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Wildlife News

2012 deer hunt preview

The following are reports for each of the state's 30 general deer hunting units. The reports are split into five groups based on where the units are located:

Northern Utah

Unit 1–Box Elder

Number of bucks

The number of bucks is about the same as it's been the past two years. After the hunts were over last fall, the buck-to-doe ratio was 20 bucks per 100 does. Lots of fawns were born during the wet spring in 2011. Deer mortality on the unit was estimated at only 28 percent during the mild winter of 2011-12. Combining the two factors means more yearling bucks should be available this fall. And lots of bigger bucks should be available too. Lots of bucks were 3 points or better in 2011, so plenty of mature bucks should be available in 2012.

Habitat conditions

Not counting the irrigated agricultural fields in the valleys, habitat conditions are extremely dry across the entire unit at both upper and lower elevations. Some green vegetation can still be found across the highest elevations of the Raft River Mountains, but all of the East Box Elder and the Grouse Creek range is extremely dry. Several wildfires burned through deer habitat in 2012, but none of the burned areas are closed to hunting this fall.

Best places to hunt

Because the weather has been drier than normal, look for deer near water sources. Animals are using high-country areas with mixed conifer and aspen stands. Deer spend the day in the trees, and then move to open hillsides in the evening. They return to the trees in the morning. Irrigated agricultural fields in the lower elevations are experiencing very high deer use. To avoid a trespassing citation, secure written permission from the landowner before entering private land.

Hunting tips

If the weather stays hot and dry, deer will continue to spend the day in the trees, and then move to open hillsides in the evening. Spot-and-stalk hunting will still be effective, but it may take more time and patience to wait for a buck to appear during legal shooting hours this year. Groups of hunters may also find success pushing deer into the open by hiking through heavy stands of cover.

Fire restrictions

Fire restrictions are still in place for the Raft River Mountains, which are part of the Sawtooth National Forest. Campfires are restricted to U.S. Forest Service-developed campgrounds in USFS-provided and maintained fire structures. Campers are advised to check the Sawtooth National Forest website for more information regarding fire restrictions. Restrictions on the forest might be lifted before the general hunt begins.

Except for the Sawtooth National Forest, there are no fire restrictions on the unit.

Properly caring for venison

With hot temperatures, hunters should quickly field dress their animal and get it to a meat processor as soon as possible. Removing the hide soon after harvesting the animal will help the meat cool quicker. This will reduce spoilage as well. Nighttime temperatures are dropping in the western part of Box Elder County. In the western part of the county, you can let a deer hang from a tree overnight without spoiling the meat.

Unit 2–Cache

Number of bucks

Compared to last year, hunters should see more yearling bucks. Overall, for the past several years, buck numbers have remained fairly steady with no significant increases or decreases.

Habitat conditions

Habitat conditions are dry, but the Bear River Range is not as dry as Rich County. Water sources are still available on the mountain, though some small springs may be dry. Currently, no areas on the unit have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Deer will be found at higher elevations near water sources.

Hunting tips

Their behavior varies, but most deer are bedding in heavy timber during the day, and then transitioning to areas that are more open at dusk. They'll stay in the open areas until daybreak, and then transition back to the heavy timber for the day

Fire restrictions

Fire restrictions are in place in Rich County. Cache County does not have any fire restrictions.

Properly caring for venison

Deer should be cleaned and cooled immediately, either by deboning and placing the meat on ice, or transporting the carcass to a town so the meat can be cooled.

Unit 3–Ogden

Number of bucks

Compared to last year, hunters can expect to see more yearling bucks on the unit this fall. The overall number of bucks, however, will be similar to what it's been the past several years.

Habitat conditions

The habitat is dry. Water sources are still available on the mountain, though some small springs may be dry. Currently, no areas on the unit have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Deer will be found at higher elevations near water sources.

Hunting tips

Their behavior varies, but most deer are bedding in heavy timber during the day, and then transitioning to areas that are more open at dusk. They'll stay in the open areas until daybreak, and then transition back to the heavy timber for the day

Fire restrictions

None.

Properly caring for venison

Deer should be cleaned and cooled immediately, either by deboning and placing the meat on ice, or transporting the carcass to a town so the meat can be cooled.

Unit 4/5–East Canyon/Morgan-South Rich (part of Unit 4/5/6)

Number of bucks

Compared to last year, hunters should see more yearling bucks. Overall, for the past several years, buck numbers have remained fairly steady with no significant increases or decreases.

