The Utah Bison Units/Hunts...?

HuskyMusky

Veteran member
Nov 29, 2011
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any view/insight on the varying units for bison in Utah?

mostly Henry mountains vs the others....??

ie., would you much prefer the hunt/adventure in the henry's over the other hunts? also of the others book cliffs vs antelope island...?

I'm assuming I don't want the antelope island hunt.... if it comes back for non-res....

but do you think the adventure would be much different from the henrys vs. book cliffs??

thanks!
 

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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I like the Henry Mountain hunts just for the nostalgia of it. When Utah first brought bison into Utah they planted them north of the Henry Mountains way back in 1941. The bison then migrated into the mountains and have been there ever since. I also like it in that I hunted deer there for a long time and it was always fun running into the herds of bison during the deer hunts.

But now fast forward to 2009 I believe, the Utah DWR transplanted bison into the Book Cliffs, a area that I have also hunted deer quite a bit. This herd really took off and you can find them just about anywhere you look out there if you look hard enough. But in the Book Cliffs you also have bison that have come into them from the Ute Reservation. This herd is not a pure strain of bison but has mixed blood in them, bison and cattle where the Henry Mountain herd is a pure strain of bison. Just this last year the Utah DWR opened up a over the counter hunt for bison on the western edge of the Book Cliffs on the west side of the Green River. This hunt was for mostly bison that had crossed the river from the Reservation and had moved onto private property in the Nine Mile, and Range Creek areas. The Nine Mile area isn't too hard to access but permission may be hard to get. The Range Creek area is very difficult to access since it is a private canyon that is covered in antiquities from Native Americans who lived there a few thousand years ago. But they do allow access through the gates but it is very limited. It is my understanding that on this OTC hunt that around 70 bison were shot. But I haven't seen any hard figures on it. To hunt this hunt you must surrender all of your bison points and can not hunt the once in a lifetime hunts for bison again, but if they have the OTC hunt again then you can purchase a tag. I think that this hunt was put into place to force the Ute Reservation to build the fence that they have been talking about for a number of years to keep the bison on their land.

Now after saying all of that, I have put in for the Book Cliffs hunt for the last couple of years just because there are more tags offered there than on the Henry Mountains. There is also a hunt in the Roadless area of the Book Cliffs where you really need a horse to get yourself into and the bison out.

The Antelope Island hunt is that in name only. It would be a hunt where you can drive out and shoot your bison, load it up and be home the same day. That is if they ever open it up to non residents. But it is a fantastic place to go look at huge mule deer, much like a zoo. The Henry Mountains also have huge mule deer but in a lot more natural type of area where you actually have to look for them to find them.

In the end either the Henry Mountains or the Book Cliffs would get your a great hunt. For a later hunt I would pick the Book Cliffs since the bison are already on their winter ground where in the Henry Mountains they migrate off and into very isolated country
 
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