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Elk Viewing Begins Friday at Hardware Ranch

During winter, Hardware Ranch provides a remarkable opportunity to view wild elk at close range - and that includes some large bulls.

DWR feeds elk at the ranch so they won't migrate down the canyon and destroy crops, so large numbers of animals gather there. Wagon or sleighs are used to transport the hay, and they also carry visitors out into the elk herd. The ranch will open for elk viewing on Friday, Dec. 19, 2008.

DWR provided the photo at right and the news release below:

See Hundreds of Wild Elk

Hyrum -- You can take a sleigh ride that will get you up close and personal to as many as 600 wild elk.

The rides are available four days a week at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area.

On Dec. 15, about 100 elk were at the ranch. Now that winter weather has arrived, more elk should be visiting the ranch soon.

Hardware Ranch is 17 miles east of Hyrum. Its winter elk viewing season begins Dec. 19. The WMA offers the following during its winter season:

Sleigh rides
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Utah’s state mammal by taking a sleigh ride through a herd of up to 600 Rocky Mountain elk.

The sleigh rides last 20 to 30 minutes. They wind through the center of the elk herd and make occasional stops so you can get a perfect photograph.

During the rides, the sleigh drivers share the history of the ranch and explain why the elk behave like they do. They’re also happy to answer questions you might have.

The sleighs are pulled by a team of large breed draft horses. If snow conditions get poor, the sleighs can be converted into wagons.

Visitor center
In addition to the sleigh rides, the Hardware Ranch WMA also operates a visitor center. The center has interactive wildlife displays and staff who can answer your questions.

When it’s open
The WMA’s winter season should run until March 16. The ranch is open during the following days and times:

Friday – noon to 5 p.m.
Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday – noon to 5 p.m.

If you want to take a ride through the elk herd, you must buy a ticket at the visitor center before 4:30 p.m. The last sleigh ride leaves at 4:30 p.m.
The sleigh rides cost $5 for those nine years of age and older, and $3 for those four to eight years old. Children three years of age and younger can ride for free.

How to get there
The Hardware Ranch WMA is located at mile marker 22 on SR-101 in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. The ranch is about 115 miles north of Salt Lake City (about a two-hour drive). It’s about 17 miles east of Hyrum and 22 miles southeast of Logan.
Good lodging, food and entertainment are readily available in Cache Valley, within 45 minutes of the ranch. The roads up Blacksmith Fork Canyon are usually plowed and sanded by noon each day.

For more information about the Hardware Ranch WMA, call (435) 753-6206 or visit hardwareranch.com on the Web.

Hardware Ranch is a wildlife management area owned and operated by the Division of Wildlife Resources. It provides important big game winter range for elk, deer and moose.

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