Utah allows hunters to turn back spring bear and turkey permits due to COVID-19

Utah allows return of bear and turkey permits due to covid 19

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Utah is going above and beyond and is putting out the option to allow those who drew a spring bear permit or a limited-entry turkey hunt, a chance to turn their tag in for a refund and gain all points back, plus one for this year. Emails were sent out to tag holders.

Note: This rule change is important because this year Utah changed their turn back tag rules stating that you MUST do so at least 30 days before the start of the season; otherwise, your points will be purged. If you return it at least 30 days before you’ll get all of your previously accrued bonus or preference points for that species/permit back, but you will not earn a point for the current year.

According to the Utah DWR, if you are unable to use your spring bear permit or spring limited-entry turkey permit because of health concerns related to COVID-19 — or because of pandemic-related restrictions imposed by state or local governments — you can surrender the permit and we will refund your permit fee, reinstate any bonus points you had and give you a bonus point for this year.

For spring turkey hunts, if you decide to surrender your permit for these reasons, you must do so no later than April 10. We will find out more info on the bear permit turn in time frame, but tag holders should have gotten an email. We confirmed this information with Utah on the phone.

Here are your options for surrendering your permit:

  • Surrender your permit online. Go to the online form and follow the steps to surrender your permit. In the “Reason for Surrender” field, type COVID-19.
  • Drop your permit off in person at a DWR office. We will have drop boxes so you can turn in your permit while maintaining social distancing. Those boxes will be available inside our offices while they are open.
  • Mail your permit back to the DWR. Your envelope must be postmarked by April 10, 2020.

If you choose this option, please send your permit to the following address:

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources 
P.O. Box 146301
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6301

Note: The DWR is not responsible if your permit is lost in the mail and not received.

Surrenders are final

If you surrender your bear permit or limited-entry turkey permit, there is no way to get it back at any point during the 2020 season. All surrenders are final and must occur by April 10 in order for your refund to be processed and any bonus points restored or awarded. Refunds may take up to 12 weeks to process because most DWR staffers are working remotely. 

Important: Your opportunity to receive a refund and have any bonus points reinstated or awarded may be extremely limited after April 10. 

The hunt has not been canceled 

Utah is not closing the 2020 bear or turkey season. Hunting is a great way to get outdoors and put food on the table!

See all COVID-19 state updates here


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