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Old 10-15-2020, 11:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Honey hole

Been hunting over 30 years and found a few of my favorite honey holes but over past few year it's been slow. Up until 2 years ago every year I could have killed a multiple different bulls each year, but I'm there for the enjoyment not so much the kill anymore. Just not seeing the animals I used to see. its dry but Water sources are there and pressure hasnt been an issue. Think they just give to many darn tags out. anyone elses honey holes sound the same ?
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It happens. We used to have a spot in colorado that was super productive, it was our go to spot my whole life growing up, and as of late its just been dead. So many environmental factors and man-made issues can cause elk to completely move out of areas, but in my personal opinion its just the life cycle of things. Theyll return once the conditions or other factors change and cause them to change again.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's across the entire state. Lees deer from last years snow and now a drought. It will be interesting to see the number of animals harvested this year.
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Over all, yes numbers are down from a few years ago, but there’s still plenty of animals. During the summer I saw tons of elk, I mean A TON. After opening weekend of the bowhunt, they vacated any Areas that people ventured into. It was a struggle to find an elk in my spots that would produce every. Single. Time. So where did they go? I dunno, but they have to be somewhere. During my hunts in August and September, I didn’t see huge herds, but I did see a few here and there. Many in places I haven’t seen elk in previously. COVID brought people out of the woodwork. I saw people hiking for fun with their dogs and kids screaming, way off the main trails, everywhere I went. Elk hate people. Especially noisy ones and will move out of areas because of that. It also brought out “hunters” that have no idea what they are doing, but they had the time, so they went hunting. Combine that with how hot and dry it has been this fall, the animals really spread out, making them hard to find for everyone. I’m sure the elk are still there, you just have to dig pretty hard to find them this year.

As far as deer go, I’ve seen more deer this year than last on a couple different units. Last year was rough. They seem to be on a little bit of an upswing now, at least in central Utah. I saw a pile of spikes and 2 points on the muzzy hunt. Lots of does and fawns as well, but just like the elk, they are spread out more than normal too. It’s just a weird year on many levels.

Secret Honey holes in Utah Don’t exist anymore if you are on public land. Others know about them and they are hunting them. If you don’t believe me, go find any aspen patch in the area and look at the trees. There’s gonna be someone’s name and date on at least one of them. Just cuz you aren’t running into them, doesn’t mean they aren’t in there.
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You've had the same amount of tags for elk in Utah for a long time now, so it isn't more hunters.

In Colorado there are some problems with the elk herds. They have cut either sex archery OTC tags to just bull tags in a lot of units. They are restricting cow tags in a lot more units trying to get the numbers back up. There are also a few units where there is a disease that is lowering the numbers. I just heard about that the other day.

Where I live they are blaming hikers on a lot of it. They go past signs that say that the area is closed due to elk caving grounds, they don't think that it applies to them and their dogs. Wintering areas are also being built up which causes more problems.

For deer in Utah on a general tag, I would have no problem in filling my tag. There are plenty enough small bucks to hang a tag on but I will only put my tag on a mature buck. Now if I need some meat for the freezer I'll pop the first 2pt that I see.

I have been in a lot of areas and passed up more bucks that a lot of hunters even see.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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patterns change for a variety of reasons. i think most are environmental but some are for other reasons.

do you remember when your boss retired and you got his job? great, now we can stop doing all those pointless things he did and do stuff that makes sense. well, there's a lot of lead cows getting killed these days and mrs #2 might have some other ideas.

where i hunt there are mostly small herds. kill a covey of grouse and you don't have grouse there anymore. kill the whole herd over the course of a couple years and it may take some time for more elk to come back.

i'm not saying this is how it's happening but this is one plausible explanation for some change with all the hunters afield these days.
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All make sense I guess just figured it was more tags being issued someone told me you can buy 2 antlerless control permits now plus if you draw one plus the your any bull if that's the case 4 elk seems excessive.
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Old 10-15-2020, 03:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drizzle08 View Post
All make sense I guess just figured it was more tags being issued someone told me you can buy 2 antlerless control permits now plus if you draw one plus the your any bull if that's the case 4 elk seems excessive.
In Colorado you can have a unlimited number of cow elk tags, as long as they are for private property. Years ago they had a cap of 6 cow tags with one bull tag and I had a friend who picked up 6 cow tags. After the 4th cow elk he said that he had done a stupid thing in buying that many tags.
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Old 10-15-2020, 03:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drizzle08 View Post
All make sense I guess just figured it was more tags being issued someone told me you can buy 2 antlerless control permits now plus if you draw one plus the your any bull if that's the case 4 elk seems excessive.
You make a good point and there may be something to the availability of OTC control tags for cows in certain areas. I spoke to a couple of folks at a trailhead on the general elk hunt and they said they were going for bull or cow. One fella was a nonresident and said that the tag was a bargain. I heard more shooting this year than the past ten years combined. I could have killed a cow or two but it's not for me this season-bull only for me to make it worth while getting the beast back to the truck!

I gotta think that this year there was a good number of folks with the 'brown it's down' attitude. Not saying that's a problem but it's a change. I think that elk hunting has become more popular with the meateaters and joe rogan types making elk hunting cool. Lot of 20-something year old's out new in the field and wanna kill. Again, not saying it's wrong, but it feels like a change. Kinda what the duck dynasty guys did to duck hunting, is happening to elk. It will pass over time but this year has definitely been a weird one.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drizzle08 View Post
All make sense I guess just figured it was more tags being issued someone told me you can buy 2 antlerless control permits now plus if you draw one plus the your any bull if that's the case 4 elk seems excessive.
You can only have 3 elk tags per year in Utah, with the maximum of 1 tag being a bull.
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