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ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
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SE utah hunt (hopefully for 2012)

i purchased a preference point for utah this year, but i'll apply next year for the tag and hopefully i'll get it.

i've been looking at google earth a lot and trying to narrow it down to a specific area. so far, i've got the manti- la salle national forest.

area 1- abejo mountains. west of monticello

area 2- dark canyon area. (south of froest service facility.) ( 37°47'22.06"N  109°46'40.43"W) SW of round mountain

area 3- hammond canyon. south of south elk ridge.

 

all these places are west and sw of monticello, ut. and fairly easy to find on google earth.

these 3 areas looked like they offer good access by 4wd and it's all national forest and i can camp there for free. and it looks like good territory. looks like there will be water in some of these places all year, but no way to tell.

 

if you've hunted here in the past, let me know. let me know if i'm way off base in my thinking. am i loking at too high elevation, too low?

Critter's picture
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I haven't hunted that area

I haven't hunted that area for deer but I have for turkeys while most of the deer were down on the Indian reservation.  When I did hunt the northern Elk Ridge area usually if you got a cold rain or snow it would push the deer off of the high mountain and they would start their migration down low.

  Just some info for you, next year Utah is going to 30 separate deer units and do away with the regions.  So the hunt area that you are looking at is 14a = San Juan, Abajo Mountains  and may change a couple of your plans. 

Here is a map of what is going to take place next year. 

http://wildlife.utah.gov/hunting/biggame/wmas.php

 

ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
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i'm going to have to say that

i'm going to have to say that 14b is what i'm really looking into. if it were going to be a SE tag, i'd go the henry mountains in unit 15 just west of 14b on the other side of the national park.

i've heard that the unit 15 tag will be very difficult to get. but at this point, i wonder how much i hear is only speculation. but the dark canyon area and abajo mountains have some good looking territory as well. plus, i like hunting hard terraine, it makes me feel like i've accomplished something.

Critter's picture
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14b is a limited entry area

14b is a limited entry area that is quite hard to draw.  For this years hunt there were 3 successful non-residents and the odds were 1:52.  The Henry Mountain tag is even harder, it is considered a "premium hunt".  This year there was 1 successful non-resident and the odds were 1:549. 

So in reality you'll just have to wait until the guide book comes out next year and check the boundary description to see just where the boundary location is actually at.  That is unless your eyes are better than mine on the map that they offer right now.  Like I said they are going from a 5 region area to 30 seperate units where you will need to pick the one unit that you plan to hunt.   

ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
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yeah, i spent some time

yeah, i spent some time looking at that little map. i tried zooming in on it with my internet browser, i tried using a screen shot and looking for a blown up version on their web page. nothing worked.

from the population data on the internet, the abajo mountains have twice the number of deer than the elk ridge sub unit. i'm really looking forward to this hunt. i don't have any good tags for this fall, so all i can do is think about tags i can get later. i hate this part of the year. it's almost as bad as immediately after season.

 

thanks for the info on that critter.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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I hunted Abajo Peak about 10

I hunted Abajo Peak about 10 years ago.  Beautiful area, and at least back then, you didn't even need 4 wheel drive.  The road was improved all the way to the top.

We saw some deer, and one of the guys in camp got one, but the big thing was hunters.  There were TONS of them.  Maybe because it was so easy to access, but they were at every pullout up the mountain.  Never seen so many camps.

That being said, if you can get in there away from the roads, it's a nice walk.  I didn't run into any hunters while I was walking during the 5 days I was in the woods. Did run into my first elk in the woods there.  Herd of about 10, cows and a few raghorns, almost ran me over as I was sitting there.  They stopped about 20 yards from me.  Kinda got my heart going.... lol

Oh, and on a side note, that little pond on the way up the mountain, just outside of town, has great trout fishing, or at least it did... Wink

Critter's picture
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There still are nice fish in

There still are nice fish in that pond and unless they change the rules when you get your big game license you'll also have a fishing license to go with it.  So if you do draw out and need something nice and fesh for dinner I would recommend it. 

ndemiter's picture
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i did notice that access

i did notice that access looked super easy. i hope that the hunters numbers wouldn't be so bad with the limited entry permits.

the habitat looks great in that area. which is why that area holds twice the number of deer the surrounding areas do.

i may try it still. every hunter wants to get a tag for the best units with the best access with no other pressure, but it doesn't really exist. i'm young and in good shape, so i should be able to lay some tracks down and hike to places most people can't reach. but i'm old enough to not be looking forward to that.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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I don't know if the number of

I don't know if the number of permits issued has changed in the last decade, but there was no shortage of hunters for sure. 

That being said, as I mentioned, if you get off the road, even a little bit, I don't think you'll run into too many hunters.  I found a nice side road and drove up it a little, got out, and walked around all day.  Never saw another soul.

Alot of the guys stayed close to the road.  Heck, when I was sitting in wide open area near the summit, I even saw a truck stop across the draw.  A shot rang out, and the guys walked up the hill and drug a deer back down to the truck.  To this day, I still think they shot it from the vehicle, but can't say positively.  So, I guess there were alot of "road" hunters in the truest sense......

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