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Utah to Increase Big Game Permits in 2008
March 10, 2008.
Good news if you applied in Utah this year. Skip to the bottom for the numbers.
From the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources:
More hunters could be hunting on some of Utah's best big game units this fall. There are many reasons why, but in most cases the bottom line is the same big game animals in Utah are doing well.
"This is a great time to hunt big game in Utah," says Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "Utah has a wider variety of animals to hunt than ever before. And despite some loss of animals this winter, the state's big game populations are doing well."
The DWR will present its big game permit recommendations for this fall at a series of public meetings. Management plans for each of Utah's limited entry elk units and updates to Utah's Bighorn Sheep Management Plan also will be reviewed.
Learn more, share your ideas
The DWR's proposals are available at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings. Once you've read the proposals, you can provide your comments one of two ways:
Five Regional Advisory Council meetings will be held across Utah in March. Citizens representing the RACs will take the input received at the meetings to the Utah Wildlife Board. Board members will use your input to set permit numbers for this fall's hunts. Meeting dates, times and locations are as follows:
Beaver High School
195 E. Center St.
John Wesley Powell Museum
885 E. Main St.
Western Park, Rm. #2
302 E. 200 S.
Springville Junior High School
165 S. 700 E.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
You can also provide your comments to your RAC via e-mail. E-mail addresses for your RAC members are available at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.
The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person's e-mail address. You should direct your e-mail to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.
1,000 fewer deer permits in northern Utah
After last fall's hunting seasons, biologists found an average of 18 bucks per 100 does on public land hunting units in the Northern Region. Even though the number of bucks they found was on the high end of the 15 to 20 bucks per 100 does objective, biologists are recommending 1,000 fewer permits for the region this fall.
"We want to be cautious," Aoude says. "The deer herds in parts of northern Utah had a tough time this winter.
"When we do our after-winter surveys later this spring, we'll know better how many deer were lost. But our big game permit drawing happens in April, so we need to set the permits numbers before we do the surveys."
Elk, deer and moose
Elk, deer and moose permits are among the permits DWR biologists believe can be increased. Aoude explains why:
Elk—Biologists manage Utah's limited entry elk units so those who hunt the units can be confident they'll take a bull that will fall into one of four age categories: 6 to 7 years old, 5 to 6 years old, 4 to 5 years old, or 3 to 4 years old. The age of the bull a hunter might take depends on the unit he or she is hunting.
Utah has 28 limited entry bull elk units. On 26 of the 28 units, hunters are taking bulls that are older than the age objective for the unit. "For example, a hunter can go onto a unit expecting to take, say a 5- to 6-year-old bull, and end up taking one that's one or two years older.
"We need to increase the number of permits so more bulls can be taken and we can get the herds to their age objectives," Aoude says. "That's good news for hunters. It means we can offer more elk hunting permits for this fall's hunts and still provide quality bulls for hunters to take."
Deer—Biologists manage Utah's limited entry deer units so there will be plenty of big bucks for hunters each fall.
The Paunsaugunt and Henry Mountains units are the two premium limited entry units in Utah. Biologists manage these units so at least 35 bucks per 100 does are left in the herds after the hunts are over each fall.
The rest of Utah's limited entry units are managed so at least 25 bucks per 100 does are still in the herds after the fall hunts.
Only two units in southern Utah aren't meeting that goal. On the rest of the state's units, the number of bucks biologists are finding after the hunts is higher than the buck-to-doe ratio for each unit. "We have plenty of bucks on these units. And that's great news for hunters. It means more of them can hunt these units this fall," Aoude says.
Moose—Utah's moose herds are also doing well. In many of the herds, there are almost as many bulls in the herds as cows.
The following chart shows the number of permits that were available in 2007 and the number the DWR is recommending for 2008:
|General season buck deer||
|Limited entry deer||
|Limited entry bull elk||
|Rocky Mountain goat||
|Desert bighorn sheep||
|Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep||