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Utah Increases Spring Turkey Permits by 80%

August 29, 2008.

From the Utah Division of Wildlife:

The chance you'll draw a wild turkey hunting permit in Utah just got better.

The Utah Wildlife Board has approved 13,761 public hunting permits for hunts in Utah next spring. That's an increase of more than 80 percent over the 7,706 public permits that were available in 2008.

Board members approved the permits at their Aug. 28 meeting in Salt Lake City.

"Sportsmen have told us that they'd like more opportunities to hunt wild turkeys," says Dave Olsen, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

"Because of the way we manage turkeys in Utah, we believe allowing more hunters into the field will not affect the turkey populations."

Turkey hunter survey

After last spring's hunts, the DWR surveyed 2,330 of the 7,853 public and private hunters who hunted turkeys in Utah in 2008.

"There were more turkey hunters in the field this past spring than there's ever been. But most of the hunters we surveyed said they were satisfied with their experience," Olsen says. "Raising the number of permits will allow even more sportsmen to get out and enjoy spring turkey hunting."

Turkey hunters in Utah can take only male turkeys. That rule, and the fact that female turkeys are very productive, means putting additional hunters in the field shouldn't have a negative effect on Utah's turkey populations.

"Turkeys and other upland game reproduce at a high rate," Olsen says. "It's not unusual for a single male turkey to breed as many as 10 females. And female turkeys are very productive. They usually lay a clutch of between 10 to 12 eggs.

"Because one male will breed several females, and because female turkeys are so productive, taking some extra males out of the population shouldn't affect the overall number of turkeys in Utah."

Applications

You can apply for a 2009 turkey hunting permit starting Dec. 2 at wildlife.utah.gov

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