Utah Winter February 02, 2017
The Unique Ranch Everyone In Utah Should Visit This Winter
Did you know that there’s a ranch in Utah where you can view elk up close? Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area has an elk feeding program, and during the winter months, you can see the herd up close. Take a look:
Rocky Mountain Elk is the state mammal.
These majestic creatures can weigh as much as 700 pounds! The Rocky Mountain Elk has the largest antlers of all elk species.
Hardware Ranch began operations in 1945.
Today, the ranch is still going strong. It's goals are to keep the sustainable population healthy, and to provide community outreach and education.
Every winter, as many as 600 elk come down from the mountains to hang out at Hardware Ranch.
The elk show up when the temperatures drop - usually around the end of November. They typically head for the hills again in March.
Because of development in the Cache Valley, there isn't enough winter habitat to support the elk population.
Hardware Ranch supplies enough hay to get the elk herd through the worst part of the winter.
Hardware Ranch grows it own hay to feed the elk throughout the winter.
It takes about 300 tons of hay!
You can take a sleigh ride out to visit the herd.
The driver will tell you all about the elk.
Each sleigh ride lasts 20-30 minutes.
Tickets are first come, first served, but as long as you've purchased your ticket by 4:30 pm, you're guaranteed to enjoy a ride. Dress warmly - you'll be in an open-air sleigh.
Ticket prices for ages nine and older: $5
Children ages four to eight: $3
Children three and under ride for free
Your sleigh is pulled by the resident Clydesdales.
These gorgeous animals know right where to go - their drivers hardly even have to issue commands.
During your sleigh ride, you'll have a chance to see elk up close.
You might notice that some of the elk have ear tags.
Every winter, the Division of Wildlife Resources corrals a small number of elk.
These elk are tested for diseases such as brucellosis and tuberculosis.
They're also weighed and given ear tags so that the DWR can continue to keep track of them.
The data that's collected on these animals helps the Division of Wildlife Resources determine the health of the herd, and particular concerns it might be facing.
The Visitor Center at Hardware Ranch is open during the elk viewing season.
The season started on December 9, 2016 and runs through February 27, 2017.
Visit Friday from noon to 4:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm and Monday from noon to 4:30 pm.
Hardware Ranch is located 15 miles east of Hyrum.
The ranch doesn't have an exact address. For the map and directions,
Have you ever had the opportunity to visit Hardware Ranch? Tell us about your experience!
If you’d like to view more of Utah’s wildlife, visit the
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.
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