Utah Big Game Hunting Opportunities

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Two new opportunities await those who apply for a Utah big game hunting permit this year.

Beginning Jan. 17, applications for 2007 general buck deer, limited entry, once-in-a-lifetime and Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit hunts will be available from hunting and fishing license agents statewide, the Division of Wildlife Resources' Web site and DWR offices.

To be included in the draw for permits, applications must be received through the mail or an overnight mail service no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 16, or through the DWR's Web site no later than 11 p.m. on Feb. 16.

New opportunities

The following are among the new opportunities available to Utah's big game hunters in 2007:

Combination buck deer / bull elk hunt.

Two thousand hunters can take both a buck deer and a bull elk during a new combination buck deer/bull elk hunt that will be held in the Northern Region this fall.

A total of 2,000 Northern Region general season buck deer permits will be taken from the Northern Region allotment and made available for the new hunt. Hunters who draw one of the permits will also receive an any-bull elk permit.

The new buck deer/bull elk hunt will be held Oct. 6 18. Hunters who draw one of the combination permits can take both a buck deer and a bull elk. The buck deer must be taken on an any-bull elk unit in the Northern Region. The bull elk can be taken on any any-bull elk unit in the state.

More information about the combination hunt is available on page 24 of the 2007 Utah Big Game Proclamation.

Management bull elk hunts

Additional hunters will find themselves hunting on some Utah's best limited entry elk hunts, but they'll be limited as to the size of the bull they can take.

Additional rifle hunting permits will be available for the late November hunt on the Monroe, Pahvant and Southwest Desert units in southwestern Utah. Additional permits also will be available for the archery hunt on the San Juan unit in southeastern Utah. The archery hunt on the unit starts in August.

Thirty percent of the new "management bull elk hunt" permits will be available to hunters who are 18 years of age or younger, and 30 percent will be available to hunters who are 65 years of age or older. The remaining 40 percent will be available to hunters of all ages.

Hunters who draw a management hunt permit will be encouraged to take a bull elk with five or less antler points. Hunters who take a larger bull will not be allowed to keep the bull. They'll also lose any bonus points they've accrued, and they'll incur a waiting period that won't allow them to apply for a limited entry elk permit for five years.

The Utah Wildlife Board will set the permit numbers for the management bull elk hunts this spring. Please see pages 28 and 29 of the 2007 Utah Big Game Proclamation for more information.

Tips and advice

Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR, has some tips hunters can follow to help ensure their 2007 big game application is included in the draw:

Apply early

Applying early is the best thing hunters can do to ensure their application is entered in the draw and save themselves time and frustration in the process.

"Most of the hunters who apply on the Internet wait until the last week to apply. Thousands of people trying to apply at the same time really slows the system down," she says. "If you apply early in the application period, it should take less than five minutes to submit your application."

Tutorow encourages hunters to include an e-mail address when they apply online. "Having an e-mail address allows us to send a confirmation to you so you can double-check and make sure you entered your information correctly," she says. "Also, if you'll include your e-mail address when you apply, we'll send an e-mail to you in April, letting you know whether you drew a permit."

Hunters who submit paper applications are also encouraged to apply early. "It takes a few days for a paper application to arrive in their mail, so make sure you mail it far enough in advance that we receive it by 5 p.m. on Feb. 16," she says. "Also, if there's an error on your application, but we receive it by 5 p.m. on Feb. 9, you'll receive a correction letter and a chance to correct and resubmit your application."

Write your credit card number correctly

Incorrect credit card information is the biggest reason applications are rejected. Tutorow advises hunters to write their credit card number slowly and clearly (so the people receiving the application can read it) and to double-check that they wrote the number correctly. Also, credit cards must be valid through May 2007 to be used as payment.

Tutorow also wants to make hunters aware of the following:

  • Fifteen percent of the general buck deer permits in each region have been set aside for youth hunters who will be 18 years old or younger on Aug. 18 (the start of Utah's 2007 general archery buck deer hunt). This should give youth hunters a better chance of drawing a Southern Region permit. Youth hunters who apply as part of a group will not be included in the 15 percent, however, so youths who want the best chance of obtaining a Southern Region permit are encouraged to apply individually.
  • Hunters who obtained a 2006 limited entry or once-in-a-lifetime permit, but did not report their harvest success, may not apply for a 2007 big game permit. Hunters who have questions about this requirement may call the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659 for more information.