By: Bears Butt
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It’s that time of year here in Utah for everyone to be watching their credit card information!  Mostly to see if there are pending charges for the Utah big game draw!  It is a big deal!  For those of you out of the state, everyone who wishes to hunt big game in Utah and want a “near 100% chance” of that happening, need to enter into the lottery draw for the tags.  The state Division of Wildlife Resources uses this as a means to get more money and money seems to be the big driving force for a lot of things wildlife related.  So, we go along with it, or we don’t go hunting.

So, you must have your “license to purchase a license”….a combination license which allows you to fish and hunt, or a small game license, which allows you to hunt small game like rabbits and birds.  This is the big thing and the number one way the DWR gets their money up front.   Once you have that, you can now enter the drawing for a big game license.  The application fee of $10 goes to the company who has the concession to conduct the drawing, the Division gets none of that.  Each big game species has a different fee attached…for instance, a general deer tag costs $40 for us residents.  It’s a ton more for you non-residents…sorry folks, that’s just the way we run our business here.  Ya gotta pay ta play!  Not only do you too have to purchase your out of state small game or combination license, first, then your $10 and then the huge amount of money for the tag, should you draw it.  It costs soooooo much to play it isn’t worth it to 99.9% of people who don’t live here.  Nuff said about that and I’m sorry to my California cousins who would love to come and take home a 4X4 muley buck from the Crawfords.

Well, we had to apply way back in January in order to get our ticket in the bucket and now they have drawn the winning tickets out of the bucket and are hitting the listed credit cards to seek payment.  As those cards are being hit and cleared through the bank, the DWR will compile their emails for distribution to the masses to let us know officially that we either drew out or not.  The bigger deal is just what did we draw if in fact we drew at all.

A lot of families, most in fact, who have family members who hunt together or hunt the same species of animals, will apply together and use one credit card to pay for it.  They can also apply separately and use the same card to pay for that.  So, when the credit card gets hit, the mystery then becomes “who drew”?

So, what did I apply for this year?  A general deer tag for the muzzleloader season….a pretty standard one for me but that might change with my interest in bows and arrows, who knows.  That tag will cost me $40 like I said and I have a pretty good chance of drawing it, seeings how the DWR increased the number of deer tags from last years numbers.  Almost anyone who wants to hunt a deer can usually get a tag…not always, but most of the time.  You might have to opt for a bow hunting tag or muzzy tag rather than an “any weapon” (center fire rifle) tag, but you can go hunting if you desire.  Once the draw is completed and there has been ample time for people to turn in tags or change their mind on hunting etc., then any tags remaining can be purchased over the counter…..get in line early, because the remaining tags sell out quickly!

I also applied for a limited entry antelope buck tag using my muzzleloader in the same area as my deer tag.  Should I draw that, I will be able to hunt deer and antelope at the same time, using my smoke pole of course.  This special hunting season opportunity is one that I lobbied with the DWR and the Wildlife Board to get approved.  I hope like heck I draw one of the 15 tags available.  I’ve always wanted to shoot a buck antelope with my smoker…one of the few big game hunts (kills if you will) remaining on my bucket list.  That tag will cost me $55 if I’m a lucky guy.

And last on my application is a once in a lifetime moose tag…I only had 3 points (3 consecutive unsuccessful attempts in the past) going into the drawing and I doubt that tag will be drawn with my name on it….yes it’s possible, but like getting struck with lightning or winning the Idaho lottery.  Dry Dog says, “No lead, no dead”….and that applies to this drawing as well.  So, to draw this moose tag would be like Dry Dog actually hitting and killing a deer by shooting at it over 200 yards away, with his muzzleloader.  He makes a lot of attempts and spends a lot of money on powder, ball and caps.  No Lead…No Dead!  He also brings home a deer nearly every year.  I can see him smiling now.

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So, here we are watching and waiting for our credit cards to get hit!  Everyone wants to see it happen!  Sort of like waiting to open the Christmas presents under the tree!  When will it happen?  For some it has happened already and now they are waiting to find out just who in the family drew what tag.  Did they draw that hard to get limited entry bull elk tag that EVERYONE seems to want?  Did they draw the (to us) coveted Crawford Mountain tag?  Make it happen cap’n!

And over the loud speaker, echoing in the empty basketball court arena, can be heard:  “ATTENTION!!!  ATTENTION!!!  WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE DRAW THE CRAWFORD TAG THIS YEAR”?

Good luck to all and I sure hope we get the chance to head off to the Crawfords this year!

Bears Butt

May 15, 2015


My credit card got hit yesterday for $40!  A muzzy deer hunt is in my future!  I have not given up on the $55 for an antelope as of yet!


Written on May 15th, 2015 , Hunting Stories

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.