Hunting buddy/ "mentor" needed :)

pELYgroso

'Merica
Location
LEHI, UT
I grew up hunting waterfowl and shot a deer when I was 15, but haven't been big game hunting since I've lived in Utah. (12+ years) I've been saying for the past few years that "next year" I'll get an elk tag and start hunting. Well, it's time to make that a reality but I honestly don't know much about big game hunting. I'm no stranger to firearms or the outdoors but don't really know what goes into "the hunt" that 99% of Utah does every fall. Do any of you have any room in your (elk) hunting party for a noob? I had a guy offer to take me to his preferred are in WY but at $600 per non-resident tag, it's a little rich for my blood for only the chance of a draw.

Any suggestions? :)
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
I grew up hunting waterfowl and shot a deer when I was 15, but haven't been big game hunting since I've lived in Utah. (12+ years) I've been saying for the past few years that "next year" I'll get an elk tag and start hunting. Well, it's time to make that a reality but I honestly don't know much about big game hunting. I'm no stranger to firearms or the outdoors but don't really know what goes into "the hunt" that 99% of Utah does every fall.

Me too. If nobody wants to let you play, let's go be noobs together this fall.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
I went hunting a few times... Then I realized I costs waaay more to hunt meat than to buy it.. so I quit.
 

mesha

By endurance we conquer
Supporting Vendor
Location
A.F.
I went hunting a few times... Then I realized I costs waaay more to hunt meat than to buy it.. so I quit.

I mostly agree with this. When you add up the cost of the gas, tags, guns, gear, etc. it doesn't seem economical. I figure I will go camping anyway, so that is a wash. I will have guns anyway, so that is a wash. I usually butcher it myself, so that is a wash. I like to drive cool places, so that is a wash. I enjoy time with my son teaching him to hunt and I like eating the meat I harvest. It lasts me all year and every time we have deer steaks my kids wonder if it is moms or dads deer we are eating. My son then talks about how it was his idea that led to us getting my deer. I would never have that experience buying beef. Plus, it is fun :) It is expensive, but.....

Driving a 4 wheel drive is more expensive than driving a honda civic, but I still drive a jeep. :p
 
D

Deleted member 12904

Guest
What area do you want to hunt? Also what style of hunting are you interested in? like hunting from quads with RV camping, spot and stalk with Backpacking in? "Hunting Groups" tend to be more of the RV and drive around on quads type of hunters.
 

jeeper

Currently without Jeep
Location
So Jo, Ut
What area do you want to hunt? Also what style of hunting are you interested in? like hunting from quads with RV camping, spot and stalk with Backpacking in? "Hunting Groups" tend to be more of the RV and drive around on quads type of hunters.

I am always amazed at how many trucks there are driving the main roads looking for the deer. Unless you get out and walk a ways, you will never find anything.

And I agree with Mesha.. There is a benefit to hunting for the stories and bonding.. And we also only own 4x4 vehicles ;)
 

Houndoc

Registered User
Location
Grantsville
I would be open to someone potentially joining my deer hunting group. As other said, need to make sure it is a good fit- personalities, type of hunting etc.
 

ID Bronco

Registered User
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
I am always amazed at how many trucks there are driving the main roads looking for the deer. Unless you get out and walk a ways, you will never find anything.

And I agree with Mesha.. There is a benefit to hunting for the stories and bonding.. And we also only own 4x4 vehicles ;)

My style is hiking, hiking, spotting, solitude, memories. That being said, I am not super successful and many of my "road hunting" buddies kill more animals from the road than I do. I hate that it's that way, but it is. I like to work for it, and have my kids remember the struggle makes the reward greater.

I am also partial to being able to use atv's. I don't but hate the extra rules prohibiting it.
 

Seven

Active Member
Location
Ogden southside
Now is the time to apply for antlered hunts this fall. I would suggest putting in for limited entry deer, Limited entry elk, and a general deer permit. The time to apply for antlerless hunts is in June generally. here is a link to where apply.

https://wildlife.utah.gov/2017-big-game.html


But you ask where does one put in for? That is only answered by yourself. Most likely with this being your first year you won't draw a Limited entry or general deer tag, however you will start building your points. Usually the more points you accrue the more likely you are to draw a tag. still there is a very small chance you could draw. It is going to take some time and effort to find where you would like to apply and many things can go into it. The following questions can narrow down choices.

