Utah Rifle Deer Season Opens Oct 17th

Send by email Printer-friendly version Share this

When the general rifle buck deer hunt opens Oct. 17, you shouldn't hear any rifle shots on five hunting areas in Utah.

Why? The rifle hunt on the five units doesn't start until Oct. 21.

The hunt on the units has been shortened to reduce the number of buck deer hunters take. Instead of a nine-day season, the season will run for only five days — Oct. 21 to Oct. 25 — on each of the following units:

  • Central Utah
  • Central Mountains (Nebo)
  • Oquirrh-Stansbury
  • Northeastern Utah
  • South Slope (Vernal)
  • Southeastern Utah
  • La Sal (La Sal Mountains)
  • Southern Utah
  • Monroe

You can get a boundary description for each of the five units at www.wildlife.utah.gov/maps/2009_biggame. Once you reach that part of the site, click on the "General season buck deer units with shorter season dates" selection.

Reason for the change

"The three-year buck to doe ratio on these five units is below the minimum objective of 15 bucks per 100 does," says Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

"Our data shows that shortening the hunt to only five days — by itself — doesn't reduce the number of bucks hunters take," Aoude says. "Most buck deer hunters in Utah hunt an average of only 3 days anyway."

Aoude says delaying when the season opens on the five units is the key to reducing the number of bucks hunters take.

"Our data shows that most buck deer are taken during the opening weekend of the hunt," he says. "When the hunt on these units opens on Oct. 21, many hunters will have already taken their deer. And that means fewer hunters should be hunting on these areas during the five-day hunt."

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