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October 2019
Story by Steve Hautala
State: Utah
Species: Elk - Rocky Mtn

After 19 years, it was hard to believe I had drawn one of two non-resident bull elk tags, and mine was not in the max point draw. I immediately called Huntin’ Fool and was directed to Robert Hanneman. We talked about who he recommended for a guide service. He said to call David Virostko at North Rim Outfitters. I called David, and it was game on. He set me up with one of his guides, Brandon Barney.

When I arrived in Richfield, Utah, I met up with Brandon. He stated that they had seen some bulls of interest. There was one bull in particular that our spotter, Matt Barney, had video of. After watching the video, I wanted that bull. After three days of rough hunting this elusive bull, I was able to connect at 770 yards as the terrain he was in did not allow us to get any closer. I come from sea level, so trying to pack out this bull at 9,400 feet was a challenge. Thanks to the extra help from David Virostko, Brandon Barney, Neil Clayton, Matt Barney, and Carey Ogden, we were able to pack him out with six full packs.

This is currently the biggest bull I have ever hunted and been able to harvest. He runs in the 360 class. This experience could not have been any better without North Rim Outfitters. They run a fantastic service from start to finish. Currently, the bull, which we named “Barney,” is at Redview Wildlife Taxidermy in Utah.

Elk Hunting in Utah