Predictably, as the population has gone down, habitat and trophy quality have gone up. Maybe skyrocketed is a better word. Seems Santa Rosa just had its best season ever, according to Wayne Long's son, Gordon. Clients this year took 49 mule deer bucks and 46 Roosevelt elk, he says. The average score on the mule deer was 197 SCI, and the average width on those bucks was 29.7 inches. The biggest buck taken scored 253 SCI and had 12 points on one side and nine on the other. It also had an amazing 36-inch spread! Long says 19 of all the bucks scored 200 SCI or better. As for the elk, 31 bulls scored over 300 SCI, with the largest going 347.
In order to meet the Park Service's deadline, Long says that starting in 2008 they will remove 25 percent of both herds every year until 2011 when they will have to remove any remaining animals. Long says MUM intends to continue hunting for the best trophies each year until the very end.
Not surprisingly, bookings on Santa Rosa are through the roof. Long says they are currently booked out through 2009. As this issue went to press, he planned to begin booking for the 2010 season on January 3. He expected to be booked out within a matter of weeks. There is still a way to get a chance to hunt Santa Rosa, though - simply pick up one of the three hunts (two mule deer and one elk hunt) MUM plans to offer on auction. The elk hunt will be auctioned........(continued)