Bull Elk - Utah CWMU

Here in Utah the fish and game has instituted a program that is designed to keep private range and forest land undeveloped with habitat suitable for wildlife. This Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) program, as it is called, has opened up millions of acres of hunting opportunities to public hunters in exchange for issuing deer and elk tags to landowners. While landowners have the ability to sell most of their tags for a premium price, they are also required to let a certain number of public hunters hunt at no cost.

Utah cwmu elk hunt Indian Head Lodge
                                     Back at the lodge for dinner


This year our buddy Joe was lucky enough to draw the public elk tag to hunt on Indian Head and we would be hunting in mid-September, right during the rut. 

Korey Wright operates a first rate outfit and hooked us up with guides Tony and Tyrell who were intimately familiar with the area. They met us well before daylight and laid out the plan for the day. Soon after we packed up the side-by-side with all of our gear and headed up the mountain. Our first destination would be a waterhole where they had been seeing several good bulls.

elk hunting spotting bull elk
                                                           Checking out a feeding bull


At first light we had hiked to a position overlooking a waterhole 500 yards below. It wasn’t long before we had elk bugling up the mountainside to the east. Both Tony and Tyrell started calling and within minutes we had a bull walk right out and come to water. This bull wasn’t a shooter but it sure was thrilling to watch him strut his stuff. All the commotion had another bull all fired up further up the mountain. Twenty minutes later a huge 6 point bull with an extremely wide rack showed himself. Unfortunately we weren’t able to connect on this bull, but we sure were having a blast!


6 point bull elk bugling
                                                  Small 6 point bugling at the water hole


After a couple more unsuccessful stalks, we finally spotted a bull feeding with approximately 15 cows. Looking him over closely through the spotting scope, it was evident that this bull was an average 6x6. However, Joe not being the finicky type said the bull would satisfy his quest for a limited entry bull. It was now early afternoon and it would take at least an hour to get within shooting range. Tyrell and I watched as Joe, Dallas and Tony made their way toward the herd. They finally reached a point where they could not get any closer without exposing themselves and potentially bumping the bull.


6 point bull elk through spotting scope six point bull elk  Packing out bull elk on horse

                                 Checking out bull we ultimately got                                                Horse loaded down with our bull

Through the spotting scope they looked closer than the 446 yards that separated them from the now bedded bull. Since the rifle was setup for long range shooting, Joe spent several minutes getting set up for a shot and steadied the gun and waited. Finally the perfect shot opportunity must have presented itself because we saw the bull drop and then what seemed like seconds later, heard the gunshot echo across the canyon, Joe had his bull!

6 point bull elk, six point bull elk
                                                                    Got it done!