Friday, 27 January 2012 15:10
Switch to 30 hunting units leads to questions from hunters
Utah's five deer-hunting regions have been split into 30 smaller areas—called units—for the 2012 hunt.
A new Web page is available to help you decide which Utah deer hunting area to apply for. Hunting this fall will happen on 30 smaller areas called units.
Photo by Brent Stettler
Feb. 1 is the first day applications will be accepted to hunt on the units. As Feb. 1 rapidly approaches, thousands of hunters are scrambling for information that will help them decide which unit to apply for.
If you're among those who are looking, don't worry—a new Web page is available to give you some guidance.
When you arrive at the Web page, you'll find:
In addition to the map of the 30 units, the list that shows the three-year buck-to-doe average on the units is one of the most important items on the page.
"Units that have large populations and good buck-to-doe ratios will probably be the units that have the highest number of permits," says Division of Wildlife Resources Big Game Coordinator Anis Aoude.
Amy Canning, communications specialist for the Division of Wildlife Resources, hopes the information will help you make the best choice possible. "We've included a wide variety of information," Canning says. "Hopefully, the information will help you apply for the unit that works best for you."
One item that isn't on the site is drawing odds from last year. And there's a good reason for that—this is the first year hunters have applied for 30 separate units, so the data needed to determine drawing odds isn't available yet.
"After the application period is over, and after the Utah Wildlife Board sets permit numbers this spring," Canning says, "we'll have the information needed to let those who apply for the 2013 hunt know what the odds were in 2012."
Start applying on Feb. 1, 2012
You can apply for a 2012 deer permit, or any big game hunting permit in Utah, starting Feb. 1 at wildlife.utah.gov.
Your application must be received through the website no later than 11 p.m. on March 1 to be entered in the draw for permits.
If you have questions or need help completing your application, please call any DWR office before 5 p.m. on March 1.
Results of the 2012 Utah big game draw will be available by May 31.
Hunt all three deer seasons
Would you like to hunt all three general deer hunting seasons (archery, muzzleloader and rifle) on the unit you draw a permit for?
You can if you join the Dedicated Hunter program.
To give yourself a chance to join the Dedicated Hunter program, you must do two things: Complete an online orientation course that will teach you more about the program, and apply for and draw a 2012 general deer hunting permit.
(The online Dedicated Hunter course takes about 30 minutes to complete.)
To learn more about the program and how to join it, visit wildlife.utah.gov/dh.
Lifetime license holders
If you have a lifetime hunting license in Utah, you must do two things to get a permit for your favorite unit: Complete the online lifetime license questionnaire and select the unit you want to hunt.
Access to the questionnaire will be available in the 2012 big game application. Visit wildlife.utah.gov between Feb. 1 and March 1 to access the application, complete the questionnaire and select your unit.
Applying for a point
If you're not going to hunt in 2012, you can still apply for a bonus point or a preference point. These points increase the chance that you'll draw a permit the next time you apply.
You can start applying for a point on Feb. 1. Your application for a point must be received through wildlife.utah.gov no later than 11 p.m. on March 8.
Please remember that you must have a hunting license or a combination license to apply for a point or a hunting permit.
If you have questions about applying for a 2012 deer hunting permit, visit Prepare for the 2012 deer hunt. You can also call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.
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