Some major big game hunting changes—including splitting Utah into 30 general deer hunting units—have happened in Utah in the past two years.

2013 should be a lot quieter.

The following are the major changes Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are recommending for Utah’s 2013 big game hunts:

  • Guaranteeing those who are 18 years of age or younger a chance to hunt during Utah’s general archery buck deer hunt.

If young hunters didn’t draw an archery, muzzleloader or rifle deer permit in the big game draw, they could buy a youth general archery deer permit, for the unit of their choice, starting in July.

Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR, says having youth archery permits would not take opportunities away from adult hunters.  “The youth permits would be additional permits offered above the regular archery permit cap,” he says.

Youth archery permits were not available in 2012.  They were available in 2011, though.  About 450 youth took advantage of the opportunity and bought a permit that year.

  • Changing two limited-entry units—the Fillmore, Oak Creek South unit and the portion of the Beaver unit that’s west of Interstate 15—to general any-bull elk units.

Aoude says neither unit has great elk habitat.  And most of the elk on the two areas are found on private land.  “For those reasons,” he says, “the units don’t give hunters the type of hunting experience most of them want on a limited-entry unit.”

Learn more, share your ideas

You can see all of the DWR’s big game recommendations at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings/info/2012-11_rac_packet.pdf.

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 Dec. 6 to approve rules for Utah’s 2013 big game hunts.

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

Northern Region                                           Southeastern Region

Nov. 7                                                             Nov. 14

6 p.m.                                                              6:30 p.m.

Brigham City Community Center                   John Wesley Powell Museum

24 N. 300 W.                                                   1765 E. Main St.

Brigham City                                                   Green River

Central Region                                              Northeastern Region

Nov. 8                                                             Nov. 15

6:30 p.m.                                                         6 p.m.

Springville Public Library                                Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy

45 S. Main St.                                                 320 N. Aggie Blvd.

Springville                                                       Vernal

Southern Region

Nov. 13

7 p.m.

Cedar Middle School

2215 W. Royal Hunte Dr.

Cedar City

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/dwr/rac-members.html.

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.

Image courtesy Utah DWR

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