Habitat conditions

With the exception of spring heads, the unit has been dry this year. The higher elevations have received small amounts of rain, which has caused a minor green up on the Morgan/South Rich unit. There hasn't been enough rain to cause standing water, however. The East Canyon unit has not received enough rain to cause green up in the higher elevations.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Because of the dry, hot weather this year, hunters should expect to find deer around water and at higher elevations. Lower elevations have not greened up yet. Little forage is available at the lower elevations.

Hunting tips

Deer are most active at dawn and dusk. They go into cover during the heat of the day. Hunters will do best if they hunt early in the morning. If there's enough pressure, though, deer might move during the day too. Even if the deer are moving during the day, you'll likely do best if you're moving rather than waiting for deer to come to you.

Fire restrictions

Campfire restrictions are still in place in Rich County.

Properly caring for venison

To cool the meat, skin the deer as quickly as possible. If possible, keep the animal in the shade. Hang the carcass to allow the meat to cool from all sides, and try to cover the carcass to keep flies and other insects from spoiling the meat. Get the meat to a meat locker/cooler as soon as possible.

Unit 6–Chalk Creek (part of Unit 4/5/6)

Number of bucks

Compared to the last several years, hunters can expect to find more young bucks on the unit. Last year's mild winter and less-than-expected mortality rates have increased deer numbers across the unit. Much of this unit is private property. To avoid a trespassing citation, secure written permission from the landowner before entering private land.

Habitat condition

Habitat conditions are much drier than normal. Hunters are encouraged to look for deer at higher elevations in the more remote drainages. Currently, no areas on the unit have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Hunters will find deer near a water source at higher elevations, in the most remote areas of the unit. A premium should be placed on pre-season scouting. Focus your scouting efforts in areas that are away from major roads and trails.

Hunting tips

Many of the deer on this unit are at the highest elevations, in remote areas, away from human disturbance. Hunters will find the most success hunting very early in the morning and later in the evening. Quite often, deer on this unit will be at or near the tree-line.

Fire restrictions

Campfire restrictions have been lifted.

Properly caring for venison

Hunters are encouraged to field dress their deer and cool the meat as soon as possible. Because of how remote the area is, those hunting the backcountry will need to take extra precautions to care for the meat.

Unit 7–Kamas

Number of bucks

Compared to the last several years, hunters can expect to find more young bucks on the unit this fall. Last year's mild winter and less-than-expected mortality rates have increased deer numbers across the entire unit.

Habitat conditions

Habitat conditions are much drier than normal. Hunters are encouraged to look for deer at higher elevations in the more remote drainages. Currently, no areas on the unit have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Hunters will find deer near a water source at higher elevations, in the most remote areas of the unit. A premium should be placed on pre-season scouting. Focus your scouting efforts in areas that are away from major roads and trails.

Hunting tips

Many of the deer on this unit are at the highest elevations, in remote areas, away from human disturbance. Hunters will find the most success hunting very early in the morning and later in the evening. Quite often, deer on this unit will be at or near the tree-line.

Fire restrictions

Campfire restrictions have been lifted.

Properly caring for venison

Hunters are encouraged to field dress their deer and cool the meat as soon as possible. Because of how remote the area is, those hunting the backcountry will need to take extra precautions to care for the meat

Unit 8–North Slope (Summit County portion)

Number of bucks

Compared to the last several years, hunters can expect to find more young bucks on the unit. Last year's mild winter and less-than-expected mortality rates have increased deer numbers across the entire unit.

Habitat conditions

Habitat conditions are much drier than normal. Hunters are encouraged to look for deer at higher elevations in remote drainages. If you want to find premium habitats, plan on long hikes from most of the major trailheads. Currently, no areas on the unit have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Hunters will find deer near a water source at higher elevations, in the most remote areas of the unit. A premium should be placed on pre-season scouting. Focus your scouting efforts in areas that are away from major roads and trails.

Hunting tips

Many of the deer on this unit are at the highest elevations, in remote areas, away from human disturbance. Hunters will find the most success hunting very early in the morning and later in the evening. Quite often, deer on this unit will be at or near the tree-line. Pre-season scouting is a must on this unit.

Fire restrictions

Campfire restrictions have been lifted.

