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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oh how I am torn. I should have a Book Cliffs tag this year (deer). I was out there last year with a friend and what a hard hunt compared to a decade ago! I'm sure there are still some good ones in there, but being from Vernal and knowing what it used to be just hurts. I spent the whole general season deer hunt down there and also the week of Thanksgiving went down for a day to see what was lurking around and was shocked at how the big boys seem to be gone. Lot's of small bucks.

Did I just have a few bad days down there or has it gone to hell?

I am just trying to decide if I should roll the dice and wait for the Henry's at this point. I also spent two days down there just after the rifle hunt and wow! They grow 'em right there. Nothing like seeing a swollen up buck chasing does with trash all over his head...and then driving 1/4 mile and seeing two more.

What would you all do? 12 points LE Deer for 2016?
 

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I think you can still find a decent buck in the Book Cliffs with some looking. I recall a forum member on here stating that he saw some very nice deer in there a year or two ago. I went with a family member on his deer hunt there in 2013. We didn't find any monsters, but we had fun and saw several decent 4-points and brought one of them home.

Unless you get lucky, you'll be waiting another 15-25 years for the Henry Mountains rifle tag, maybe 10-12 years for the archery tag, and maybe 14-18 years for muzzleloader (those are very rough guesses, so I'd recommend checking out the drawing odds for yourself).

How much time do you have? If you're fairly young or you don't mind a wait, it might be worth sticking it out. If you're getting old or you want to get started on applying for a different LE species, it might be better to cash in your points and go have some fun in the Book Cliffs.
 

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I think the Book cliffs is still a good area just people like to road hunt granted there are roads everywhere but if you get off the road you will find what your after.... lots of people hunt up high normally I have seen some great bucks low in the cedars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rifle hunt. I'm sure there are still some big bucks in there. And yes, there's a lot of 22-24" 4 points. But being from the area it used to have some hogs in there. We made it a Thanksgiving tradition to go down and film the bucks that were in there and without fail we would come across several 200"+ bucks. I know the area from top to bottom. The gas drilling probably hurt it a lot with the addition of easier access with all the roads and traffic...but the bucks would still work their way in there during the rut. Not to mention lots of poached bucks - but what a shame to see it decline so much. We hunted prior to the closure of the 90's and sadly I think its headed back to that. Not sure if it has been over hunted or poached or what. Anyway, the fact that it's not what it was makes me think possibly putting in on some of newly formed late LE muzzleloader hunts might be better. Wasatch now has a Nov 2-8 hunt. That sounds fun. It will be interesting to see what the odds are when that is drawn...along with some of the other units.

You're right, I probably have another decade for the Henry's. Diamond Mountain has become a gem the past several years too. A lot is private though. That's what I'm leaning toward I think. I just was curious if others have noticed the Book Cliffs decline and have some good alternatives that might be on the rise. I admit I have high hopes. I won't pull the trigger on a 24-26" buck. I don't mean to sound greedy but I'd rather just get out and see a lot of really nice bucks and feel like I can pass on a 26" buck knowing I will find a big one. I have a couple 28-30" and the wife says I can't hang anymore unless they're bigger. Ha ha.

Either way it will be fun to just get out and enjoy those beautiful animals. Nothing makes me crazy like those Muleys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are some great alternatives out there some sneaky good cwmu's.
You know, I admit, I am ignorant when it comes to CWMU's. I've heard some horror stories of people getting tags and the owners not allowing them on until the deer move out or they fill their landowner tags or only allowing access to a small area of the unit where there are no deer. Any thoughts on that and how it works?
 

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Oh how I am torn. I should have a Book Cliffs tag this year (deer). I was out there last year with a friend and what a hard hunt compared to a decade ago! I'm sure there are still some good ones in there, but being from Vernal and knowing what it used to be just hurts. I spent the whole general season deer hunt down there and also the week of Thanksgiving went down for a day to see what was lurking around and was shocked at how the big boys seem to be gone. Lot's of small bucks.

Did I just have a few bad days down there or has it gone to hell?

I am just trying to decide if I should roll the dice and wait for the Henry's at this point. I also spent two days down there just after the rifle hunt and wow! They grow 'em right there. Nothing like seeing a swollen up buck chasing does with trash all over his head...and then driving 1/4 mile and seeing two more.

What would you all do? 12 points LE Deer for 2016?
Id wait 2 or 3 years and try to get a Henrys management hunt and shoot the biggest 3x4 you see 8)
 

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It sounds to me like you are wanting a very high end caliber buck--nothing wrong with that. If I had your points, I'd probably put in for the next decade hoping to pull a Henry mountains archery tag.
 

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The Old Boys like me call the Deer in the Books the Snow Flake Deer. One Snow Flake and they just get outa Dodge. I Archery hunted it 6 years ago. Shot a 7x5 with 2 crab claws down below his eye. only 21 inches wide.. Have taken some larger Bucks, But this guy is my favorite.. All in what ur looking for))------------>
 

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Unless you get lucky, you'll be waiting another 15-25 years for the Henry Mountains rifle tag, maybe 10-12 years for the archery tag, and maybe 14-18 years for muzzleloader (those are very rough guesses, so I'd recommend checking out the drawing odds for yourself).
Try more like:
- Archery 25 to 33 years
- Muzzleloader 45 to 54 years
- Rifle 79 to 103 years
And these numbers are WITH 12 points.

San Juan, Elk Ridge would be 2 to 4 years away, might consider that as an option.
 

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Diamond Mt. I have no idea what it takes to draw with any weapon... that's where I would go!
Here's the best answer,
And 12 points will draw it....!
 

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Try more like:
- Archery 25 to 33 years
- Muzzleloader 45 to 54 years
- Rifle 79 to 103 years
And these numbers are WITH 12 points.

San Juan, Elk Ridge would be 2 to 4 years away, might consider that as an option.
Oops. I read 23 bonus tags off of the drawing odds for the rifle hunt, when there are 23 tags total...

Suffice it to say you'll be waiting awhile. The new question is, can you outlast those ahead of you? There's no way it will really take you 79 years to draw the rifle tag (unless we all start living for a very long time), but there will certainly be people who die waiting for their chance...
 

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Diamond Mt is a solid option seen some nice bucks come off of it last year. As far cwmu there is a page on the dwr website dedicated to the satisfaction index rules and contact numbers of every cwmu in the state you can usually get a good feel from talking to some of the operators
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'd go diamond mtn!
Yeah, I think I may. I know it well being from Vernal. It had indeed had some nice bucks taken from there the past several years. It has gotten a lot of attention too. Never did 8 think it would take 10 years to get a Diamond tag.
 

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Yeah, I think I may. I know it well being from Vernal. It had indeed had some nice bucks taken from there the past several years. It has gotten a lot of attention too. Never did 8 think it would take 10 years to get a Diamond tag.
Being from vernal gives you a lot more time to scout! Maybe consider the book cliffs multi season tag? I don't know how many points that takes to draw off the top of my head.
 
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