutting, usually easier to locate.
-primary sound stocking as opposed to sight stocking.
-warmer weather.
-bulls/cows water during the day.
-cows are broken into smaller groups and spread out across a larger area.
-most people on the unit, both hunters, sight-seers, ATV beehive.
-more meat bees and blow fly issues.
-harder to keep meat from spoiling.
-much less visibility, due to the leafs on the trees.

Late rifle:
-not at all rhetorical but it is pretty much the opposite of the points listed above.

I doubt any of my points add any knowledge to DonV’s question but it is quite a different kind of hunt between, the two seasons, maybe it might help others who might want to know.
 

DonVathome

Very Active Member
Messages
1,666
Thanks guys. I helped my dad when he drew archery elk on the Wasatch about 10 years ago. I liked the unit. Lot's on residents REALLY went out of their way to help him out before I arrived and he had a great hunt. Lots of elk.

I have 20 elk points now. I am really torn. I have had some great elk tags and tagged some good bulls. Never scored them but I doubt any of them were over 310. I would REALLY like a 330 plus. I have very very few chances at many more good elk tags so this might be my last chance. I figure I am due for 1 other good elk tag and if I get really lucky 2 more. I need to make this count.

I do not mind waiting a few more years, but I thought that a few years ago to! A pound is getting heavier every year and the mountains taller. I turned 50 and I am in great shape and hunted HARD - doing my 2 most physically demanding hunts every in 2021. That said when I am 60 I will not be able to to what I can do now.

I have no intention of hiring an outfitter so I would not want to waste their time with even a phone call that will not turn into a client.

I think I am going to draw WY moose this year, and maybe elk so I might go for along shot in Utah.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,609
You’ve waited a long time and invested fair amount, I certianly understand why you’d like to know. If I were in your boots I’d call three or four of the most successful outfitters, whether you intend to go DYI or with an outfitter. They would know more about those units collectively. The rest of us might know a lot about a unit or two but are not as knowledgeable about how one compares to all the others.

I would call and ask: Doyle Moss, Wade/Kalan Lemon, Taylor Albrecht, and Paul Phillips.

Collectively, there’s not much these gentleman don’t know about these units, and they might even convince you to book a hunt with them. If not......you won’t be the only one who calls them that doesn’t end up hiring them.

Wish you much success, it’s your turn at the plate.
Wade Lemmon will tell you it doesn't matter what unit you draw because you'll be able to hunt all of them.
 

30Hart

Very Active Member
Messages
1,566
Thanks guys. I helped my dad when he drew archery elk on the Wasatch about 10 years ago. I liked the unit. Lot's on residents REALLY went out of their way to help him out before I arrived and he had a great hunt. Lots of elk.

I have 20 elk points now. I am really torn. I have had some great elk tags and tagged some good bulls. Never scored them but I doubt any of them were over 310. I would REALLY like a 330 plus. I have very very few chances at many more good elk tags so this might be my last chance. I figure I am due for 1 other good elk tag and if I get really lucky 2 more. I need to make this count.

I do not mind waiting a few more years, but I thought that a few years ago to! A pound is getting heavier every year and the mountains taller. I turned 50 and I am in great shape and hunted HARD - doing my 2 most physically demanding hunts every in 2021. That said when I am 60 I will not be able to to what I can do now.

I have no intention of hiring an outfitter so I would not want to waste their time with even a phone call that will not turn into a client.

I think I am going to draw WY moose this year, and maybe elk so I might go for along shot in
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,740
Do the new later dates for applications start this year or next?

Dang Don, I am fixing to be 64 and I and still waiting for that Utah tag! But I am still willing and able! Just a step slower 🤪
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,821
Do the new later dates for applications start this year or next?

Dang Don, I am fixing to be 64 and I and still waiting for that Utah tag! But I am still willing and able! Just a step slower 🤪
Not until 2023-this year is the same as previous years.
 

berrysblaster

Very Active Member
Messages
2,006
If you had enough time to hunt multiple seasons I’d swing for the wasatch multi and hunt the early and late rifles. Think 19 pts pulled it last season for a NR
 

2lumpy

Long Time Member
Messages
5,262
If you had enough time to hunt multiple seasons I’d swing for the wasatch multi and hunt the early and late rifles. Think 19 pts pulled it last season for a NR
There you go DonV, a gentleman outfitter that freely offered worthwhile information. I would wager the other outfitters, I mentioned, would be just as generous and professional as berrysB.

Will you be at the Western Hunting Expo, in Salt Lake City, next month? The elk draw application period goes until March 3 or 4th this year so you would have time to apply after the Expo. If you where there you could talk to the guys I suggested earlier in person, and......... a lot of other individuals that have a vendor booth there or are just there for the activities.

In fact, the guys on the list I mentioned will all have booths there, talking to all kinds of “tire kicker” so they are expecting lots of inquiries by all sorts of different people during that week, so...... even if you aren’t there in person, I don’t see any reason they wouldn’t be just fine to answer some questions over their cell phones. They are in that frame of mind that week so I don’t think it would be inappropriate at all. If that makes sense.

Actually, Taylor Albrecht might not have a booth there but the others are almost always there, and Taylor would be more than happy to talk with you about the units he hunts at anytime. He’s a gentleman, same as berrysB.
 

elkobsessed55

Member
Messages
43
Hunted the Boulder in 2016 with a Muzzy.
Thank goodness for the rut because its a really thick unit, however, come late season they may be in a lower area where it's better glassing conditions.