Properly caring for venison

Hunters are encouraged to field dress their deer and cool the meat as soon as possible. Because of the area is very remote, those hunting the backcountry will need to take extra precautions to care for the meat.

Northeastern Utah

Unit 8–North Slope (Daggett County portion)

Number of bucks

Buck numbers are similar to last year.

Habitat conditions

Most of the unit is very dry. Some vegetation has grown at the higher elevations, but the vegetative growth is significantly less this year. Currently, no areas on the unit have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Where the deer are located will depend on weather conditions near the beginning of the hunt. If the weather stays hot and dry, deer should be at higher elevations. If temperatures are normal or lower, deer will move into traditional areas where food is available. Recent rains should help the water conditions on the unit.

Hunting tips

If temperatures stay warm, deer will seek overhead cover during the day. Hunters should target feeding areas before first light and before the sun goes down. Don't expect deer to stay out much past dawn.

Fire restrictions

None.

Properly caring for venison

Make sure harvested animals are kept in the shade. Take the hide off the animal so the meat can cool faster. The best option is to quarter or bone out the animal, and place the meat in a cooler with ice. Make sure to remove melted ice that accumulates in the bottom of the cooler.

Unit 9A–South Slope, Yellowstone

Number of bucks

Total deer numbers are still down on this unit because of the harsh winter of 2010-11. Total buck numbers are similar to last year. However, because fewer hunting permits were offered for this unit in 2011, fewer bucks were harvested last fall. Taking fewer bucks last year should mean more older bucks on the unit this fall.

Habitat conditions

Conditions were very dry throughout the summer, with the best plant growth happening at higher elevations. Even though some recent rain has helped disperse the animals a little, the deer will most likely be in areas that have water and the greenest vegetation. Currently, no areas on the unit have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Where deer are located will depend on weather conditions near the beginning of the hunt. If the weather stays hot and dry, deer should be at higher elevations or along riparian areas. If temperatures are normal or lower, deer will move into traditional areas where food might be available. Recent rains should help the water conditions on the unit.

Hunting tips

If temperatures stay warm, deer will likely seek shade early in the day. Hunters should focus on the times when deer are the most active: Very early in the morning and later in the afternoon. Deer usually start moving again around 3 or 4 p.m. Afternoons and evenings are the best times to spot deer. During midday, deer are usually bedded down. Midday is the best time to push through heavy cover to spook the deer into the open.

Fire restrictions

All fire restrictions on the unit have been lifted.

Properly caring for venison

Make sure harvested animals are kept in the shade. Take the hide off the animal so the meat can cool faster. The best option is to quarter or bone out the animal, and place the meat in a cooler with ice. Make sure to remove melted ice that accumulates in the bottom of the cooler.

Unit 9B/9D - South Slope, Bonanza/Vernal

Number of bucks

Buck numbers will be similar to last year. A large cut in permits for the unit this year (500 fewer permits) should mean fewer hunters compared to the number who have hunted the unit in the past. Fewer hunters should make the hunt more enjoyable and will leave more bucks for the future.

Habitat conditions

Conditions were very dry throughout the summer, with the best plant growth happening at higher elevations. Even though some recent rain has helped disperse the animals a little, the deer will most likely be in areas that have water and the greenest vegetation. Currently, no areas on the unit have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Where deer are located will depend on weather conditions near the beginning of the hunt. If the weather stays hot and dry, deer should be at higher elevations or along riparian areas. If temperatures are normal or lower, deer will move into traditional areas where food might be available. Recent rains should help the water conditions on the unit.

Hunting tips

If temperatures stay warm, deer will likely seek shade early in the day. Hunters should focus on the times when deer are the most active: Very early in the morning and later in the afternoon. Deer usually start moving again around 3 or 4 p.m. Afternoons and evenings are the best times to spot deer. During midday, deer are usually bedded down. Midday is the best time to push through heavy cover to spook the deer into the open.

Fire restrictions

All fire restrictions on the unit have been lifted.

Properly caring for venison

Make sure harvested animals are kept in the shade. Take the hide off the animal so the meat can cool faster. The best option is to quarter or bone out the animal, and place the meat in a cooler with ice. Make sure to remove melted ice that accumulates in the bottom of the cooler.

