Utah announces changes for 2018 season


Utah Elk
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Hunters, get ready. Last week, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) approved changes for the 2018 season that will make many hunters happy. As goHUNT previously reported, the proposed changes will create additional opportunity for deer and elk as well as help reduce hunter crowding.

Here are the changes, according to UDWR:

  • The rifle buck deer hunt has been divided into two separate hunts: an early season hunt and a regular season hunt on the Kamas, Chalk Creek, East Canyon and Morgan/South Rich units in northern Utah, the Nine Mile unit in southeastern Utah, and the Fillmore, Fishlake, Pine Valley and Zion units in south-central and southwestern Utah.
  • The early season hunt will be held Oct. 10 to 14.
  • Hunters who purchase a multi-season elk hunting permit will now be able to hunt all three seasons (archery, rifle and muzzleloader) on spike only and any bull general elk hunting units.
  • A special “cactus buck” hunt will be held on the Paunsaugunt premium limited entry unit in southwestern Utah. Cactus bucks are mature deer that do not reproduce; there is a small concentration of them in this unit.

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“Splitting the rifle hunt into two seasons will reduce hunter crowding on the nine units that have an early season,” Covy Jones, UDWR big game coordinator, said in a press release. “Instead of everyone hunting during the regular season, some of the hunters will now have a chance to hunt earlier.”

Jones says each change was made with careful consideration to how it affected big game management and hunter opportunity.

“More chances to hunt big game, without negatively affecting the herds, is something big game hunters have consistently told us they want,” said Jones. “The changes we recommended are innovative ways to meet that request. We appreciate the board's support and hope hunters enjoy these new opportunities.”

In addition to the changes above, the Utah Wildlife Board also approved a late season limited entry muzzleloader buck deer hunt on 16 of the 29 proposed units.


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