KSL Outdoors: The rut is in full swing

(Adam) Coming up tonight on KSL Outdoors, fall is upon us and the rut is in full swing.

(Bull bugles) (adam) good shot.

(Adam) if you got him, take him. (shot)

(Adam) A program that allows the public hunter to hunt private lands. Come along as we follow two guys on their big bull dreams. I’m Adam Eakle and KSL Outdoors, starts right now.

(Adam) Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors and hey we’ve got a really good show for you tonight. We are going to show you not one, but two guided elk hunts and we are going to introduce you to a program that allows the public hunter to hunt private lands. But first I’ve got to run into Sportsman’s for a few things I forgot.

(Adam) You know there are a lot of knives out there and some good quality knives, but the last couple of years, I’ve really become a fan of these replaceable razor blade systems. Outdoors Edge makes one, but my favorite has been this Havalon, Piranta bolt. The thing is awesome, it’s lightweight and the best part is when your out in the field and it gets dull and you don’t want to sharpen your knife, you literally just pop off this blade, slide a new one on and you are ready to go. These things are razor sharp and you can can quarter and cape an elk with just two blades. Alright let’s go get one more thing.

(Adam) and finally some game bags, that is if you are successful and don’t forget your tag actually goes on the largest portion of meat, usually your hind quarter that shows proof of sex. Alright, lets check out.


(Adam) You can put it in the bag. (adrian) Alright, thank you for shopping at Sportsman’s. Have a great hunt. (adam) Thanks Adrian, see you next time. (adrian) see ya. (adam) Alright lets go meet our hunters.

(Adam) and let’s introduce you to our hunters, we’ve got Scott Olson, waited 20 years for this tag. We’ve got Pete Nordhoff and his little brother Paul. How many years did you wait? (Pete) only ten. (adam) Just ten, so we are out here on the hunt, seen a few elk so far. what do you think Pete? (Pete) it’s a beautiful day and it’s a lot better than being at work. (adam) we’ll lets go get you guys some bulls. Who’s up first? Scott up first. alright we flipped a coin and Scott won.

For eight years I’ve guided elk hunters on Utah’s largest Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit or CWMU. A CWMU is private property where the landowner is under contract with the DWR to allow public hunters on their property. Utah started the CWMU program back in the 1990’s and today has 117 CWMU’s in the state that has opened more than two million acres of private land to public hunters.

(Scott McFarlane, DWR; Private Lands Public Wildlife Coordinator) “How it works is that the public gets a percentage of the permits. There’s different percentage options for land owners to choose from. The best one for the land owner is a 90/10 split. 90 percent of the tags go to the private landowner and 10 percent go to the public.”

(Scott McFarlane) “If they go with a 90/10 split, all of the antler less tags for the herd management of that unit are offered to the public. If they go to an 85/15, 25% go to the private landowner, 75% go to the public.”

(Scott McFarlane) “It was a way for land owners to get an income and make wildlife valuable to the landowners. It could either be an asset or a liability to them and we wanted to make sure it was as asset to them.”

The public obtains a tag through the DWR draw process. On the DWR website there is a list of participating properties as well as a map, description of the property, the hunts available and a hunter satisfaction index where the public hunter can give feedback on their experience. Some CWMU’S have a better public satisfaction index than others.

(Todd Black) “Everyone that is involved with the CWMU program knows that, that there is a few bad apples out there. Many of them, it’s simply an education thing. It takes them awhile to realize that the success or failure of this program really depends upon keeping the public hunter happy and make sure they have an enjoyable time and experience.”

Todd Black is the Executive Director of the Utah CWMU Association. A voluntary association comprised of landowners, operators and outfitters who strive to make sure the program is fair to both the landowner and the public. He is also the Wildlife Manager for Utah’s largest CWMU, Deseret Land and Livestock.

(Todd Black, Executive Director of the Utah CWMU Association) “There’s no question that financially that Deseret Land and Livestock has the most to loose if this program goes away.”

(Todd Black, Executive Director of the Utah CWMU Association) “It is significant revenue. I’m not going to paint a pretty picture that it’s not, but it keeps many of those landowners in the agriculture business, it keeps them as successful producers, livestock producers, agriculture producers, rather than turning around and selling their ground because they can’t make a living off of it anymore for 40 acre cabin lots.”

(Todd Black) there’s been research and studies that have been done up here that show that a lot of the animals that were born on Deseret are harvested off of Deseret.

(Scott Olson, Public Hunter) “You are treated just like a paying client, basically for the cost of your state tag, you get a 15 thousand dollar experience, which i don’t think you can beat that.”

(Todd Black) “We try to be as accommodating as we can, let them stay at the lodge, and the reason we do that is A they have a good time, the best chance possible to shoot a good animal, then there is also selfish reasons we do that, we want to make sure they are harvesting the right animal. We are very particular on our age class that we are trying to manage for on our bucks and bulls.”

Next year, the CWMU program goes through a legislative review, something that is done every five years. Here is where the public is given an opportunity to provide input to the DWR and the Utah Wildlife Board. Todd says, the program isn’t perfect, but over the years has become good for both parties.

(Todd Black) “and there’s still a few things I think need to be tweaked that will both benefit the public and benefit the landowners. So every five years we get an opportunity to open that program up and to look at it and see what we can do to fix it and make it better.”

Up next!

(adam) coming out the bottom, ok, that’s a bad shot.

We get the boys on some bulls, but first tonights quiz question.

(Adam) yeah, he’s just above the wallow.

