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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girls kid drew the early season paunsaugunt elk tag at the expo this year. First year putting in and he drew one and my second year and I got one. I want him to have a great hunt this year for a first time elk hunt at 13. I’m hoping for some insight and not a full blown how to. We just got back from scouting this week and saw plenty of deer sign and pronghorn, but no elk. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I’m just trying to help this kid have an awesome experience.
 

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Congrats on the tags. So you both drew an early Paunsaugunt elk tag from the expo? Man what luck! Tough hunt for sure just reviewing the harvest results.

I am not entirely familiar with the unit other than doing some deer hunting down that way. But when we scouted for deer, and then hunted, we never saw elk or any sign of elk. I had considered a couple of years ago of putting in for the unit for easier draw odds, but ultimately decided to stick with what I knew best. When I was looking into it, I was told there could be elk found near Tropic Reservoir, etc. Might even try hitting up some locals. Alton CWMU traditionally has a number of elk tags and they seem to fill most of them. Might look at access near the unit.

You mentioned "awesome experience." I am not sure how you would define an awesome experience, or if inches are attached to that experience, or just the overall hunt. Should be a blast to hunt with all the world class deer you will likely see. I am not sure I would pass up too many bulls if one is to be spotted on that particular unit though. Again I am not as familiar with it as others might be. I believe there are a couple of forum members who live close by. Might want to search out Paunsaugunt topics and see if you can find any of those. Harvest results on the early rifle varied from low 30s to mid 50s.

Good luck!
 

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When I had the Paunsy muzzle deer tag 10 years ago we hunted around Tropic reservoir the first few days. Didn't see any deer I wanted to shoot, but did see elk on Whitemans bench a couple of times.
Only elk we saw the whole hunt.

Addition:
We saw one bull that had been taken, a maybe 270 6x6. It was on top of a Subaru 🤣
Thought that was kind of ironic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Congrats on the tags. So you both drew an early Paunsaugunt elk tag from the expo? Man what luck! Tough hunt for sure just reviewing the harvest results.

I am not entirely familiar with the unit other than doing some deer hunting down that way. But when we scouted for deer, and then hunted, we never saw elk or any sign of elk. I had considered a couple of years ago of putting in for the unit for easier draw odds, but ultimately decided to stick with what I knew best. When I was looking into it, I was told there could be elk found near Tropic Reservoir, etc. Might even try hitting up some locals. Alton CWMU traditionally has a number of elk tags and they seem to fill most of them. Might look at access near the unit.

You mentioned "awesome experience." I am not sure how you would define an awesome experience, or if inches are attached to that experience, or just the overall hunt. Should be a blast to hunt with all the world class deer you will likely see. I am not sure I would pass up too many bulls if one is to be spotted on that particular unit though. Again I am not as familiar with it as others might be. I believe there are a couple of forum members who live close by. Might want to search out Paunsaugunt topics and see if you can find any of those. Harvest results on the early rifle varied from low 30s to mid 50s.

Good luck!
Thanks for the advice. I drew the Manti Central archery tag. I guess by awesome experience I just want him to get something. I don’t care about size or anything I just want him to succeed. We are gonna continue to go down there so hopefully we see something on our trips. Your advice is great. Thank you again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I had the Paunsy muzzle deer tag 10 years ago we hunted around Tropic reservoir the first few days. Didn't see any deer I wanted to shoot, but did see elk on Whitemans bench a couple of times.
Only elk we saw the whole hunt.

Addition:
We saw one bull that had been taken, a maybe 270 6x6. It was on top of a Subaru 🤣
Thought that was kind of ironic.
Maybe they’re still on that same bench. We are gonna be venturing around the entire unit. Thank you for that tip. Hoping to start seeing some!
 

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Pauns is not an easy elk hunt. I would make sure that you set your expectations accordingly. Focus on a great hunt, not a trophy kill. That being said, a trophy kill is not out of the question.

My in-laws live in Tropic, and we've had the opportunity to hunt plenty of hunts on that unit. One thing we know for certain, is that elk hunting is hard on this unit! We've had our fair share of unsuccessful (ie: tag soup) elk hunts here.

