Archery Deer Hunt Provides Several Advantages to Hunters

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Utah's statewide archery buck deer hunt provides hunters advantages they won't find in any other deer hunt.

And with more yearling bucks expected in many of Utah's deer herds, this year might be the perfect year to give the statewide archery deer hunt a try.

Utah's statewide archery buck deer hunt runs Aug. 21 to Sept. 17. Hunters may hunt on any area in the state that's open to general season deer hunting.

"Statewide archery hunters enjoy a long season and they're able to hunt during a nice time of year, when the weather is usually good," said Jim Karpowitz, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "The archery hunt isn't as crowded as the rifle and muzzleloader hunts and archery hunters get first crack at the deer, so they're hunting when deer numbers are the highest."

Good moisture during the spring of 2003 also has helped the number of deer fawns in many parts of Utah rebound after four years of decline.

In the fall of 2002, the statewide fawn to doe ratio had fallen to 43 fawns per 100 does. After a wet spring in 2003, the number of fawns per 100 does increased to a statewide average of 58 fawns per 100 does. There was very little deer loss this past winter, so most of bucks born in 2003 should be available to hunters as yearling bucks this year.

With improved habitat conditions, antler growth should also be better this year. "We're looking for an improved hunt, especially in the northern half of the state, which received some good moisture during the spring of 2003," Karpowitz said. "Archery hunters will be the first ones to get out and enjoy the hunt."

Statewide archery permits are still available for the upcoming hunt. The easiest way to purchase them is on this Web site. Permits also are available from 137 license agents statewide and the DWR's six offices.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.