Utah Book Cliffs Premium Early Rifle Bull Tag
By Hunter: Kelvin Delaney, Story by: Kris Kohlhoff
What do you say when your buddy, Kelvin, calls and tells you he has a premium early rifle bull tag in Utah’s Book Cliffs, he is booking GT Outfitters, and he wants you to come along as a guest? I said, "What date and place do you want to meet?"
We met in Grand Junction, Colorado the day before the season started, and two hours later, we were at camp. Every day, we were up for a hot breakfast with snacks and coffee to go, driving in the dark to the first glassing spot. Kelvin was with Cody, and I went with Guy. We would move and glass as needed, checking trail cams if we came across them and returning to camp around noon for weapons and vehicle maintenance, personal hygiene, sleep, food, and catching up on football as Guy and Cody put together the game plan for the evening hunt.
We put in many miles through some neat mountains, canyons, and flats. After Saturday and Sunday, most of the other camps packed out. There were more bison than I expected to see. We always wanted to give them ample space. We didn’t see any good mule deer bucks. The range conditions were terrible because of the drought. I can’t believe the agency overseeing grazing hadn’t had the ranchers pull their cows. Elk numbers and quality were good.
Guy and I were having all the close encounters with the better bulls until the morning of the fifth day. Guy and I were glassing a canyon when we heard a shot from where Cody and Kelvin were at. We over-watched them as they approached where the bull went down. It got western when we saw the bull get up, seemingly within 20 yards of them, and take off. Guy and Cody got to display their excellent field skills and tracked the bull quite a distance over some difficult terrain. One final shot and we gathered on the side of a steep hill for pictures and packing the elk up to the vehicles. We were back at camp for a late lunch and a repeat of weapons and vehicle maintenance, personal hygiene, sleep, food, and catching up on football, but instead of planning for the evening hunt, we had some Caribou Crossing. I would highly recommend this hunt and outfitter.