Limited Entry Elk Permit Increase Proposal

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A significant increase in limited entry elk permits and a slight reduction in limited entry deer permits will be proposed by the Division of Wildlife Resources at public meetings in March.

The permit recommendations are for hunts in Utah this fall. DWR biologists will also present bucks, bulls and once-in-a-lifetime permit recommendations for pronghorn, moose, bison, bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goats. Those who attend the meetings are encouraged to provide the biologists with their suggestions. Citizens who serve on Utah's Regional Advisory Councils will take the public input received to the Utah Wildlife Board when it meets April 1 in Salt Lake City to approve permit numbers for this fall's hunts.

Ideas about big game hunting in Utah in 2005 will also be taken at the meetings. Meeting dates, times and locations are as follows:

* NORTHEASTERN REGION
March 15, 7 p.m.
Vernal City Office
447 E. Main St., Vernal

* SOUTHEASTERN REGION
March 16, 6:30 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
885 E. Main St., Green River

* SOUTHERN REGION
March 17, 7 p.m.
Beaver High School
195 E. Center St., Beaver

* CENTRAL REGION
March 18, 6:30 p.m.
Timpview High School Auditorium
3570 N. 650 E., Provo

* NORTHERN UTAH
March 27, 6 p.m.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W., Brigham City

2004 bucks, bulls and once-in-a-lifetime permit recommendations

Among the DWR's recommendations is a 30 percent increase in the number of limited entry elk hunting permits available in Utah this fall.

"The Utah Wildlife Board voted last fall to eliminate a special AR-301 archery elk hunt," said Jim Karpowitz, big game coordinator for the DWR. "Eliminating that hunt, coupled with the fact that many of our elk units have bulls on them that are older than the age class objectives for the units, allows us to offer more limited entry elk hunting permits this year."

The DWR is proposing a total of 1,270 limited entry elk permits, an increase of more than 300 from the 966 available last year. Most of the additional permits will be for archery and muzzleloader hunts.

While limited entry elk permits would increase under DWR proposals, limited entry deer permits would decrease by about 10 percent from last year. The DWR is proposing 937 limited entry deer permits for 2004. "The newest deer management plan for the state calls for a 25 bucks to 100 does ratio on limited entry deer units, and the units are not meeting that objective," Karpowitz said.

The number of general season buck deer permits would remain at 97,000. "On a region-wide basis, all five regions are meeting the minimum objective of 15 bucks per 100 does," he said.

Karpowitz says the number of pronghorn, moose and Rocky Mountain goat permits being proposed for 2004 is up slightly from the number available in 2003. The number of bison and bighorn sheep permits being proposed is down slightly. The total number of permits being proposed for each of these species is as follows:

* Pronghorn — 409
* Moose — 114
* Bison — 43
* Desert Bighorn Sheep — 34
* Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep — 9
* Rocky Mountain Goats — 43

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