Purchase Bull Elk Permits Early This Year

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General any bull elk muzzleloader permits in Utah are no longer capped at 1,300 permits. That means additional hunters will be able to enjoy one of Utah's most popular elk hunts this fall, but it also means muzzleloader and rifle any bull elk hunters need to get their permits early this year.

"Utah's elk herds are doing so well, and muzzleloader hunters have such a limited impact of them, that we felt we could allow additional hunters to take advantage of the hunt," said Jim Karpowitz, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

"The general muzzleloader hunt happens in November, which is a great time to hunt elk," he said. "The elk are heading to their winter ranges and they're in larger groups that time of the year."

Challenges to hunting any bull units include rugged terrain, which can make it difficult to get to the elk. Some any bull units also consist mostly of private land.

Buy your permit early

Beginning this year, the 1,300 any bull elk muzzleloader permit cap has been removed and muzzleloader permits (formerly known as ML-300 permits) are included with rifle permits in the same 14,300 permit cap.

More than 6,000 hunters applied for any bull elk muzzleloader permits in 2003. With the 1,300 cap removed, there's a chance that many of the 6,000 hunters will take advantage of the opportunity to buy a permit, and that will impact how fast any bull elk permits sell this year.

"Any bull elk permits have come close to selling out in the past, and I think there's a good chance they'll sell out this year," said Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR. "I would encourage hunters to buy their permit early."

The easiest way to obtain a permit is at the DWR's Web site (wildlife.utah.gov). Hunters may also buy permits at DWR offices. Hunters who decide to buy a permit from a license agent are encouraged to visit the DWR Web site to learn which agents are selling general bull elk permits this year.

"Because we think they'll be quite a demand for any bull elk permits, we're only allowing agents who are connected to our Agent On-line system to sell them this year," Tutorow said. "The system allows us to know, on a daily basis, how many permits have been sold. Selling them through the system will allow us to close permit sales and prevent permits from overselling this year."

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