I'm giving some hard thought to the LE archery elk hunt and have enough points for a likely draw. But I'm worried about pressure from other hunters getting the elk riled up and ruining any scouting advantage and with all the ATV trails up there...well. So you figure if I go for it, I'd better line up a horse?
My cousin drew the archery elk LE tag last year and we ran into a total of four hunters for three weeks while out in our hunting locations. Most of the archery hunters stay on the road. There are some excellent places down there, if end up drawing out let me know and I can give you a few places that we found lots of nice bulls. As far as a horse goes, it depends where you go, there are many places that horses wouldn't really be beneficial because of all of the atv trails as you mentioned, but there are some great places that horses would be very helpful.
Last year we were on a very nice bull, but it was not to far from a pretty major ATV trail, after the big labor day weekend that big bull was pushed way back up in there, where horses would of came in very handy. There are definitely a lot of people out on the Manti's and usually there are more recreational people than hunters where I go, but it is a big unit.
There certainly are hot spots; easy to get to and where deer are usually seen close to the road. I did see one nice bull that was actually crossing the road; did not get a really good look as it was very early a.m., but had a very nice spread.
I spend quite a bit of time scouting and hunting from Fairview in the north to the White Mountain in the south and it seems to me that the bow hunt(s) have by far the most camps, atvs, and hunters than any other time of the year. The nice weather might be part of that but some areas I now completely avoid. The main canyons have a lot of traffic and skyline can get busy. Of course there are great spots but most people know them. I also avoid openers, and weekends.
I happened upon quite a few hunters where I was, called in a few cows, shot a spike and called in about 5 hunters in that were obviously Hoochie Mama "experts".... Get off the beaten trail and you will be good. My buddy drew a LE archery tag last year, he never got a shot but did get close to some decent bulls when he hiked in a ways.
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