10 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Utah
Joined: 10/05/2003
Posts: 3
Help in the uintahs

Hey guys,
I just found this website and i love it. I like all the friendly advice. boy, do i need some. i've been hunting elk in the uintahs now for ten years and have never filled my tag. It's embarrasing and discouraging. i bust my ass every year and have even hunted with big talkers who "know" where the elk are. Still nothing. Is it possible that i am the worst hunter in the world? Is it possible to be this unlucky? I need some good words,advice,something. Im ready to sell my gun and give it all up.

Offline
Joined: 08/15/2003
Posts: 34
Help in the uintahs

call rusty hall. 801-731-4156. he is a guide. he is also a good friend and the editor of Trophy Hunter magazine. he has lived in northern utah for a long time and knows it like the back of his hand. he just took out a BIG country music star and took some big deer. give him a call. good luck. scott.

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Help in the uintahs

Welcome Tryagain, sorry to hear about the bad luck. Definitely sounds like you are persisent though and in hunting that goes a long way.

So are you seeing elk?

Seeing them but not getting close enough?

Close enough but missing?

Hitting them but they are getting away (hope not, but it is still a possibility)?

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Help in the uintahs

Aaahhh elk hunting the uinta's. I have uttered the exact same words you have. I began to think elk hunting the uinta's was like searching for bigfoot. I heard rumors there were elk there but I went 3 years in a row without seeing a one of em. I know your frustration. I nearly gave it up too but heres how I turned it around.

Elk hunting the uinta's is very difficult, think of it as chasing 60 elk on a million acres of the most gawd awful country with 3000 other hunters. Ok I'm stretching it a little but it is an any bull general area. This means a lot of pressure. Elk hate pressure and will go miles to avoid it.

I've heard many times that 80% of the elk killed every year are taken by the same hunters every year. Which means there is a formula. There are a few ways to be successful in the unita's.

1-Hire an outfitter.

2-Get premission to hunt private property. Very pricey though sometimes.

3-Go where everyone else isn't. This is what I do and believe me it can be a ton of work. You either have to have or rent horses. Or good old fashioned hiking is the answer. Either way the first thing you need to do is some scouting. Take out topos and find areas that look like good elk areas with no roads or major trails anywhere near them. At least a mile from the nearest road and thats where the hunting starts. The further the better. I hike 2 miles in to set up spike camp. I hunt sometimes up to 5 miles from the nearest road. Then go check the areas out and find sign and hopefully some animals. Once the hunt comes you need to plan at least 4 or 5 days and 7 is better. Usually it takes a couple of days just to find them.

If you're a road hunter or don't like to get too far from the road forget about it. You'll get an elk once every 15 years or so in the uinta's.

Don't get discouraged you're probably just not getting far enough away from at all and if thats the case you're not really in elk country or you're not taking enough time to find the elk.

Start putting in for the limited entry hunts, those are the good hunts. You'll be hooked after one of those babys.

Offline
Location: Utah
Joined: 10/05/2003
Posts: 3
Help in the uintahs

You guys are awesome. Sounds like i need to
change my tactics a little bit. i hike up there all summer and see the elk, but when it comes time to hunting them, they're not where they were two weeks before. Jump cows all the time, but have yet to see a bull during the hunt.
thanks for the advice, rather be. i usually stay within a mile of the roads, but run into orange all the time. What your saying makes sense, but ive been a little gun-shy about going too far back. I got lost
a few years ago. Really lost. Almost search and rescue lost. I think anyone who's hunted in the Uintahs knows that shit starts lookin all the same when your not sure where you are. I've got a damn Garmin, guess i'll have to learn how to use it!
Lets say i do shoot one five miles back.
What then. I know jerks who wont shoot an elk unless they can drive their rig right up to it. Is it really as hard to drag one out as i hear it is? In my pack i keep an article
entitled "how to quarter an elk". Is that the best way?
Thanks again guys. This is great stuff. I cant talk to my buddies about this. They're all big bad hunters. I'm 25 and have never filled a tag. not something i like to advertise!!

Offline
Location: Alabama
Joined: 08/25/2003
Posts: 634
Help in the uintahs

Quote:


On 2003-10-06 21:16, Tryagain wrote: i've been hunting elk in the uintahs now for ten years and have never filled my tag.

