Posted Monday, 26 October 2009 16:23
DWR proposal could make it a reality once more in 2010.
The facts are in, and the findings are clear based on the acres of public land that have deer habitat, the Southern Region doesn't have any more archery hunters in it than any other region in the state.
Photo by Bill Bates
In fact, based on the number of acres per archery hunter, the Southern Region is actually the least crowded region in Utah.
For that reason, the Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing that general archery deer hunters be allowed to hunt anywhere in Utah that's open to general-season hunting.
(In 2009, archery hunters had to choose one region to hunt in during the first two weeks of the hunt. After the first two weeks, they could hunt anywhere in Utah that was open to general-season hunting.)
All of the DWR's recommendations for Utah's 2010 big game seasons are available at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.
Learn more, share your ideas
Once you've read the proposals, you can share your thoughts and ideas one of two ways:
You can participate and provide your input at any of the following meetings (two notes: the Southern Region meeting begins at 5 p.m. The Central Region meeting will be held on a Thursday.):
You can also provide your comments to your RAC via e-mail. E-mail addresses for your RAC members are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.
The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person's e-mail address. You should direct your e-mail to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.
Acres of land per hunter
"The data is clear archery hunters are not the only reason some people feel the Southern Region is crowded during the first part of the archery hunt," says Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR.
Aoude bases his finding on two statistics:
You can see the statistics at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings/info/09-11-08.pdf.
Crowding what's causing it?
Even though the Southern Region has more acres of public land per hunter than any region in Utah, that doesn't mean certain parts of the region aren't crowded from mid August to mid September.
"Southern Utah is a very popular place to camp and hike. And that's what's causing most of the crowding," Aoude says. "We don't feel we should restrict and penalize archery hunters because other people enjoy being in the woods too."
Aoude says archers can also be part of the crowding challenge, but that situation isn't unique to the Southern Region it happens in every region in the state. "There are certain areas in every region that are popular and draw a lot of hunters," he says.
A committee helped the DWR draft the statewide proposal for 2010. The committee included three archery hunters from southern Utah, two members of the Utah Bowhunter's Association, two members of Bowhunters of Utah and Bill Fenimore, a member of the Utah Wildlife Board.
"The data helped the committee see that archers aren't the only reason the Southern Region gets crowded during the first part of the archery hunt," Aoude says. "The committee took the data, looked through it and then recommended to us that Utah return to a statewide hunt for the entire general archery season."
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