Southeastern Utah

Unit 11–Nine Mile

Unit 12//16B/16C–Central Mountains, Manti/San Rafael (Carbon, Emery and Wayne county portions)

Unit 13–La Sal, La Sal Mountains

Unit 14–San Juan, Abajo Mountains

Number of bucks

Last fall, DWR biologists observed above average fawn-to-doe ratios on the Nine Mile, La Sal and San Juan units. On the Manti/San Rafael unit, fawn-to-doe ratios were slightly less than average. But because of the mild winter and higher-than-average survival rates, there should be more yearling bucks on all four units this fall.

Habitat conditions

Each of the four units experienced a mild winter and a dry spring. Over the past two months, however, there's been an increase in monsoonal moisture. This has helped forage conditions, and the summer and transitional ranges have experienced a late green up. On the Manti/San Rafael unit, the Seeley fire burned nearly 50,000 acres. Access is limited in some portions of the burned area.

Best places to hunt on the unit

With last year's light winter, the bulk of the deer stayed high. A good snowstorm might push some deer to lower elevations, but deer in October may still be found on the summer and transitional ranges.

Hunting tips

If it's hot, look for deer near water sources. Deer are most active early in the morning and in the evening. During the middle of the day, deer are often resting in thicker cover.

Fire restrictions

There are no fire restrictions in place on any of these units.

Properly caring for venison

Hang your deer in a shaded area. If you're concerned about meat spoiling due to warm weather, bring as much ice and as many coolers as you can.

Central Utah

Unit 12/16B/16C–Central Mountains, Manti/San Rafael (Sanpete County portion)

Unit 16A–Central Mountains, Nebo

Number of bucks

Buck numbers are down from last year on the Central Mountains, Nebo unit. Buck numbers are also down on the portion of the Central Mountains, Manti/San Rafael unit that's in Sanpete County.

Habitat conditions

Good conditions at higher elevations, drier at lower elevations. Late summer showers have improved habitat conditions, however, and most of the vegetation is maturing. A good crop of acorns is available in some areas.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Deer will likely be near water at higher elevations. Because conditions are dry this year, you'll probably see fewer deer at lower elevations.

Hunting tips

Deer won't move much during the hotter parts of the day. They'll likely head to heavy cover at first light and then wait until dark to come out of the cover. Spotting and stalking early in the morning and towards evening will work best. Hunt in areas you're familiar with. Look for fresh sign and locate the areas the deer are feeding in.

Fire restrictions

None.

Properly caring for venison

Get your venison home as soon as possible. While you're in camp, cover the meat with game bags. If possible, put the meat on ice.

Unit 17A–Wasatch Mountains, West

Number of bucks

Compared to last year, the number of bucks on the unit is about the same (19 bucks per 100 does).

Habitat conditions

The unit is dry at lower elevations and greener at higher elevations. Currently, no areas are closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Deer will be by water sources at higher elevations. Biologists predict that by late October, deer will move into lower elevations to take advantage of a bumper crop of acorns.

Hunting tips

Deer can be seen while they feed early in the morning and later in the afternoon. During the day, the deer will head for cover.

Fire restrictions

Currently, there are no campfire restrictions.

Properly caring for venison

If you harvest a deer, clean it, skin it and get it to a meat locker as soon as possible.

Unit 17B, 17C–Wasatch Mountains, Avintaquin/Currant Creek

Number of bucks

Deer numbers are still down slightly on this unit. Total buck numbers will be similar to last year. However, because permit numbers for the unit were reduced in 2011, fewer bucks were harvested last fall. More older bucks should be available on the unit this fall.

Habitat conditions

Conditions were very dry this summer, with the best plant growth happening at the higher elevations. Most of the ponds and water sources dried up this year. Some recent rain has helped disperse the animals a little, but it's likely that the deer will still be in areas that have water and the greenest vegetation. Currently, no areas on the unit have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

The location of deer will depend on weather conditions near the beginning of the hunt. If it stays hot and dry, deer should be at higher elevations or along riparian areas. If temperatures are normal or lower, deer will move into traditional areas where food may be available. Recent rains should help the water conditions on the unit.

Hunting tips

If temperatures remain warm, deer will likely seek shade early in the day. Hunters should focus on the times when deer are the most active: Very early in the morning and again in the afternoon. Deer usually start moving again around 3 to 4 p.m. Afternoons and evenings are the best times to spot deer. During midday, when deer are usually bedded down, is the best time to push through heavy cover to spook the deer into the open.

