Antelope Island Yields Trophies

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A competitive bid process allowed the first hunters onto Antelope Island State Park. This is the first ever hunt since Utah has owned Antelope Island. The hunt was conducted in the state park from November 15-17th for the first round, the second round will be for resident draw-out hunters from November 19th-24th.

The first part of the hunt has yielded one trophy mule deer, and a big mature ram. The measurements on the mule deer's antlers was a 39 inch spread.

Antelope Island State Park brought in $283,000 from the two permits sold through the competitive bid, and 90% of that will go to maintenance for the island. The draw-out is also a two permit hunt, and that money will go to the Division of Wildlife Resources. Those were just the same price as a tag for draw-out mule deer and big horn sheep.

2012 will have the same permits for bid and draw-out around the same time in November. The State Parks and Recreation Board voted 5 to 2 to do it again next year. From the Standard-Examiner.


Retired2hunt's picture

Great Deal!


Congrats to the two winning bidders and their success in harvesting two great animals.  A 39 inch wide rack is certainly a once in a lifetime trophy.  The mature bighorn while not prividing specifics was most likely also a great specimen.  Both are to be congratulated.

Well I am of the opion that the program is set up correctly and is a great deal - for the park, for the hunters and for the Utah state DWR.  The first two tags - one for a mule buck and the other for a bighorn - are set up as a bid process and allows the two highest bidders to pay for their way and rights to hunt one of these animals on the first dates set aside for the special hunt.  The second two tags are sold at their draw-out prices of $508 and $163 so the average joe can afford them - if picked... and they go the second set of dates.  All of the money goes to appropriate venues to assist in the park management or wildlife resources in general.  So I don't think it is a hunt for only the rich hunters.  There are other draw and preference tags available.  And if you don't want to wait on the draw then you could spend the money for a special hunt.  I prefere to wait until I win the draw and then accomplish the scouting and then eventually the harvest - far more rewarding than going into a park that has had zero hunting and shooting an animal that has had virtually no pressure previously.  Just my opinion.

Bottom line - a good deal that provides extra revenue as well as giving 4 additional chances to hunt this park and the great animals that have been allowed to grow there.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

That's a good chunk of change

That's a good chunk of change to raise for the Division of Wildlife.  Almost $300,000 is nothing to sneeze at.  that will go a long way to helping out the different programs that they need to fund.

And, that fact that they took a 39 inch buck, I guess that shows that Antelope Island has some increadible animals.  A trophy Ram too.  Nice!  Glad to see the hunters of Utah getting a shot at some nice animals, even though I am sure the odds are pretty long.  Still, better than no chance at all.

30 years that they have had to grow, and not be hunted.  There's gotta be some fun hunt awaiting those people!  It will be interesting to see what they take in the next round of hunting!

hunter25's picture

Now that's a heck of a buck

Now that's a heck of a buck that was taken!! I've only seen a few in pictures that would go that wide or just a little more. But even at that I just don't think It's worth that much money. The surprising thing is the deer tag went for far more than the  sheep tag that was auctioned. We had the original auction results here back in February but the numbers don't quite line up from th eamounts posted before. Pretty close but not quite.

Anyway no matter how much the high bidder paid I would much rather like to hear the storey of the  lucky guys that grew out at the normal price. With the first time hunt ever with these tags I bet it was a reallt interesting experience for everyone that got to go.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

While I am all for states

While I am all for states using hunters and tag money to help raise more money for projects and such, But I agree that it could very quickly turn into an area where on a person with deep pockets could afford to hunt.  The average hunter will be the one that suffers the most. With all that said a mule deer with a 38 inch spread is truly a great deer and a trophy of a lifetime...congrat to all the lucky receipts of these tags.

COMeatHunter's picture

Not sure how much management

Not sure how much management of the animal populations these tags are accomplishing, but there is no mistaking the impact of $283,000 the park raised in selling the tags.  These funds are likely needed and will make a big difference in the annual budget for maintanence, etc.

The only downside I see is the perception of hunting turning into a rich man's sport where those with the big dollars, and are willing to spend them, get the hunts in the special areas.  Personally, I don't quite see it that way, but I can hear the arguments already about how it's unfair to exclude the "common" guy by auctioning off the tags.