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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I am in the process of researching all the different hunts for deer and elk next year. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for someone just starting out and trying to figure out what area(s) they'd like to put in for.

I figure I'll look at draw odds, and success rates for those areas. I'll also take into consideration how feasible it'll be for me to get out and scout/amount of time i'll actually be able to hunt in a particular area--ie distance from my home. I will be archery hunting this year.

What other things should a noob like me be researching to help me find what areas would be best for me to apply for?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Great odds with archery as your first choice. Select a couple areas you could hunt. I would personally prioritize by possible time spent in field. Any deer with a bow is a trophy, especially if you are new. So if you aren't after a particular deer, 1st choice- most time. Put in for a couple areas and you should get a tag.

And if you aren't holding out and don't know much about extended I might recommend shooting first legal buck. If your goal is to tag out. Don't get all picky on a deer ubless you know where and how much you will be hunting in November.
 

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if you are new to the hunt I would surely put in the for the dedicated hunter.
 
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I 2nd that, with archery, your first priority is an area that you will be able to maximize you're time in the field. There's so much learning that happens when you actually get in the area. The more time you have to scout and hunt, even if the success rate or deer size isn't optimal, will benefit you in future hunts.
 

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If you are archery elk hunting you are in luck. The archery elk tag is good statewide and good for either sex. On limited entry units you cannot kill branch antlered bulls, though, only spikes and cows. On the open bull units you can kill any cow, calf, spike, or branch antlered bull you see. Archery elk and deer run concurrently so if you draw a deer tag in a place that also happens to be a good elk area, you can enjoy a mixed bag hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you are archery elk hunting you are in luck. The archery elk tag is good statewide and good for either sex. On limited entry units you cannot kill branch antlered bulls, though, only spikes and cows. On the open bull units you can kill any cow, calf, spike, or branch antlered bull you see. Archery elk and deer run concurrently so if you draw a deer tag in a place that also happens to be a good elk area, you can enjoy a mixed bag hunt.
Wow! I did not know that. That is awesome!

I think I've narrowed my list or units down to four. I know they'll prob have a TON of hunters, but I know the areas well and I know I'll be able to get out there and do a ton of scouting in the spring and summer.

muleskinner, you suggested dedicated hunter. I've been reading up on that. I only have a bow, a shotgun and a little .22 plinker. I don't think I'll be able to invest in a rifle/muzzleloader before next fall. Would it still be beneficial to apply for the dedicated hunter program? or shoul I hold out until I have more equipment?

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
 

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Wow! I did not know that. That is awesome!

I think I've narrowed my list or units down to four. I know they'll prob have a TON of hunters, but I know the areas well and I know I'll be able to get out there and do a ton of scouting in the spring and summer.

muleskinner, you suggested dedicated hunter. I've been reading up on that. I only have a bow, a shotgun and a little .22 plinker. I don't think I'll be able to invest in a rifle/muzzleloader before next fall. Would it still be beneficial to apply for the dedicated hunter program? or shoul I hold out until I have more equipment?

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
I'd say so. The dedicated hunter program is a 3 year program where you are guaranteed a tag for all 3 years, but you have to go one year without filling the tag. So if you kill your first 2 years, you sit the third year out. If you are able to get a rifle and/or muzzleloader by next year you will at least be able to hunt with it 2 out of the 3 years you are in the program. The rifle hunt is technically the "any legal weapon hunt" so you could hunt that your first year with your bow or your shotgun loaded with slugs or buckshot at least size 4 or larger I believe (check the regs to make sure). Keep a close eye on facebook pages like Utah Gun Trader, northern Utah hunting and fishing, and southern Utah hunting and fishing sales as people are often selling firearms for very reasonable prices there. You could even go to the trading post forum and let the good folks at UWN know that you are looking for a rifle and/or muzzleloader and somebody here might give you a hook up. If you do enough networking and get some good hunting friends you can probably find people who will be happy to let you use a loner rifle.
 

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Wouldn't he be able to use his bow in both the muzzy and rifle hunts were he to get into the dedicated hunter program?
 

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You can use a bow in the bow and any weapon hunts but not on a muzzy hunt.
 
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