Utah's New Mule Deer Regulations Draw Fire
Utah recently passed the most sweeping changes in the states mule deer regulations in over two decades and will go into effect in 2012. While the changes are significant, not everyone is happy with how the regulations were developed or who they benefit. The Salt Lake Tribune is running an in-depth article on the regulations, the Utah Wildlife Board, and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.
The changes, which go into effect in 2012, will reduce the number of deer-hunting permits by at least 13,000 annually and dramatically increase the cost of a general-season hunting tag in Utah. Critics charge that opportunity for the average hunter is being lost at the expense of the well-heeled, who are more interested in trophy animals and believe these new laws are the best way to produce more. And everyone, beginning with the DWR’s top big-game biologist, agrees the changes do nothing to address the plight of the state’s dwindling deer herds.