Last Updated on Thursday, 23 February 2012 08:39
Utah offers a variety of hunting opportunities. To learn more about the types of hunting permits available, visit our guidebooks page or contact any Division of Wildlife office.
This page is your guide to how permit drawings work.
Check the current guidebook for this year's application dates.
The Division publishes annual guidebooks that detail application dates, information about permit types, rules and regulations and more. You can download PDF versions of every guidebook. Printed versions of most guidebooks are available from license agents and Division offices.
There are two ways to apply for permits that are offered in a drawing:
1 During an application period, visit our online application website.
2 Call or visit a Division office during an application period. Our staff will be happy to help you with an application.
There are two different point systems:
There are two types of applications:
Before you apply for a permit, you should make sure that you meet Utah’s hunter education, age and license requirements. You'll also need to know if you qualify as a resident. Read more
Hunter Education: If you were born after Dec. 31, 1965, you must provide proof that you’ve passed a hunter education course approved by the Division before you can apply for or obtain a hunting license or permit. Applicants that apply for a permit without having completed a Hunter Education course will be rejected in the drawing. If you become a Utah resident and you’ve completed a hunter education course in another state, province or country, you must obtain a Utah "blue card" before you can buy a resident hunting license. You can obtain a Utah blue card at any Division office by providing proof that you’ve completed a hunter education course approved by the Division. (More information about transferring your out-of-state certificate of completion.) Learn more about Utah's Hunter Education program or find a Hunter Education training course.
Age Restrictions: Utah has different minimum age requirements for hunting. For details, please read the guidebook for the type of animal you want to hunt.
Hunting License: You must have a valid Utah hunting or combination license to apply for or obtain a big game, antlerless big game, black bear, cougar or turkey permit.
Residency: To apply for or obtain a permit, you must select whether you are a Utah resident or a nonresident. To determine if you qualify as a resident, click to see the definition of resident or see the definition in Utah State Code.
Choosing a hunt: We recommend that you research the area you want to hunt before you apply for it. Some hunting areas in Utah are made up of large amounts of public lands. Others are made up of mostly private lands, which require trespass permission. Researching before you apply will help you avoid drawing a permit that you might not be able to use. You can find maps and boundary descriptions on the the Division's website. Note: Permit drawings can be complicated and the odds often misinterpreted. Please be cautious of anyone that assures that you will draw a permit in a certain year.
The online application process is easy to use. Detailed instructions walk you through each page, and you have multiple opportunities to review your hunt choices. There are also a few other things to keep in mind. Read more
When to apply: You may apply online anytime (24 hours a day, seven days a week) during an open application period. There is not any advantage in the drawing to applying early. However, we strongly recommend that you complete your application before the final hours of an application period. Our offices close at 5 p.m. Mountain time. We will not be available to help you if you encounter a problem after 5 p.m.
Group applications: Some applications allow you to apply with other hunters in a group. Learn more about group applications.
Hunt choices: Most hunts allow you to select more than one choice in the application. Please remember that if you apply as an individual and are hoping to hunt with your family or friends, you may want to select only one hunt choice or consider a group application instead. Learn more about group applications.
Double-check your hunt selection: Make sure you select the hunt that you really want. Please double-check the hunt number, area, season and weapon type before completing the application. The application will give you several opportunities to review your hunt choice(s).
Application fees: The application fee is $10 per application. Application fees must be paid by credit card, debit card, or pre-paid credit cards. Cards must be valid at least 30 days after the date the results are posted.
Application confirmation: At the end of the application, you should see a confirmation screen. If you provided an email address, you will also receive an email confirmation. Make sure that you print this screen or write down the confirmation and session numbers. This serves as proof that you completed the application. If you don't see a confirmation page, you can't trust that the application was completed. Should this happen, please immediately contact 800-221-0659. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In the weeks after the application, some hunters have additional questions. Those questions are often about credit card changes and drawing results. Read more
Fee charges: After the application is submitted, you will be charged for application fees, hunting license fees, and donations. We won't charge you for the permit fee unless you are successful in the drawing. Charges for permits can happen anytime after the drawing is held. Normally charges begin before the drawing results are available.
Credit card changes: If your credit card number changes after you apply, please contact Utah Wildlife Administrative Services at 800-221-0659 to update your information.
Declined credit cards: What if my credit card declines when the permit fee is charged? Utah Wildlife Administrative Services will attempt to contact applicants by phone. If they can't reach you, they will send a letter with a payment deadline. If that deadline passes without the fee paid, we will offer your permit to someone else. If we can't reissue that permit, you may remain responsible for the fee.
Drawing results: Drawing results dates are listed in the guidebooks. On or before that date, you will be sent an email with your drawing results. If you didn't list an email in your application, you can check your results online or by calling 800-221-0659, or contacting us after the result date.
Utah has developed a drawing system that favors hunters that have applied the longest but that still gives new hunters a chance to obtain a permit.
The big game drawing offers multiple types of permits but limits an applicant to drawing one once-in-a-lifetime or one limited-entry permit per year. Because of this, the drawing order may be important to you. The permit selection process follows the basic order listed in Utah Administrative Rule R657-62-19:
For many hunters, knowing that general season permits are drawn after the limited-entry and once-in-a-lifetime permits is good enough. For others, it may helpful to know that limited-entry is considered before once-in-a-lifetime. Whatever your goal, know that the drawing is complicated and there are situations in which a permit may be drawn unexpectedly.
When the drawing begins, 50% of the permits for each hunt are drawn by the applicants that have the most bonus points. Next, the other 50% of the permits for each hunt are drawn among all remaining applicants. Having bonus points will give you a better chance at drawing a permit in this part of the drawing also. Learn more about bonus points.
How preference points work in the general-season drawing: Starting with the highest point level, the drawing looks at the hunter's first choice. If a permit is available for the hunt, the permit is awarded. (In the case of a group application, permits are awarded if there are enough permits for the people in the group.) If permits are not available, the application is skipped and the first choice of the next person is considered. After all first choices have been considered at that preference point level, the drawing will start looking at the second choices within that point level. This process continues in the same way for third, fourth and fifth choices. When the drawing is done for the highest point level, the process repeats for each point level down. Learn more about preference points.
Links to more Utah hunting-related information