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Jerry Barron's Corner



UPDATED: February 18, 2021
Looks like the virus is slowing down. Yippee! I have received the first shot, and there was no reaction, well, not for the first 10 days. Day 10, the inoculation area itched and puffed up just a little, then it all went back to normal. Go figure.
A couple of notes from Texas----2020 - the year from hell. 2021-the year hell froze over.
Texans are calling this --SNOVID
Big Game Draws -
It is an interesting observation that as hunter numbers decline, application numbers for most draw and raffle tags have increased for most of the hunts that I track.
Washington spring bear applications are due February 28th. We do need to do what we can to help with the predator problem. Last time I had a permit, I did not get the bear, but I did get a couple of coyotes. It is a great time to get out. My hunter/gatherer lifestyle has a conflict as the bear season get in the way of my garden.
Wyoming applications for bighorn, moose, mountain goat and bison are due March 1st
Wyoming is another state like Utah that has points but has a system that not only allows you to have a chance in the random draw, but also has tags that draw when you save long enough. The one difference to be aware of is that to be eligible for the random draw, 4 nonresident tags must be available. Every year, applicants apply in units where there is no possible chance of drawing a tag. Points are optional and expensive in Wyoming, and you must front the entire cost of the tag to apply. My sheep application was right at $2400.00. (and with the points I have, I should draw)
Moose – My wife killed a bull down by Laramie, and I shot one in the Bighorn Mountains. Most units have high success rates. Just remember that if you don’t have maximum points, apply in an area that has at least 4 nonresident points. And remember that a guide is required in any wilderness area.
Bighorn – Same caution items as the Moose above. I had a tag years ago in an area the game department closed the next year. Spent a week camped right at timberline, watched a small group of ewes and lambs for a few days. I was not smart enough to look in the timber for the ram band. My wife drew a tag by Laramie. We waited until deer season to go there. We visited to all the deer hunters we found; told them we had a tag. One ran us down the next day, told us where the rams were, so we went and killed a 170-inch ram. There was one other hunter in that unit. He hired a guide and killed a 155 incher.
Bison and Mountain goat – These are the two species that do not have a point program. Everybody has the same chance. Harvest rate is good for the mountain goats, but bison can be difficult.
Utah applications are due March 4th
You gotta love Utah. They manage for trophy areas, as well as just go hunt areas. The point system is better than most in my opinion. The system for premium hunts gives the applicant a chance in the random draw, and if you don’t draw, adds a preference point that (if you stay with it) will eventually get you a tag. The area deer tags, not premium, are preference. So, you will draw as soon as you get enough points, not before, although it does not take many. Either way, you get a little closer each year. That seems to me to be better than the states like Washington, Nevada, and Montana where every year, you have a lessor chance whether you save points or not for premium hunts. These states square the points, every bodies points, and the pool gets astronomical if you don’t draw early in the game, and you may never draw.
Utah requires a $64.00 license, and charges $15.00 for each application. For the $15.00, you get a point, and always an opportunity. Remember, if there is only one tag, it will go to the random draw. There must be more than one to be in the preference draw.
Utah has permits available for antelope, regular season deer, premium deer, elk, bison, desert bighorns, Rocky Mountain bighorns, and moose. You can apply all, and gain points for all, but you can only draw one each year.
Although I have seen antelope in several areas, and moose in the Wasatch range, I can’t tell you much about the hunting, so I will share a bit about the ones I know more about.
Bison - Utah bison are Brucellosis free. You can’t say that about the ones out of Yellowstone. We have hunted bison once in the Henry Mountains, and once at the Wild Horse bench unit. Neither if these hunts are easy. Nothing like shooting a cow in a pasture. The Henry Mountains go up over 10,000 feet and we spotted buffalo at that elevation and some down a lot lower. That hunt was more like hunting elk. The Bison were out morning and evening. This tag was my wife’s and the closest I could get her with her disability was 650 yards. It took 2 trips to finally get one in the Wild Horse Bench unit, in the cold, snow, and a few miles from the truck. Thankfully, I had help.
Deer – The two units that have huge mule deer are the Paunsaugunt and the Henry Mountains. These are premium tags that can sell for 6 figures in an auction. When we hunted the bison in the Henry’s, there were huge deer everywhere. Numerous people were just driving around to take pictures. Of course, the odds are horrible. I apply for the muzzleloader tag there to help a little with the odds.
Elk – I suspect any of the early elk hunts are wonderful. We have hunted the San Juan unit twice. We chose that unit because it has a good older age class record. The first time, my disabled wife killed a 370-inch bull. The next time, I just shot a bull, but there were folks willing to go down in the dark canyons that were turning down some huge animals. I looked at one that was over 400 inches, that one hunter killed.
Sheep – You can apply for both Rocky and Desert and collect points for both categories. I don’t think any of the tags would be a real difficult hunt.
Mountain Goat – If one of these is on your bucket list, Utah is a state you should check out. Goat country is not easy, but some of the Utah units have roads that get you closer to where the goats live, if you don’t mind thin air.

Jerry Barron


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