Most elk are south of State Route 21 which bisects the unit east to west. There are a some elk north of 21 but most are south. Elk are found on all mountain ranges except for the Black Hills between Cedar City and Minersville. Elk use all habitats from the bottom of the valleys to the top of the mountains. The Southwest Desert Unit is 96% public land, but hunters should be aware of the private lands and learn the boundaries. Please be respectful of private lands and other hunters.
Spike bulls can be found throughout the unit. More elk reside in the central portions of the unit on and surrounding the Indian Peaks Range. Elk can be found from the bottoms of the valleys in the open sagebrush to the top of the mountain in the Pinions and Mahogany. The Southwest Desert unit is a very large unit. It can be a difficult hunt. You may have days without seeing an elk because the density is low. To increase your chances of seeing elk it is best to find water in good elk habitat. There are several guzzlers and springs in this desert area, but even around these water sources there are very few elk. Some good areas to hunt are the following: Stateline/Hamlin Valley – BLM and SITLA lands along the Utah/Nevada border from the Paradise to White Rocks areas. This area is very accessible with some larger blocks of private properties. Indian Peaks Range – BLM, SITLA and DWR lands from Arrowhead Pass to Vance Pass. This area also has a few larger blocks of private land. South Wah Wah Range- BLM and SITLA lands from Rose Spring Canyon to Highway 21 on Wah Wah summit. This area is covered heavily with pinion and juniper. Hunting near perennial water sources will greatly increase your success. Mountain Home Range- BLM and SITLA lands from the Loper’s Reseed area to Mt Home Pass. This area is covered heavily with pinion and juniper. Hunting near perennial water sources will greatly increase your success.
Hunters should be prepared with extra gas and water this unit is remote and there are no services available. This is a very remote location with some areas with limited access. Cellular phone coverage is very spotty on this hunt unit. Digital cell phones may show several bars but cannot always connect due to the distance to the cell towers. Satellite phones do work in the area. The biologist suggests hand held radios and even a "Spot Tracker" type of satellite messaging device for safety. Make sure someone knows where you plan to camp and when you will return.
Hunt #EB1004 (Spike Only Units) - Southwest Desert .” Utah Hunt Planner -- Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, dwrapps.utah.gov/huntboundary/hbstart?HN=EB1004.