How much time can I commit to the hunt?
How far am I willing to travel for hunt?
Do I like exploring new places?
Do I like staying in familiar places?
How much money can I invest in the hunt?
Do I enjoy hiking?
Do I enjoy driving dirt roads more than hiking?
How much effort will I put into the actual hunting while hunting?
Do I have a capable 4x4?
There are other questions but I think you get the idea.


Here are links to guidebooks for application and rules. They can tell you where the different hunt areas are and when the hunt date for certain species are in that area. I would narrow it down to 3-5 areas to further look into. From there you can use Google earth, hunting forums, and talking with other hunters to hopefully narrow it down to the area you want to apply. My favorite wildlife forum is

http://utahwildlife.net/forum/

Realize That asking about hunting areas is kind of a touchy subject to some. Take any advice with a grain of salt. generally I say you can believe about 75% of what other hunters will say. Many will not be truthful because they feel or fear that their "special" area on the mountain will now be overrun with hunters if they share it. Many will not share. Many will share where to camp and general area advice, but where to hunt in the area generally is not shared.


My advice is to start with a cow elk hunt. you can apply for those in june. They are generally a lot more laid back, have better success rates, and generally do not have the crowds that the general hunts have. You used to be able to draw them every year but lately it is a every other year affair.


Last but not least Youtube can be very helpful on not only how to hunt but more importantly what to do after you have made the harvest. From how to gut and transport to butchering if your so inclined.


hopefully that answered some questions.
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
That's good general pointers, Seven. I dig that hunting is a sort of touchy subject, that's what keeps me from asking about particular hunting areas or to join somebody. I have some more questions for anybody that wants to answer.

Are the antlerless deer hunts similar to the cow elk hunts, with respect to crowds and such? Do those happen in the same areas and same time as the buck hunts, or are they staggered? I don't need trophies and I like venison as much as I like elk so I'd want to go with whatever is likely to give me the best success rate. Goal number one is to fill the freezer, I'll worry about making things "fun" once I've got some skills. :)

I think I'd probably enjoy getting out of the truck and hiking into an area more than driving fire roads all day, but I don't have any idea where to start with that. Is there any point in spot-and-stalk style hunting if I haven't spent all summer scouting area, or could I have some success just picking somewhere remote and walking in and seeing what I see?

In terms of avoiding crowds and not getting in the way of a bunch of other hunters, what are some areas to avoid? Or should I just put in for every tag I can find and take what I can get?
 

Seven

Active Member
Location
Ogden southside
That's good general pointers, Seven. I dig that hunting is a sort of touchy subject, that's what keeps me from asking about particular hunting areas or to join somebody. I have some more questions for anybody that wants to answer.

Are the antlerless deer hunts similar to the cow elk hunts, with respect to crowds and such? Do those happen in the same areas and same time as the buck hunts, or are they staggered? I don't need trophies and I like venison as much as I like elk so I'd want to go with whatever is likely to give me the best success rate. Goal number one is to fill the freezer, I'll worry about making things "fun" once I've got some skills. :)

Cow tags are staggered from August 1st to January 31 of the following year. Some of them run that whole time, some run as short as a couple days. Most are the same areas as the buck areas, a few are made up of several or part of a buck area. generally they don't change much from the following year other than amount of tags given so you can look up the antlerless guidebook from 2016 and have a pretty good idea of what to do for 2017. I prefer the cow hunts that happen in December and January. mostly because I believe the snow gives me more advantage, and its fun to play in the snow with the vehicles. generally smaller crowds on cow hunts. depending on how analytical you want to get The Utah DWR website has stats on the application and success of every hunt. looking at those can sometimes help decide which areas are easier to draw and have a better success rate. They mostly follow the rule of the better the success rate the harder it is to draw. if an area is easy to draw or has left over tags after the draw generally that means that either the success rate sucks or that the area is either completely private land or majority of it is and unless you know a landowner you are SOL with that tag. Many people get the chalk creek antlerless tag ever year and then find out their is no public land and all the private land owners either wont let you hunt or want an pretty hefty fee to hunt their land.