Brother had the NV 231 tag, which is in November. We spend the first part of the hunt right on the border in an area where we were told both NV and UT SW Desert guys tend to hunt. We didn't turn any bulls up in what looked like some pretty good country. High, low, mid 20's guys hiking way up high and in off the roads. Bizzare.
All the bulls were low. I think those big wilderness bulls are pretty darn nocturnal. Who knows, maybe we just didn't find them.

Point being, i'd go early when they're talking. 100% of the time
 

HORNhunter7

Member
Messages
38
Don-- your kind of like me point wise. If you're wanting to go strictly rifle there's very few guaranteed tags out there for a non- resident with your points. Between point creep and people jumping units it's anyone's guess. It took 22 points last year to draw the Wasatch MS bonus tags and just a couple years ago you could draw one with 17 points. Even the early rifle bonus tags went to people with 19 and 20 points so I don't know if I'd be waiting much longer cause it seems like point creep could outpace you. Just my 2 cents. Good luck with the whatever you decide.
.
 

DonVathome

Very Active Member
Messages
1,666
There you go DonV, a gentleman outfitter that freely offered worthwhile information. I would wager the other outfitters, I mentioned, would be just as generous and professional as berrysB.

Will you be at the Western Hunting Expo, in Salt Lake City, next month? The elk draw application period goes until March 3 or 4th this year so you would have time to apply after the Expo. If you where there you could talk to the guys I suggested earlier in person, and......... a lot of other individuals that have a vendor booth there or are just there for the activities.

In fact, the guys on the list I mentioned will all have booths there, talking to all kinds of “tire kicker” so they are expecting lots of inquiries by all sorts of different people during that week, so...... even if you aren’t there in person, I don’t see any reason they wouldn’t be just fine to answer some questions over their cell phones. They are in that frame of mind that week so I don’t think it would be inappropriate at all. If that makes sense.

Actually, Taylor Albrecht might not have a booth there but the others are almost always there, and Taylor would be more than happy to talk with you about the units he hunts at anytime. He’s a gentleman, same as berrysB.
Thanks I am not going to be there. I will reconsider giving them a call based on what you said! Thanks again!
 

DonVathome

Very Active Member
Messages
1,666
I would consider a muzzleloader hunt. My current gun has a magnification scope and it has been together for over 25 years. It never, ever is not sighted in and my most trusted gun for that. I would hate to remove the scope to hunt Utah elk, but I would.
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,821
I would consider a muzzleloader hunt. My current gun has a magnification scope and it has been together for over 25 years. It never, ever is not sighted in and my most trusted gun for that. I would hate to remove the scope to hunt Utah elk, but I would.
Muzzleloader elk hunts are often times the best hunts in my opinion. You would not need to remove your scope from your muzzy this year, but who knows what future years will bring with the DWR looking at all technology.

I would highly recommend getting a muzzy tag this year on a good unit you can draw and getting after it (assuming you can't draw the early rifle).
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,821
I thought Utah had a 1x limit on ML scopes? Mine is 1.5X-5x
Nope-that has not been the case for 5 or 6 years now - you can have a magnifying scope on a muzzy.

Directly from the 2021 Utah Big Game Field Regulations Guidebook:

Muzzleloaders
Utah Code § 23-20-3 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-5-10
Muzzleloaders may be used during any big game hunt, except the archery hunt. To hunt big game with a muzzleloader, your muzzleloader must meet all of the following requirements:
•It can be loaded only from the muzzle.
•It may have open sights, peep sights or a variable- or fixed-power scope, including a magnifying scope.
 

tallelkchaser

Member
Messages
57
I thought Utah had a 1x limit on ML scopes? Mine is 1.5X-5x
This would be worth considering if you are comfortable with it. It’s now essentially a single shot rifle season if you want it to be and the peak of the right is often in line with this hunt. Only area hunts you would have to remove the scope would be one of the newer HAMS hunts.
That said I think this muzzy regs may be under review in coming years as technology used for hunting gets analyzed more.
 

DonVathome

Very Active Member
Messages
1,666
I did hear about that but forgot THANKS!!!! That makes a significant difference. Modern ML's are insane, I agree a single shot rifle.
 

hossblur

Long Time Member
Messages
7,761
I'd do early Wasatch.

Even in the era of climate change, every so often we get weather. Kinda suck to wait 20 years then get plastered with a storm that cuts off access.
 

DonVathome

Very Active Member
Messages
1,666
Thanks guys. I have a good shot (pun intended) for WY moose and elk this year. I am looking at a couple units/hunts tathave 1 NR tag but might increase to 2. Going to applying for muzzleloader or a mid rifle tag elk tag in Utah. I want to be done in Utah in 3 years so if not this year soon.

I appreciate all the help. I am leaning away from late rifle. I hunted late rifle in NV once not against it at all but good points about weather, broken horns, and less bulls are good suggestions. I like easier glassing.

I used to archery hunt a lot and have no problem getting within muzzeloader range of an elk. I think muzzleloader tags are easito draw so I get a slight edge. Rutting elk, good weather etc.
 

berrysblaster

Very Active Member
Messages
2,006
EB3EDE63-B9BC-47A3-B0F2-B00803880FEA.png

Looking at last year I missed the 22 point guys that jumped in, the previous years held at 19-20 points for multi season. Again, if it were me and I was choosing between the units mentioned I’d be doing wasatch multi, planning on hunting the early, and using the late as my backup in case I didn’t like what the early brought.
 

DonVathome

Very Active Member
Messages
1,666
I could easily draw severother tags so coming back might be difficult. I have debated thay tag several times. Odds, relatively speaking, are pretty good
 

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos
Top Bottom