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Elk Festival set for Dec. 10 at Hardware Ranch

HYRUM, Cache County — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is hosting its annual Elk Festival at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area on Saturday, Dec. 10. Activities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Except for a fee to ride a horse-dawn sleigh or wagon through the meadow at the ranch, all of the festival activities are free.

Other activities at the festival include making Christmas ornaments using sagebrush, bitterbrush and other plants found at the ranch. "We'll also teach you how to turn a pine cone into a bird feeder," Nicaela Haig, a wildlife educator at the ranch, said in a statement. "And your kids can paint their very own replica of a fish."

The staff is also hoping participants will see some elk. On Nov. 17, ranch manager Brad Hunt said about 150 elk had started visiting the meadows where the sleigh rides are held. "Once we start feeding the elk in December," he said, "additional elk should come into the meadows."

Hunt encourages participants to bring binoculars and to dress for all types of weather.

Horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides through the meadow will start on Friday, Dec. 9, from noon to 4 p.m. Rides will also be available on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Mondays, noon to 4:30 p.m. Tickets for the rides must be purchased at the visitor center by 4:30 p.m.

Sleigh rides will not run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the visitor center will be closed. But visitors can still bring binoculars and view the elk from a distance.

The Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area is located 18 miles east of Hyrum on state Route 101. For more information, visit, or call 435-753-6206.