Ten years thats not bad at all i spent 5 years just trying to take a whitetail in woods that are full of whitetails. I mean literally There were days that i would have bucks run across the road in front of me while driving into my stand and I never saw one until one day BAM one walked out and then BOOM He droped like a sack of rocks when my 30-06 hit him. Keep trying and be glad you have the opportunity to elk hunt we dont here in Alabama

_________________
BORN TO HUNT, FORCED TO WORK!!

[ This Message was edited by: bnow0707 on 2003-10-09 18:34 ]

[ This Message was edited by: bnow0707 on 2003-10-09 18:35 ]

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Help in the uintahs

Quote:


On 2003-10-08 17:47, Tryagain wrote:
Lets say i do shoot one five miles back.
What then. I know jerks who wont shoot an elk unless they can drive their rig right up to it. Is it really as hard to drag one out as i hear it is? In my pack i keep an article
entitled "how to quarter an elk". Is that the best way?

Well the first time you do get an elk down miles in you'll wonder what you were thinking. I recommend going with at least two other guys. When one of you gets an elk down everybody helps and everybody gets some meat. Thats another reason for the longer hunt. Its hard sometimes to leave work on Friday, shoot an elk, get it 5 miles out on foot and be to work by Monday morning. Horses really make this a lot easier.

If you're packing it out by foot you're not going to do much dragging unless its a pretty steep hillside with snow on it. You need to learn to de-bone an elk. The bones will weigh near 100 lbs themselves. Quartering is the next best thing and ok for horses. Get some good meat sacks and a pack frame. If you have 3 guys you usually can pack out a small bull in 1 trip, 2 small trips at the most. Get in shape, get in shape and most improtantly get in shape.

If possible hunt higher than you're parked. Meaning even if you are hunting 5 miles from your truck try and park low, hunt high. If you get a bull down in a hole you'll probably end up losing a lot of it.

Like you said learn to use your Garmin and let people know where you're going and leave behind maps of your hunting area. Circle where you plan to go. Tell people if you don't check in by a certain day to send help.

I'm curious, what part of the uinta's are you huntin?

cowgal's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Help in the uintahs

For hauling deer or elk out, our family has used a homemade 'deer hauler' that kind of looks like a wheelbarrow, but its just a pipe frame with a big wheel (bicycle sized wheel). My husband built it over 25 years ago and it has worked well. That way you tie your elk/deer onto it and haul it out by pushing it or pulling it behind you. The large wheel allows it to go over rough terrain easier than a small sized tire would. If you're hiking in a long way, I would take it along immediately, so you would have it handy & not have to hike back to your truck & get it.

Ours is built with just one tire, but I think it would be easier to handle (& more stable) if it had 2 tires.

Not sure if something similar is available commercially.

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Help in the uintahs

Quote:


Well the first time you do get an elk down miles in you'll wonder what you were thinking.

LOL and the truth! Especially if you shot it in a bowl or gully....

Unless your Lou Ferrigno in his prime, I wouldn't recommend trying to drag it out alone. Very well might blow your ticker, that is if you don't keel over after seeing upclose what you have shot. Wink

Quartering or boning out is your only way to go if your by yourself. It is possible to drag an elk quite a ways with 2 or more guys, but it depends on your stamina, how much time you have, and if it is downhill.

You can use a game carrier (there are commercial versions) like Cowgal suggested to. You don't have to use it for the whole elk, but you can use it for a half or a quarter each.

People also use pack frames to load up a quarter on to their back.

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-10-12 20:23 ]

Offline
Location: Utah
Joined: 10/05/2003
Posts: 3
Help in the uintahs

Thanks for all the good advise again, guys.
sorry i havent replied, been gone for a while. the answer to your question, Rather Be,is anywhere between above saopstone and below the summit. Most the time on the north side of the highway. Beautiful places!
You know the area well?

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Help in the uintahs

For the most part I stay on the south side of the highway but I've been all over up there and I do know it pretty well. I usually hunt around soapstone, high uinta wilderness, table top mountain, and whitney resevoir. But the elk seem to be getting stronger on the north slope so I'm thinking about hunting more on the north slope.