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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This season has been good to my family, as has the UWN family. We've had a lot of good tips and finished the season strong with success on one of the local CWMU's. So, I'll just jump into the meat of it. Right at first light we saw hopalong cassidy crossing the road. She had a mean limp on the right hind and after a quick conversation about the ethics my wife decided to take her. We pulled over and gave chase, setting up just in time for a shot before she went into the junipers. Unfortunately, we were 60 seconds too early for shooting time so we headed up to the top of the junipers and made a plan. In the meantime I laid eyes on two herds of a couple hundred elk each. That was distraction number 2 of the day. After taking in the sights we started down the ridge cassidy went up with the plan to take her if we found her. Near the bottom of the ridge at less than 10' from me, cassidy jumped up and took off too quick for my wife to get a shot. On to the next distraction...

Noticing the elk were high on the ridge lines we went up a canyon that didn't want us up there, so we backed out carefully and still got stuck briefly. Readjusting to a workable herd we worked up between some steep walls and watched several hundred elk feed, move, bed and play. We were in a great spot to intercept the trailing elk until the wind switched and likely moved the elk into the next ridge out of our sight. I convinced the wife this was a spot and stalk hunt and we only had so much time to wait on the elk.

By now it was time for an early lunch and new plan. We headed for the back side where the bulk of the elk were moving to on to find a dying moose on the trail. It appeared to be wasting and likely had hours to live. I wanted badly to help her out but I understand the law and couldn't do anything for her.
Brown Snow Carnivore Natural landscape Wood



Less than a half mile away we began to see drag marks and my wife commented how much the place looked like you could see a mountain lion. Right about ten steps later a cougar ran within 20 yards of us. "That was cool" she said. We never felt threatened but assumed dinner was about to be served and with no elk close enough for a stalk we decided on yet another plan, leaving the herds we had been watching.

We headed for the "easier" part of the unit with less snow and less vertical relief. It only took a couple miles up the road before we saw the next 60 head of elk. They saw us first and spooked from almost 2 miles away. I was surprised how jumpy they were but we weren't the only ones after them this day. A quick check of the map and a road goes within a mile of where they might be headed, so the chase begins. We had good wind to move in and we closed the distance in about 20 minutes, checking each time we came up to a ridge. At the third ridge we had a choice to make. Did they wrap around the hill side we last saw them on or cross the drainage. We chose poorly and nearly got busted at 500 yards. Had this been a public land hunt I feel the game would have been over. Since I could see the tops of many ears and the eyes of a few elk we ducked down and tried to watch through the sage. Maybe they'd continue on and we'd get a shot. As jumpy as they were earlier we didn't want to take chances this late in the day. I set the wife up on my pack and started to coach her through the options we had. Thirty minutes went by and the elk had finally moved between sub ridges. We went over the options and decided to crouch down to stay out of sight since i could still see ears over the tops of the sage. When we reached the planned destination the setup wasn't ideal for her. She'd have a 330 yard shot unsupported. We decided to crawl out and use a wash to work downhill and reach the tail of the herd. After the wash petered out it was time to move on all fours. We went through several tries at getting a good shot and each time decided to crawl closer. Running out of cover we stopped at 146 yards and watched one spike, one cow and several ears on the back of the ridge they were bedded on. We practiced steadying for the shot with me stabilizing on some sage and her resting the gun on my shoulder. A lot of nerves had to calm down and we were almost there when the spike stood up and lined up on the downhill side of the cow. Back to waiting we went, going over bullet placement and scenarios. Ten minutes later the spike moved off and it was time. The cow was bedded facing steeply quartered away but a good shot was available. We went back to shooting position and she was confident the pin float was good. The safety went off and fifteen seconds later the shot went with an audible hit. The cow rolled to its side with a bang flop, DRT. One of only a few near instant kills.

I won't bore you with the details after but we collected our packs that were dropped along the way and got to work with the herd still nearby talking with me.
Wood Window Landscape Tints and shades Astronomical object


As she lay..
Cloud Sky Snow Mammal Natural landscape



Take aways:

-I'd pay just to drive through this wildlife preserve. Every part of the hunt was enjoyable.
-We never made it far into the unit and that is regrettable but i have a feeling we'll be back.
-We worked harder and not smarter but no regrets there.
-Opportunity was everywhere we looked. When we made it back to the truck there were 200 elk there to greet us.
-We did not see bear, goats or sheep. Every other big game animal and predator was present in large numbers. Lots of raptors too! In all there were about 800 elk we watched in a very small portion of the unit.
-No, I won't mention the unit. Those that are active here already know and I sure don't want to add to the points it takes to draw. That said, i'd be happy to help those that draw the tag in the future.

We planned for two days to hunt and with grandma watching the kids we opted for a night out to ourselves. Completely tired but happy none the less we had dinner and made it back to our cabin in time to watch a little tv before bed. What a day!

Sky Natural environment Natural landscape Cloud Snow
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Glad you had a great time. Seems like you make a habit of making the most out of hunts. Congrats to both of you!
Thank you. We certainly have made the most of this season. There were lifetime memories made this year with hopefully more to come. I hope everyone here gets to continue making these great memories long into the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All that effort to find cow moose, now you are tripping over them, LOL! I've have called the DWR, see if they'd come put it out of its misery and / or let you take some meat.

-DallanC
that's not the only one we've seen lately... the irony was not lost on me. we were sad for the moose but after a month of chasing them around the wasatch and now i can't go anywhere without finding one.

we did let the operator know and they were going to check it out in the morning. their first thought was poaching or a misidentified target. i feel like it was clearly a wasting issue as you could see where she had been pacing along the road and turning circles for a day or two. brain worm sucks but with the density of animals on that unit i can see how it can happen. i do wonder if the elk are that thick all the time or the early snows herded them up. private land hunting is relatively new to me.
 

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Great job - looks like the elk had moved out to the more broken, open areas of the unit. Always nice to finish in one day what you thought would take two. Great that it could be your wife that dropped the hammer. Love it when animals drop in place with no tracking required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great job - looks like the elk had moved out to the more broken, open areas of the unit. Always nice to finish in one day what you thought would take two. Great that it could be your wife that dropped the hammer. Love it when animals drop in place with no tracking required.
I bet there were still plenty back where you were the week before. They were all over that place. We were headed back that way when we spotted the herd she harvested from. Thanks again for the info!
 
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