It’s the first night, the boys are pretty excited as we weed through a few bulls still showing signs of the rut. We’ve only looked for about an hour when we locate this herd bull across the canyon.
[Notes:video of bull through scope on 10:35 on #31]

(Scott Olson, Morgan Utah) Yeah he’s a nice bull but i think that first one is bigger. (adam) this one has a little shorter beam, shorter fifths, but a nice bull. (scott) let’s go after that first one. (adam) let’s go. we are out of here.

(Scott Olson, Morgan) Oh this has been fantastic, I have never seen so many bulls in my life. Every time we’ve gone out ridge after ridge we are seeing bulls and I just can’t believe it. Like a kid in a candy store.

(Adam) so we’ve made our way to the other side. that bull is right down here, he’s got about 15-20 cows, so we are going to dump down in there and leave the two brothers over here, so we don’t have too many people. We’ll go down and see if we can get on him. there is a lot of bulls down here. Let’s go get them.

nats walking

We slowly move down the canyon, keeping a ridge between us and the elk. As we approach the rim we immediately spot elk and the bull.

(Adam) he’s coming out of the bottom. ok that’s a bad shot wait. (bulls bugle and cows talking nat) ((adam) let him stop, we want him to stop)

(Scott) he actually had chased another bull off and a second bull came in and they sparred there in front of us.

While the bull is preoccupied and about to show this smaller bull who’s boss, we move a little closer, close the gap to 250 yards and get Scott ready for a shot.

(safety off nat)

(Adam) You got him? You can see him? (scott) Yup, got him.

(Adam) pretty good shot if he’ll hold. (bull bugles) (adam) good shot. (shots) rack another one, you hit him. shoot again if you can get him. (shot) hit him again if he’ll let you. (shot) congratulations sir, rack one more in. (adam) safety on please.

(adam) if he gets up, I want you to put another one in him.

No second shot is needed, Scott hit the bull all three times.

(Adam) safety on, bolt open. Let’s go see him. (scott) let’s do it.

(Adam) what do you think? (scott) nice bull I like the curl on his front. (adam) yup he’s got real pretty fronts. (adam) good deal. (scott) alright. (adam) let’s get some pictures. (scott and adam hand shake) thank you sir.

(Adam) well Monday evening, first night, you are a man that knows what he wants. (scott) well we saw this bull from a ways off, he had his harem, looked like a good bull and off we went. (adam) made a perfect shot, three of them in fact and beautiful bull is he going on the wall? (scott) yeah I think I’ll get him taxidermy. I don’t know if my wife will let me put him there, but we’ll find some place for him. (adam) You going to stick around for Pete’s hunt? (scott) absolutely. (adam) alright good, another set of eyes. The rest of our excursion here on the CWMU process in a moment, but first back to the guys at Fish Tech for tonights fishing report.

nats ranger

On this CWMU, guides take care of everything, quarter, cape.

nats meat into truck

and hauling the meat. After Scott’s bull is taken care of.

It’s Pete’s turn.

(Adam) do you feel ok to walk down there then? (Pete Nordhoff, Elk Hunter) yeah. (adam) let’s go then. (bulls bugle) (pete) I think he’s right over there. (adam) safety still on?

Pete and I hike into the bottom of this draw and find ourselves right in the middle of three herds.

The bull on the left looks to be older, heavier and perfect bull for Pete. Now we just need to find a way through all the elk to get Pete a shot.

(bull bugles)

(Adam) the one on the skyline is pretty, he’s a young bull though. (bull bugles)

We have four mature bulls all around us, but the heavier bull just won’t stop for a shot.

(bull bugles) (adam) no that’s not him. No! (bull chuckles)

Finally it’s getting too late to see and Pete and I decide to back off.

The next morning

nats closing truck cover

we find ourselves back where we’d left the elk the night before.

(Adam) we are going to work our way down here and slowly work our way to these elk. (pete) ok.

(Adam) I’ve got him, right there.

Off in the bottom we hear two elk going at it. It isn’t the big heavy bull from the night before, but he looks pretty good.

Pete and I move closer, overlooking a small pond and immediately find a bull.

(bull bugles) don’t shoot with that cow in front of him. I want him broadside.

The bull is right in the middle of the pond, taking a drink, just downhill 80 yards, out of view of the camera.

(adam) ok take your time I want him broadside if he will. That’s a good shot! (shot) good shot, rack another one. Safety on, safety on.

(Adam) what was that 80 yards, 100 yards? (adam rubs Pete’s head) I don’t know close. (laughs)

(Adam) I think we are done sir. Congratulations. (hand shake) what did you think of that? (pete) that was real fun. Yeah all day, yesterday, last night, all day. I’ll never forget any of it.

(Pete Nordhoff, Elk Hunter) Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to get home and show Chad. My boy. Look how big he is around here at the base, nice elk. I’m really happy with him.

(Paul Nordhoff, Pete’s younger brother) the nice thing about this hunt is we just didn’t get out of the truck. We could hear them, stalk them, ran over a couple of ridges, it was just exciting for about an hour and fifteen minutes. It was wonderful.

(Tag) (pete) that was perfect. (adam) well I hope it’s a memory you two brothers remember for a long time. (pete) it will be. I hope you remember it too. (adam) I will, never forget you guys. (pete) We’ll have this forever and the grandkids will have it forever, because I’m going to tell lots of stories. You’ve got to back me up. (paul) I’ll make sure that they are right. (pete) Hey wait I said you’ve got to back me up. (adam) Hey while the brothers here discuss their lies, let’s dive into tonights Utah Field Guide.

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