I think I'd probably enjoy getting out of the truck and hiking into an area more than driving fire roads all day, but I don't have any idea where to start with that. Is there any point in spot-and-stalk style hunting if I haven't spent all summer scouting area, or could I have some success just picking somewhere remote and walking in and seeing what I see?

This is where google earth can help. I am no expert but I enjoy walking/hunting where there isn't a ton elevation change and the trees and meadows are interdispersed.

In terms of avoiding crowds and not getting in the way of a bunch of other hunters, what are some areas to avoid? Or should I just put in for every tag I can find and take what I can get?

hope that helps. ask more questions and I will try to help.
 

DAA

Premium Member
Supporting Member
All of the above. None of the above.

It can be what you make of it. It can be what it's going to be no matter how hard you try to make it what you want it to be.

Yes. No.

There are just so many possible variations on the theme. Every answer to every question has to start with "It depends....".

I stopped elk hunting, specifically, a long time ago. Because... I'm a solo act. And mostly a bowhunter, when given a choice. The last elk I killed, was with my bow, in late August, by myself. Getting all that meat out and not having any of it spoil, on a hot August afternoon and night, by myself, was a pretty long way from what I consider fun. I got it done, and I was proud, but it sucked. So, I haven't been elk hunting since. That was almost 20 years ago.

I share that, only to illustrate that, for anyone who has never done it before and is just setting out to begin... Think about how you are going to get all that meat out without letting it spoil, BEFORE you pull the trigger. Having companions would be a big asset. Knowing approximately how much each of you can carry, being able to figure how many trips out it will take, how long that will take vs. how long you have (very weather/temperature dependent) etc. Educated yourself ahead of time on how to properly care for a large animal like an elk to avoid bone sour and spoilage. Even in very cold temperatures, without proper care, you can have an elk go bad before you get it out really easy, if you don't take a few simple steps to prevent it. In warm weather, you really need to go right to work and not stop until it's done - and it's a lot of work.

For a brandy new noob, these things can come as a total surprise when you have an 800 lb dead animal in the bottom of a nasty canyon by yourself. I know of way too many elk that have been allowed to spoil/gone to waste because it wasn't thought about or given proper respect ahead of time. I pretty much flat out just don't even elk hunt anymore, because I don't want to deal with it, as a solo act and foot soldier.

Just something to think about.

- DAA
 

pELYgroso

'Merica
Location
LEHI, UT
Thanks for the advice everybody! I can see that it is different for everybody. I'm up for any style, really. I do have a 4 seater sxs and a 28' toy hauler camper that could be used, but I don't mind hiking all day either.

Having said that, I mentioned to some buddies my predicament and they invited me out with them this year. Hopefully that Will work out!
 

Houndoc

Registered User
Location
Grantsville
Most of my deer hunting is a mix of road hunting (partially getting to areas, partially my dad isn't healthy enough to do much else and partially it can work well!) with multiple hikes a day, usually covering 1-3 miles each time.

Last October my cousin shot a nice 3-4 (his first buck) less than 100 yards off the road, but that came after an hour or so of hiking and coming back towards the truck. Short, uphill drag.

brian with buck 2.jpg

Later that evening I shot a much smaller 3-4 about 1.5 miles off the road. Mostly down hill, but a much longer haul! Glad I had someone with me. Twice I have shot deer 1-2 miles off the road while hunting alone, and haven't enjoyed getting them back to the road.

my buck.jpg

2015 hunted in Wyoming. Original plan was about a 7 mile backpack in, then hunt 1-2 miles from camp. Was snowed out and ended up hunting closer to roads- still hiking some steep, rough country 1-2 miles from camp. No deer that year, although passed on a nice buck about 100 feet from a road.

On the Wyoming hunt I was hiking a steep, knife edge ridge on slick shale in a snow storm while stalking a buck and just keep thinking about switching focus to pronghorn!
 
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