Utah Meetings Will Discuss Permit Numbers for 2011 Seasons

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Offering more spike bull elk hunting permits, a few more hard-to-draw mountain goat permits and fewer buck deer permits are among ideas Division of Wildlife Resources biologists will share at upcoming public meetings.

Permits might go up for some species

If you enjoy hunting spike bull elk or mountain goats, you'll probably like permit changes DWR biologists are recommending for 2011.

Biologists are recommending that the number of general spike bull elk permits increase from 13,750 to 15,000 for this fall's hunts. And mountain goat permits, which are once-in-a-lifetime permits that are difficult to draw, might increase from 111 to 133.

"Overall, Utah's big game animals are doing well," says Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR. "There are plenty of opportunities to hunt big game in Utah."

Buck deer permits

While biologists estimate the total number of deer in Utah at more than 290,000, they're concerned about the number of fawns per 100 does, and the number of bucks per 100 does, they've seen in certain areas of the state.

Also, they want to help hunters transition to deer hunting changes that will happen in Utah in 2012.<

"We don't know for sure yet," says Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR, "but the board may decide to cut general season buck deer permits by as many as 13,000 by 2012."

Rather than hit hunters with the cuts all at once, Aoude says biologists would like to start cutting permits now. "If we start cutting permits now," Aoude says, "the final cuts won't have to be as severe in 2012."

The following chart shows the number of general rifle and muzzleloader permits that were available in 2010 and the number the DWR is recommending -- by region -- for 2011:

  • Region 2010 permits 2011 permits
  • Northern 21,000 21,000
  • Central 13,000 13,000
  • Northeastern 13,000 11,000
  • Southeastern 13,000 12,000
  • Southern 18,000 16,000
  • Total 78,000 73,000

The changes will happen in 2012 because the minimum number of bucks per 100 does has been increased in Utah's deer management plan.

Instead of managing Utah's hunts so a minimum of 15 bucks per 100 does are found after the hunts are over in the fall, biologists will manage the 2012 hunts with a goal of finding at least 18 bucks per 100 does after the hunts are over.

The Utah Wildlife Board won't set permit numbers for 2012 until next year. But biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources know the number of hunters will have to be reduced to reach the new 18 bucks per 100 does objective.

Learn more, share your ideas

All of the DWR's big game permit recommendations for this fall -- including cow elk, doe deer, doe pronghorn and cow moose proposals - should be available by April 7 at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.

After you've reviewed the ideas, you can let your Regional Advisory Council members know your thoughts by attending your upcoming RAC meeting or by sending an email to them.

RAC chairmen will share the input they receive with members of the Utah Wildlife Board. The board will meet in Salt Lake City on May 5 to approve permit numbers for this fall's big game hunts.

Dates, times and locations for the RAC meetings are as follows:

Southern Region
April 12
5 p.m.
Beaver High School
195 E. Center St.
Beaver

Southeastern Region
April 13
5 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St.
Green River

Northeastern Region
April 14
5 p.m.
Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center
320 N. 2000 W.
Vernal

Central Region
April 19
6:30 p.m.
Springville Junior High School
165 S. 700 E.
Springville

Northern Region
April 20
6 p.m.
Weber State University, Shepherd
Union Building, Rooms 404 A and 404 B
3848 Harrison Blvd.
Ogden

Email
You can also provide your comments to your RAC via email. Email addresses for your RAC members are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.

The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person's email address. You should direct your email to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.