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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, new member to this site and new to hunting in Utah. I'm originally from Montana where I grew up buying a tag over the counter and the only time you were bummed about a draw was when you didn't get your #1 preferred unit (and got unit #2 or #3). I put in for Deer (2nd year), Anterless Deer (2nd year), Elk and Antlerless Elk this year. Didn't draw a single thing.

However, I've learned recently about the "Any Bull" tags you can buy over the counter and hunt with a rifle. I was wondering if someone could clarify these for me. Because from my (incorrect, I'm sure) understanding, I could buy one of these tags and just hunt in the area I put in for Bull elk. Is that correct? If that's the case, why is anyone putting in for a tag? I feel like there has to be some kind of catch to these tags, but I can't find anything digging through the legal mumbo-jumbo that we call regulations.

Can someone explain to me the advantage to drawing a tag over the general any bull tags? And what (if there are any) drawbacks there are to the any bull elk (rifle) tag?

Also, if any of you have spots that are more successful than others with these over the counter tags that you feel like sharing, I would appreciate it. I'm not looking to trophy hunt. Just bring home some elk meat and finally get to hunt big game again.

Thanks!
 

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The over the counter bull elk tags are only good in specific areas. The area that you applied for is most likely an Limited Entry Bull Elk area. On these areas you must draw an any bull tag. Most ( but not all ) are also over the counter spike bull areas. So depending on the area you applied for you could buy an over the counter spike tag and hunt that same area. The over the counter Any Bull tags are for specific areas only that have been classified as "Any Bull" areas. Check the proclamation for areas, but in these areas you can use the OTC any bull tag and kill a bull elk. These OTC tags are not valid in the Limited Entry Bull Elk areas like the spike tags.

Which areas have you been applying for?
 

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There's spike tags and any bull tags for rifle hunters that don't draw a limited entry area. Look at the map in the guide book it will show you which areas are spike areas and which areas are any bull areas for otc. The any bull areas have less elk and the spike areas are essentially the limited entry areas so there's generally more elk. You'll probably have a problem with seeing too many big Bulls that you can't shoot on the spike areas. I've been scouting the wasatch for the first time this summer and have probably seen more Bulls than cows and spikes. Hope this makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The over the counter bull elk tags are only good in specific areas. The area that you applied for is most likely an Limited Entry Bull Elk area. On these areas you must draw an any bull tag. Most ( but not all ) are also over the counter spike bull areas. So depending on the area you applied for you could buy an over the counter spike tag and hunt that same area. The over the counter Any Bull tags are for specific areas only that have been classified as "Any Bull" areas. Check the proclamation for areas, but in these areas you can use the OTC any bull tag and kill a bull elk. These OTC tags are not valid in the Limited Entry Bull Elk areas like the spike tags.

Which areas have you been applying for?
Deer, I applied for Pavhant and Beaver.

Elk, I applied for Hobble Creek (at the suggestion of a friend) for Bull and Central Mtns & North Manti for Cow.

I've heard the elk hunting is decent in the Ashley National Forest for an any bull tag. Any truth to that?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This is my understanding so far... (please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Tags you draw are limited entry. They have different seasons (I'm assuming earlier) and different higher-elk-density locations.

Any bull elk tags are over the counter, typically after the limited entry, and in different areas from the limited entry tags.

Spike elk tags are over the counter, typically after the limited entry, and are usually in the same area as the limited entry tags. Spike elk however, are more difficult to find.

How far off the mark am I so far?
 

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Some would argue that spike elk don't exist. I would add that you can get an elk control tag to go along with any buck or bull tag that allows you to hunt elk cows at the same time with the same weapon as your primary tag, only in certain areas but there's quite a few of them. It's usually best to draw an antlerless but if you don't, elk control tags are there.

http://wildlife.utah.gov/2015-antle...ules/guidebooks/1618-elk-control-permits.html
 
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