2003 Sportsman permit applications available by Nov. 6

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Applications for some of next year's most prized Utah big game hunting permits -- 2003 Sportsman permits -- will be available by Nov. 6.

Only Utah residents may apply for Sportsman permits. One Sportsman Permit is offered for each of the following species: Desert bighorn ram, buck deer, buck pronghorn, bull elk, bull moose, hunter's choice bison and hunter's choice Rocky Mountain goat.

The 2003 Sportsman Permit hunt runs Sept. 1 - Dec. 31, 2003. Hunters may hunt on any unit open for the respective species, except the Pilot Mountain unit for elk and the Pine Valley, Virgin River for desert bighorn sheep.

"The long season dates and ability to hunt every open hunting unit in the state except two make Sportsman permits a highly prized item," says Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Beginning Nov. 6, hunters who have an American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa credit card can apply for a Sportsman Permit online at the DWR's Internet Web site (www.wildlife.utah.gov).

Hunters who don't have one of these credit cards must mail their application in. Sportsman Permit applications will be available by Nov. 6 from 400 hunting and fishing license agents statewide and Division of Wildlife Resources offices in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Springville, Vernal, Price and Cedar City.

Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 20 to be entered in the draw for permits. "Those who don't apply on the Internet are reminded that it will take a few days for their application to arrive through the mail, and to mail it as far in advance of the Nov. 20 date as possible," Tutorow said.

She also reminds hunters that a $5 nonrefundable handling fee is required for each species a hunter applies for.

Results of the 2003 Sportsman Permit Draw will be posted Dec. 10. Successful applicants also will be notified by letter.

Those with questions may call their nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office, or the Division's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.