Found! Mulie Hunts You Can Still Go On


Published: July - 1999

Subscribers looking for a reasonably priced mule deer hunt this fall needn't look further than northern Utah. Often overshadowed by its glamorous and highly-coveted cousin regions to the south, the Northern Region is a true sleeper and an answer to a buck hunter's dilemma in the aftermath of the draw. The reason for this is twofold. First, due to limited public deer habitat in the area, licenses for the Northern Region never sell out! For example, this year, after the drawing, 2,730 General Season Buck Deer tags were remaining! These left-over tags are available over the counter or through mail order. Second, ranchers in the far northern reaches of this region are just that - ranchers, and they lease out the hunting rights to their lands at down-to-earth prices to supplement their incomes from cattle ranching. These folks are often direct descendants of the rock-solid stock that built the Old West, and the word "greed" is not in their vocabulary.

Working with these ranchers and the local cattle association, outfitter Jeff Sessions has set up an operation in the Northern Region in the small town of Park Valley, situated north of Great Salt Lake, and just south of the Idaho border. Park Valley is the hub of the deer hunting activity in this area and offers a small motel, which is often fully-booked, and a gas station selling ice, water and very limited grocery items. It is here that the Park Valley Hereford Association makes its headquarters. In the past, the Association sold trespass permits to individual hunters allowing hunting access to its 12,000 or so acres immediately north of town. Because the price of these permits was kept low, the Association had to sell as many as 40 or 50 of them to meet its annual income goals. Hunter success rates were quite good, and in an average year, with normal rainfall and range conditions, a competent, self-guided hunter could count on seeing perhaps 25 legal bucks (excluding spikes) in a three- or four-day period.

The downside to all this was that trophy quality gradually diminished. Mountain lions........(continued)

 
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