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Located 15 miles up Blacksmith Fork Canyon is the 19 thousand acre Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area. The ranch was purchased using sportsmans' dollars generated from the Wildlife Restoration Act.
The state established the Ranch as a location to operate a winter feeding program for Rocky Mountain Elk.
(Randy Grover) And it's just a perfect place to do it because it's right in the migration pattern of the elk, from the mountains down to the valleys.
Hardware Ranch WMA has also served as a center for elk research since the 1950s. Today, the Utah DWR continues these programs and has expanded the mission of Hardware Ranch WMA to include public tours of the wintering elk herd.
On Saturday, December 14th the ranch will celebrate the return of the elk with it's annual Elk Festival.
There will be free family activities in addition to the regular sleigh rides and visitor center.
Activities will include fish printing, wildlife Christmas ornament crafting, and more.
The Elk Festival only happens once a year, but the WMA Sleigh Rides and Visitor Center are open Friday-Monday for the rest of the season.