Utah proposes changes for 2018 season


Utah Mule Deer
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There may be more hunting opportunity in Utah in 2018. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) biologists have made some recommendations for next year’s season that would create additional opportunity for deer and elk as well as help reduce hunter crowding.

“Almost all of the requests we receive from big game hunters have a common theme: we’d like more opportunity to hunt big game,” Covy Jones, UDWR big game coordinator, said in a press release. “We’ve examined how the state's big game populations are doing and the current hunt structure we have. We think we’ve found some innovative ways to meet the requests of hunters without negatively affecting the herds.”

Here are UDWR’s 2018 recommendations:

  • Adding an early-season rifle buck deer hunt on 10 general deer hunting units in Oct. 10-14. This would include the Kamas, Chalk Creek, East Canyon and Morgan/South Rich units in northern Utah, the Nine Mile Unit in southeaster Utah and the Fillmore, Fishlake, Panguitch Lake, Pine Valley and Zion units in south-central and southwestern Utah, KSL.com reports. Jones says that holding two separate hunts would help with the hunter crowding during general season.
  • Holding a late-season limited-entry muzzleloader buck deer hunt in early November to help specific units meet buck-to-doe ratios. This would expand to cover all general season deer hunting units.
  • Allow elk hunting during all three seasons – archery, rifle and muzzleloader – in spike-only and any-bull general elk hunting units.
  • Add a special “cactus buck-only” hunt on the Paunsaugunt premium limited entry unit in southwestern Utah.

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“Offering a cactus buck-only hunt would allow more people to hunt this amazing unit and take bucks hunters aren’t currently taking,” Jones told KSL.com. “Cactus bucks typically can’t reproduce, so taking these bucks would not have a negative effect on the population.”

For a complete list of big game recommendations, click here. Once you review the recommendations, you can either attend a Regional Advisory Council meeting or email your council member directly.


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