Fire restrictions

All fire restrictions on the unit have been lifted.

Properly caring for venison

Make sure harvested animals are kept in the shade. Take the hide off for quicker cooling. The best option is to quarter or bone out the animal, and place the meat in a cooler with ice. Make sure to remove melted ice that accumulates in the bottom of the cooler.

Unit 18–Oquirrh-Stansbury

Number of bucks

About the same number of bucks as last year. Splitting Utah into 30 hunting units should reduce the number of people who hunt the unit. Reducing the number of hunters should make it easier to maintain a minimum objective of 15 bucks per 100 does on the unit.

Habitat conditions

The entire unit is very dry. The upper elevations are slightly greener, and they'll likely hold most of the deer. Currently, no areas on the unit are closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Deer will most likely be in greener, cooler habitat in the upper elevations.

Hunting tips

If it's hot and dry, deer will head for shade and cover at first light. Don't expect deer to stay out much past dawn.

Fire restrictions

None.

Properly caring for venison

Bring as much ice and as many coolers as you can. Head for higher elevations where night temperatures are much cooler. Cover venison with game bags or cheese cloth to reduce the number of flies that contact the meat.

Unit 19A–West Deseret, West

Unit 19C–West Desert, Tintic

Number of bucks

About the same number of bucks as last year.

Habitat conditions

The entire unit is very dry. The upper elevations are slightly greener, they'll likely hold most of the deer. Wildfire has reduced hunting opportunities on the Cedar Mountain range.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Deer will most likely be in greener, cooler habitat in the upper elevations.

Hunting tips

If it's hot and dry, deer will head for shade and cover at first light. Don't expect deer to stay out much past dawn. Organized pushes through thick cover might push some of the deer out of the cover and into the open.

Fire restrictions

Fire restrictions have been lifted.

Properly caring for venison

Bring as much ice and as many coolers as you can. Head for higher elevations where night temperatures are much cooler. Cover venison with game bags or cheese cloth to reduce the number of flies that contact the meat.

Southern Utah

Unit 20 - Southwest Desert

Unit 29–Zion

Unit 30 - Pine Valley

Number of bucks

Buck numbers are up on all three units this year. Good fawn production in 2011, and a mild winter, resulted in higher fawn survival rates. Lots of yearling bucks (spikes and 2 points) are available this year.

Habitat conditions

Late-summer rain helped a lot with forage production, and food sources are abundant. Forage is starting to dry out at the higher elevations, however. Currently, no areas on the Southwest Desert, Pine Valley and Zion units have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

You'll find deer in the heavier cover. All of the units have a good pine nut and acorn crop this year, and deer are using these food sources. Water is still abundant in dirt tanks and spring sources. The abundant water will keep the deer dispersed. Because forage is starting to dry out at the higher elevations, deer will be moving to their winter ranges soon.

Fire restrictions

All campfire restrictions have been lifted on public lands on all three units.

Properly caring for venison

Keep the deer in a shaded place, and cover the meat with a light cloth. If daytime temperatures reach the high 50s or low 60s, processing should be done soon. Keeping the meat in a cooler is another option.

Unit 21A–Fillmore, Oak Creek

Unit 21B - Fillmore/Pahvant

Unit 22–Beaver

Number of bucks

The number of young bucks is up on both the Beaver and Pahvant units this year. The number of mature bucks is about the same as it was last year.

On the Oak Creek unit, buck numbers are about the same as last year.

Habitat conditions

Thanks to late-summer rain, the entire Beaver unit has good vegetation and green conditions at all elevations. The conditions on the Pahvant unit are better the higher you travel; the lower elevations are much drier.

The Oak Creek unit has been very dry this summer.

Currently, no areas on any of the units have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Deer can be found at all elevations on the Beaver unit. On the Pahvant unit, bucks are located at higher elevations.

On the Oak Creek unit, most of the deer will be found near existing water sources.

Hunting tips

If the weather stays warm, deer on the Beaver and Pahvant units will move into the cool canyons soon after dawn. They'll stay in the canyons until dusk. Areas in the canyons that have lots of cover should hold lots of deer during the middle of the day.

On the Oak Creek unit, head to the higher elevations and glass over a lot of country to find the deer.

Fire restrictions

Campfires are restricted to designated fire pits only.

