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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, December 26, 2011

Winter Is A Great Time To View Utah's Wildlife

If you pay attention while driving Utah’s backroads you will see big game animals and other wild creatures. Mule deer and elk are often seen year-round, but they are particularly visible during the winter when then migrate to lower elevations where it is easier to find forage.

Many people enjoy viewing animals during winter. It can be great fun if you do it in a responsible way so you do not disturb or stress the animals. I often drive through Spanish Fork Canyon and on virtually every trip I see deer and/or elk. Today I drove I-15 from Provo to St George and saw mule deer in a couple different areas.

If there are farm fields close to mountainous areas, you may see deer feeding in them during the hours just before dusk.

Hardware Ranch in northern Utah is a great place to view wild elk. The ranch is located in the mountains east of Hyrum, near Logan. Utah wildlife officials feed wild elk on the ranch to keep them in the mountains where they do not destroy farmers’ crops. A huge herd of elk congregates at the ranch every winter, including several large bulls. The ranch offers horse-drawn sleigh rides out into the herd. You can often get quite close to the animals. I enjoy photographing them or shooting video.

Hardware Ranch has now opened for the winter season. This news release provides more details.

Utah wildlife officials have launched a massive effort to reduce big game poaching this winter. Poaching has been a problem at this time of year because the animals are easier to find while they are on winter ranges. See this news release for details about that effort.

- Dave Webb

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