By: Bears Butt
New Proposals that will affect Utah hunters:
The following are among the DWR’s proposals:
Hunt deer after general rifle hunt ends
One proposal would allow limited entry deer hunting on six general season units, after the general rifle buck deer hunt on the units is over.
You’d be required to use a muzzleloader during the late-season hunt. Rifles would not be allowed. Only a small number of permits would be available.
“This change would give a small number of muzzleloader hunters a great late-season opportunity to hunt deer,” says Justin Shannon, big game coordinator for the DWR, “and it wouldn’t affect the number of bucks on the units much at all.”
Shannon says the hunt would run Oct. 28 to Nov. 5, the same days the general muzzleloader elk hunt is held. Hunting would be allowed only on units that are managed for 18 to 20 bucks per 100 does and that are exceeding their buck-to-doe objective.
The six units that currently meet the criteria are Chalk Creek/East Canyon/Morgan-South Rich (Unit 4/5/6) and Kamas (Unit 7) in northern Utah; Nine Mile (Unit 11) in east-central Utah; and Southwest Desert (Unit 20), Zion (Unit 29) and Pine Valley (Unit 30) in southwestern Utah.
Limited chance to hunt all three seasons
Another proposal would allow a small number of hunters to hunt all three seasons — archery, muzzleloader and rifle — on the limited entry or premium limited entry deer unit for which they drew a permit.
Utah currently offers an opportunity like this to a small number of elk and black bear hunters. “We’d like to give a few deer hunters that same chance,” Shannon says.
About three percent of the total number of limited entry and premium limited entry deer permits would give hunters this opportunity.
Three more days to hunt bull elk
Limited entry muzzleloader elk hunters would have three more days to hunt under another DWR proposal. Biologists are proposing that the limited entry muzzleloader elk hunt run from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2.
Longer mountain goat hunt
Mountain goat hunters would also have more time afield.
Currently, Utah’s once-in-a-lifetime mountain goat hunt ends in mid-October on most units. Biologists would like to extend the season as late as mid or late November on some units.
Urban archery deer hunt in Cache County
To lessen the number of deer that are living in urban areas in Cache County, the DWR is recommending an archery-only urban deer hunt.
The hunt would happen mostly on private land in an area that includes the towns of Clarkston, Trenton, Wellsville and Mendon. The hunt would run Sept. 12–Nov. 30.
With this I wrote the Northern Regional Committee and told them this:
Folks, I’m not intentionally leaving out other committee members, I just thought the 4 of you could represent my thoughts in the Northern Region RAC meeting.
I just read where it is proposed to create another limited entry muzzle load deer hunt to allow a few muzzleloader people hunt during the beginning of the deer rut.
As proposed, it would include areas that are considered over the buck to doe ratio for those units. I question that reasoning.
I am not against this proposed hunt, in fact if the units were closer to where I live and were not all private, I would be very interested in applying for it.
Buck to doe ratios are usually determined AFTER all the other hunts have taken place and in my opinion are just wild guesses anyway.
I would think you would get more buy in from the hunting masses of the state if you would just have a few tags available for each and every one of the 30 units of the state, or just leave out the units covered by the Wasatch Late archery areas and the late Crawford Mtn hunt, from this new LE hunt.
My thoughts on opening it up are this: If there were a limited number of tags in every unit, say 3 to 10, that would put that much more money into the coffers. A few of the units would not have many bucks in them anyway because of migration at the proposed hunting date timeline and the harvest would be minimal. More tags would be offered in the 6 proposed areas because it is already felt there are more bucks in those units than desired and of course there would be a larger percentage of harvest in those units (more hunters afield = more bucks killed).
So, the bottom line is, offer more tags “state wide”, gain more money from the applications, gain more money from the available tags, have another set of happy tag holders and still not hurt the deer herds very much. I’d love to have a chance at a rutting buck in the Bear Lake area of the state or out on the Pilot Mountain range.
I don’t know about the rest of the proposals, I guess they just didn’t seem to be very important to me at this time. You might want to read up on these for yourself and maybe attend the meetings or send them an email of your own.
Oct. 24, 2014