Properly caring for venison

Make sure you hang the venison quickly in a spot that will be shaded most of the day. Keep the flies away. Cut up the meat, and place it in a cooler as soon as possible.

Unit 23–Monroe

Unit 25A–Plateau, Fish Lake

Number of bucks

Compared to the last several years, buck numbers are up on the Monroe and Fish Lake units this fall. Last year's good fawn crop and good winter survival should result in more young bucks on the units. Also, buck/doe ratios have improved.

Habitat conditions

Both units received good late-summer moisture, and there's plenty of green forage in the higher elevations. In the Box Creek area on the Monroe unit, some areas that burned recently have a high fence around them to protect aspen trees that are regenerating.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Unless the units receive heavy snowfall, deer will be at all elevations. Green feed is available at the higher elevations. Some green-up from late summer precipitation can also be found at lower elevations. Some deer will move to lower elevations, regardless of the weather or forage conditions, so be flexible. Move to different elevations or cover types. Most water holes have water, and deer will probably be spread out.

Hunting tips

After opening morning, expect deer to stick tight to hiding cover until dark. Bucks are often active during shooting hours, but they're not out in the open where you can see them. Glass and still hunt on the edge of bedding cover. After opening day, smaller or hidden openings within hiding cover are good places to find bucks during shooting hours. As always, get as far from roads and trails as possible.

Fire restrictions

Currently, there are no fire restrictions on either unit.

Properly caring for venison

Immediate field dressing is critical, especially in hot weather. Move the carcass to the shade as soon as possible. Washing the inside of the animal with cold water will help cool the meat, but make sure you dry the insides after washing. Excessive moisture can cause the meat to spoil. In hot weather, the sooner you get your animal to a cooler, the better.

Unit 24 - Mount Dutton

Unit 28 - Panguitch Lake

Number of bucks

High fawn production in 2011 and good winter survival this past winter will provide more young bucks on both units this year.

Habitat conditions

The warmer-than-normal temperatures have led to drier conditions, but recent monsoonal rains have helped in most areas. Many lowlands and dugouts are still holding water, but overall, conditions are drier than last year. Currently, no areas on the units have been closed because of wildfires.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Deer can be found at higher elevations on traditional summer ranges as well as in transitional mid-elevation ranges. There are always a few low-elevation deer, but the density of deer in the lower elevations is much lower than it is up high.

Hunting tips

Some migration movement is happening, so expect deer to be spread across their ranges. If the weather is hot and dry, hunt in areas close to reliable water sources.

Fire restrictions

Currently, there are no fire restrictions.

Properly caring for venison

Be prepared to field dress your deer, regardless of how close it is to a road. Pack plenty of ice in your cooler to help preserve the deer on your ride home.

Unit 25B–Plateau, Thousand Lakes

Unit 25C/26–Plateau, Boulder/Kaiparowits

Number of bucks

Compared to the last several years, hunters can expect to find more bucks on the units. A good fawn crop in 2011—as well as good winter survival—should mean more young bucks this fall. Also, buck/doe ratios have improved. The switch to 30 hunting units means hunter numbers will be down this fall from the 10-year average, so crowding should be less of a concern this fall.

Habitat conditions

These units received good mid- and late-summer moisture. There's plenty of green forage at higher elevations. The Lost Lake fire burned 2,500 acres, and the Lake Creek fire burned 2,300 acres, but both areas are still open to hunting.

Best places to hunt on the unit

Unless the units receive heavy snowfall, deer will be at all elevations. Green feed is available at higher elevations. Some green-up from late summer precipitation can be found at lower elevations. Some deer will move to lower elevations, regardless of the weather or forage conditions, so be flexible. Move to different elevations or cover types. Most water holes have water, and the deer will be spread out.

Hunting tips

After opening morning, expect deer to stick tight to hiding cover until dark. Bucks are often active during shooting hours, but they're not out in the open where you can see them. Glass and still hunt on the edge of bedding cover. After opening day, smaller or hidden openings within hiding cover are good places to find bucks during shooting hours. As always, get as far from roads and trails as possible.

Fire restrictions

None.

Properly caring for venison

Immediate field dressing is critical, especially in hot weather. Move the carcass to the shade as soon as possible. Washing the inside of the animal with cold water will help cool the meat, but make sure you dry the insides after washing. Excessive moisture can cause the meat to spoil. In hot weather, the sooner you get your animal to a cooler, the better.

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