Recommended Reduction in Anterless Elk and Deer Permits

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Efforts to increase the number of deer and elk in Utah will continue this year through a reduction in the number of antlerless hunting permits available in the state.

Division of Wildlife Resources wildlife biologists will present recommendations to decrease the number of antlerless permits for many of Utah's deer and elk herds at an April 20 public meeting. The meeting will originate in Salt Lake City and will be broadcast to locations across the state.

After viewing the interactive presentation, those in attendance can ask DWR officials questions. After the question and answer period, citizen Regional Advisory Council representatives at each location will take public input. They'll present that input to the Utah Wildlife Board when it meets April 29 in Salt Lake City to approve Utah's 2004 Antlerless Addendum.

The April 20 RAC meeting begins at 6 p.m. People may participate and provide their input at any of the following locations:

Northern Region
Davis Applied Technology Center
550 E. 300 S., Kaysville

Central Region
Skaggs Pharmacy Building
University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Northeastern Region
Uintah Basin Applied Technology Center
1100 E. Lagoon St., Roosevelt

Southeastern Region
Carbon High School
750 E. 400 N., Price

Southern Region
Snow College South
800 W. 200 S., Richfield

Cow elk permits

The biggest reduction the Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing is in cow elk permits. The DWR is recommending 6,587 cow elk permits for this fall, down more than 4,300 from the 10,952 available in 2003.

"We're about 10,000 animals under our statewide objective of 68,400 elk," said Jim Karpowitz, big game coordinator for the DWR. "We want to do all we can to slowly bring the statewide elk population closer to that objective."

Doe deer permits

Biologists will also recommend a reduction in doe deer permits. The DWR will recommend 2,105 doe deer permits for this fall, down 1,500 from the 3,605 available in 2003.

"The number of fawns produced last spring was the highest we've seen in three years, but the total number of deer counted after last fall's hunting seasons was down from the previous fall," Karpowitz said. "We're recommending the reduction to take fewer does and help build the herds."

Most of the doe deer permits the DWR will recommend are for areas where there is agricultural depredation or rangeland concerns.

Doe pronghorn permits

The DWR will also propose 222 doe pronghorn permits for this fall. Most of those permits would be two-doe permits that would allow the holders to take two doe pronghorn off the Plateau unit in south-central Utah.

"The pronghorn herds on the unit are doing so well that they're now above the objective for the unit," he said. "Increased doe hunting and transplanting animals from the unit to other pronghorn units are two ways to bring the herds within objective."

Cow moose permits

The total number of cow moose permits would remain at 23, the same number offered in 2003.

Condition of utah's big game herds

It appears that Utah's deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and moose herds made it through the winter in good shape.

"We're still doing our spring deer classification and mortality surveys, but it doesn't appear that there was any major winter loss," Karpowitz said. "The winter was fairly severe from Salt Lake City to Brigham City, but it was pretty mild everywhere else."

Spring and summer are crucial times for big game animals as they give birth to and care for fawns and calves. Karpowitz is hoping for good rainfall over the next few months. "Good precipitation during the spring and summer is important in providing the animals the forage they need," he said.

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