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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Manti La sal National forest???

Any of you guys ever hunted the M.L.S.N.F. for elk?  I hunted it about 9-10 years ago for mule deer, on Abajo peak near Monticello.  It was absolutely gorgeous country, and I was almost run over by a herd of 10 or so elk.  I was looking at some guides that I googled, and it appears that the National Forest holds some good bulls.

Anyone have any info?  I don't know how big the NF is, and I have only hunted the Abajo peak part.  I am thinking about putting in for a tag there, if I do not do Colorado first.

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good hunting, but tough draw country

consider racking up the Colorado and Utah preference points, while hunting OTC or second choice in Colorado.  Might take a few years to draw the tag you want in Utah.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Yeah, I figured it would be a

Yeah, I figured it would be a tough draw, just wondering if anyone was familiar with it.  I have a couple of friends who have land within a short drive from Durango, so that probably is the best bet.

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Joined: 01/22/2007
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The Manti-LaSal forest covers

The Manti-LaSal forest covers a very large area. There are numerous elk units that reside with in the National Forest boundaries. Most of these units are Spike Bull units with Limited Entry Mature Bulls given out in the annual tag lottery.

Abajo mountains are part of the San Juan elk unit. It has some great bulls. Probaby some of the largest trophys in the state.  It is very difficult to draw.  The elk in that area are on NF land earlier in the season and they move down onto private land as the weather turns colder. Don't be surprised if it takes 15-18 points to draw on that unit.

 

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Thanks for that info.  That's

Thanks for that info.  That's what I was looking for.  I was there for rifle mule deer with a SE tag, and there was no snow yet.  I saw the elk pretty near the top, around 10,500 feet or so.

Out of curiosity, do they give any tags away NOT based on points?  In CA, they have to hold out at least 10% (I think) of the tags for a free for all draw, and the rest are done on points.  of course, some zones only have 5 or 6 tags, so that means only 1 tag per area is available to everyone.  Guess I better start putting in now, huh???? lol

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
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UT

I think I have 10 LE elk points for UT. I'm sure there are guys on here who can help you out but when I'm looking for Utah specific information I go to Mulie Madness. There a bunch of good people over there and it seems to be mostly about Utah. I'm trying to decide how much longer to collect UT LE elk points. It's getting expensive. For many years you could just buy a point. Now you have to buy a non-resident hunting license FIRST. So I think it's around $75 a point instead of $10. I missed putting in two years and I could kick myself. Those "lost" points will cost me an additional $130. Every year I get a nice UT NR license in the mail and throw it right in the trash. Point creep is a killer but I'm hoping the higher price to get points will have some people drop out. I dunno, maybe I'm just nuts about elk hunting? I think it's much easier to get a spike bull or cow tag. Anything bigger than a spike is gonna cost ya.

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You can buy a spike bull tag

You can buy a spike bull tag over the counter. Most of the state offers spike hunting the first week of October.  Cow tags are a lottery that you apply for in April. I usually draw one about every other year. that just a meat hunt for us.

The big bull tags are turning into a once in a life time kind of tag. It took me 15 years to draw my tag, I now have a 5 year waiting period before I can apply again, And if it takes 15 years again, it becomes a once every 20 year event.

Utah's point system gives 50% of the tags to hunters with MAX points. The remaining 50% of the tags are randomly spread over all applicants. So yes it's possible to draw with 1 point, or 5 points of 12 points. It took 15 points for me to draw a LE Bull but I drew my Desert Bighorn Ram tag with 0 points. It's all in the luck of the draw.  If you download the draw results from previous years you can see how the tags were spread over the various points. It's purely a computer generated selection.

Utah has been one of the last to require a valid license before you can apply for the draw. Most western states have seen that as a revenue maker.

There are several other options. Utah gives 5% of the tags to charitable organization that sell the tags to the highest bidder. These raise an exceptional amount of money that is funneled back into Utah wildlife.  The Utah Sportsman Expo ( late Jan early Feb) gives away 200-300 hunting tags at the show. It's a $5 application to put in. But you have to attend the show in person. Plan a ski trip, attend the show and visit with guide and manufactures and take your chances.

There are numerous banquets each winter where organization like Sportman for Fish and Wildlife( SFW) or Muley Foundation have their annual dinner. They raffle off the occasional tag, but they auction off the bulk of their donated tags.  You can often win the auction of a great elk tag for $5000-$8000.  I've seen desert bighorn tags sell for $30,000 and high as $85,000 depend on the ecconomy that year. So come support your favorite group, eat some banquet food and buy a auction tag.  Better yet. buy my ticket to the banquet and I'll bid for you with you on the phone. You won't have to have to travel or hotel food.

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Okay, that's what I was

Okay, that's what I was looking for.  That's alot better than California.  We only give 10% of tags spread across the applicants, the rest with max points.  So, another question, While I wait my 15 years foor that tag, what of the following choices would you do......

1.  Get a tag for the Durango area of Co, which I think the later seasons could be OTC.  And, I am not sure, but I think the later seasons could still be for any bull, so i am not limited to a spike.   Also, if a meat hunt, maybe try Cow.

2.  Get an OTC spike tag for the area in Utah I am talking about?

Both choices have advantages and disadvantages.  I hve been to utah, and not CO.  However, I know at least 2 people whose family has land, or at least hunt elk regularly on public land in SW Colorado. 

 

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Location: Southern NH
Joined: 09/13/2006
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CO

I'm not sure which GMU your talking about in CO but if you go to the DOW website you can find out what hunts are available. CO's rules are different than UT. They usually either have a 4-point restriction or no restriction in CO. The herds are managed a little differently than UT.

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