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Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Another season of viewing wild elk from a horse-drawn wagon or sleigh begins Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, at Hardware Ranch.

HYRUM, Cache County — Another season of viewing wild elk from a horse-drawn wagon or sleigh begins this weekend at Hardware Ranch, and to celebrate, the staff at the wildlife management area will hold the annual Elk Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

On Nov. 30, Brad Hunt, manager of the area, said 350 elk were already in the area that surrounds the meadow through which the sleighs or wagons are pulled.

"We don't have any snow yet," Hunt said in a statement at the time, "but we're ready for an awesome kickoff."

Except for a fee to ride through the elk herd — $5 for those 9 or older, or $3 for those 4 to 8 years old — all of the festival activities, such as making Christmas ornaments or birdfeeders from native plants, are free. Guests will also learn how to call elk and then demonstrate their newly learned skills at an amateur elk-calling contest held during the final hour of the festival.

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Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars and dress for all types of weather. While food is not available at the ranch, visitors are welcome to bring a picnic lunch.

Sleigh and wagon rides at the ranch begin Friday and will run through Monday, Feb. 26. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. While rides will not be offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, visitors are welcome to visit the ranch view the elk through binoculars.

The ranch is 16 miles east of Hyrum on state Route 101.