It is ironic how many times we've been out looking for elk (not finding) only to hear that the ATV tourist groups ran into a herd, or a bull, on the trail ride. Don't discount those areas close to Ruby's Inn. Those elk will move all the way from Whiteman to the alfalfa fields north of Ruby's, and everywhere in between.

This is a great unit, with great country, and there is a ton a lot of places that the elk can go, including off the unit. Don't be afraid to talk with the locals. Go over to the Car Care center and ask those guys what they've been seeing -- they keep an eye on the deer / elk over there, and are usually willing to provide info.

Finally -- if you get desperate, don't be scared to go back to Ruby's and sign up for an ATV ride in the middle of the day -- that's when all the tourists see the elk!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Pauns is not an easy elk hunt. I would make sure that you set your expectations accordingly. Focus on a great hunt, not a trophy kill. That being said, a trophy kill is not out of the question.

My in-laws live in Tropic, and we've had the opportunity to hunt plenty of hunts on that unit. One thing we know for certain, is that elk hunting is hard on this unit! We've had our fair share of unsuccessful (ie: tag soup) elk hunts here.

It is ironic how many times we've been out looking for elk (not finding) only to hear that the ATV tourist groups ran into a herd, or a bull, on the trail ride. Don't discount those areas close to Ruby's Inn. Those elk will move all the way from Whiteman to the alfalfa fields north of Ruby's, and everywhere in between.

This is a great unit, with great country, and there is a ton a lot of places that the elk can go, including off the unit. Don't be afraid to talk with the locals. Go over to the Car Care center and ask those guys what they've been seeing -- they keep an eye on the deer / elk over there, and are usually willing to provide info.

Finally -- if you get desperate, don't be scared to go back to Ruby's and sign up for an ATV ride in the middle of the day -- that's when all the tourists see the elk!
Looks like I’m gonna do some tourist stuff with the boy next time down. Thanks for the tip. We are just gonna keep at it and work hard to see what we can turn up.
 

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We were down last week on a turkey hunt. tough time for turkeys, but we saw over 20 elk. at least 5 different groups. All of them within 5 miles of Tropic reservoir. Good luck!
 

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My girls kid drew the early season paunsaugunt elk tag at the expo this year. First year putting in and he drew one and my second year and I got one. I want him to have a great hunt this year for a first time elk hunt at 13. I’m hoping for some insight and not a full blown how to. We just got back from scouting this week and saw plenty of deer sign and pronghorn, but no elk. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I’m just trying to help this kid have an awesome experience.
First off congratulations to you. The Manti unit is a very easy unit to fill a tag.

Unfortunately the Pans unit is not so easy if you don't have a guide. I've unsuccessfully hunted it twice with my husband and we've taken elk 3x with our children by using guides. Two gotnus access to private lands on the unit and one we just drove the trails on the North slope of the unit and keep checking over ridges until we found an elk. However he had helpers also driving around pushing the animals up toward where we were looking, which I feel may have been a bit illegal at the time.
However being a psychologists for over 30 years the way you phrased some of your question has me wondering a few things. "Your girls kid" seems kind of possessive and makes me think you haven't been together very long and haven't built much of a relationship with the boy, his mother or his father. Is this trip a way to try and win over her child from his father? It comes across that way in your phrasing, like he also hunts with the boy and this is a way to one-up him. Where is the father? Is he activly involved in the boys life? If so, what activities do they share together? If hunting is one of them I'd stay away from it unless he is also involved in the hunt and you two frequently discuss the hunt and talk to eachother I would suggest steering clear of trying to push your way into activities they share together. Evidence shows trying to one-up a child's parent to win them over will more likely push him further away from his mother, than win him over his own father in this situation. As the situation sits I'm going to assume positive intent and that everyone gets a long well and say, the boy will have a great hunt experience whether or not he fills his tag if he is with people he cares about, the hunt is relaxing as a hunt should be and things were done for the right reasons.

However, if anyone has information on hunting the La Sal mtns. I'd appreciate that. It's the whole reason I came to the page to begin with. Looking for info for my granddaughters hunt.
 

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Maybe they’re still on that same bench. We are gonna be venturing around the entire unit. Thank you for that tip. Hoping to start seeing some!
That's where I'd be looking. I'd also spend most of my time down there on the archery hunt and ask those hunters what they are seeing. Maybe you could even help one of them out.
 
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