Utah Hunters Don't Wait to Apply

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Big game hunt applications due by March 1, 2012

Time is running out to get your application in to hunt big game animals in Utah this fall.

Mule deer

Time is running out to get your application in to hunt big game in Utah this fall. You must apply no later than 11 p.m. on March 1.

Photo by AJ Rogers

Applications to hunt big game—including deer—are due through wildlife.utah.gov no later than 11 p.m. on March 1.

Before you apply for a general deer hunting permit, make sure to visit the Prepare for the 2012 deer hunt Web page. The Web page has information that will help you decide which of Utah's 30 new deer hunting units to apply for.

If you decide to apply for a Utah big game hunting permit, Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, has some advice: Apply before the last day of the application period. And when you apply, don't forget to donate some dollars to help control coyotes in Utah.

Tutorow also encourages you to consider joining Utah's Dedicated Hunter program. And she has a reminder for lifetime license holders.

Apply now

You can apply for a permit at wildlife.utah.gov. Tutorow says the amount of patience you have is the critical factor in deciding when to apply.

"If you apply before March 1," she says, "you should be able to get your application in fast."

If you wait until March 1, however, you could run into some challenges.

"Thousands of hunters wait until the last day to apply," Tutorow says. "Receiving that much traffic in such a short period of time slows our website down."

If you decide to wait until March 1 to apply, make sure you start applying before 11 p.m. If you start applying before 11 p.m.—and you don't log off the system before you've completed your application—the system will allow you to finish your application.

"If you log out after 11 p.m., and then you try and get back into the system," she says, "you'll be out of luck. Starting at 11 p.m., the only thing you can apply for is a bonus point or a preference point."

Coyote control

As you're completing your application, consider donating some money to help control coyotes in Utah. Coyotes are the animal that preys the most on mule deer fawns.

You can donate by clicking the "Donate for coyote control" box that will appear as you're completing your application. Then simply include your coyote control donation with your application fees.

Hunt all three deer seasons

Would you like to hunt all three general deer hunting seasons (archery, muzzleloader and rifle) on the unit you draw a permit for?

You can if you join the Dedicated Hunter program.

To give yourself a chance to join the Dedicated Hunter program, you must do two things: Complete an online orientation course that will teach you more about the program, and apply for and draw a 2012 general deer hunting permit.

(The online Dedicated Hunter course takes about 30 minutes to complete.)

To learn more about the program and how to join it, visit wildlife.utah.gov/dh.

Lifetime license holders

If you have a lifetime hunting license in Utah, you must do two things to get a permit for your favorite unit: Complete the online lifetime license questionnaire and select the unit you want to hunt.

You can access the questionnaire through the 2012 big game application. Visit wildlife.utah.gov to access the application, complete the questionnaire and select your unit.

Applying for a point

If you're not going to hunt in 2012, you can still apply for a bonus point or a preference point. These points increase the chance that you'll draw a permit the next time you apply.

Your application for a point must be received through wildlife.utah.gov no later than 11 p.m. on March 8.

Please remember that you must have a hunting license or a combination license to apply for a point or a hunting permit.

30 deer hunt units

If you're trying to decide which general deer hunt unit to apply for, you'll want to visit the Prepare for the 2012 deer hunt Web page on the Division's website. On the web page you'll find:

  • a map that shows where the 30 units are located
  • a link that will take you to detailed maps and a boundary description for each unit
  • a list that shows the average number of bucks per 100 does on each unit for the past three years
  • a list that shows the number of hunters who hunted each area in 2011
  • a list of frequently asked questions and answers.

In addition to the map of the 30 units, the list that shows the three-year buck-to-doe average on the units is one of the most important items on the page.

"Units that have large populations and good buck-to-doe ratios will probably be the units that have the highest number of permits," says DWR Big Game Coordinator Anis Aoude.

Amy Canning, communications specialist for the DWR, hopes the information will help you make the best choice possible. "We've included a wide variety of information," she says. "Hopefully, the information will help you apply for the unit that works best for you."

One item that isn't on the site is drawing odds from last year. And there's a reason for that—this is the first year hunters have applied for 30 separate units, so the data needed to determine drawing odds isn't available yet.

"After the application period is over, and after the Utah Wildlife Board sets permit numbers this spring," Canning says, "we'll have the information needed to let those who apply for the 2013 hunt know what the odds were in 2012."

More information

For more information, call the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659, the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.