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Buck-to-doe ratios directly affect how many deer permits the Wildlife Board will approve.

AT ITS DECEMBER 2011 meeting, the Utah Wildlife Board asked our biologists to provide a more flexible proposal for buck-to-doe ratios on the state’s general-season deer units to provide some additional hunting opportunity. (Buck-to-doe ratios directly affect how many deer permits the Wildlife Board will approve.)

To put together our recommendations for the Wildlife Board, we will be holding open houses at different locations across the state during the month of February.

We hope to gather your input on two important topics:

  1. What criteria should be used to place deer-hunting units into different management objectives? (We may consider things like the amount of public land vs. private land, road density and possibly the distance from population centers.)
  2. What management objectives would the public support for individual units? The current objective for all general-season deer units is 18–25 bucks per 100 does (after the hunting season). One option might be to manage some units at 15–17 bucks per 100 does and others at 18–20 bucks per 100 does.

We are gathering this input before putting together formal recommendations that will go out to the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) in April. The Wildlife Board will hear the recommendations and RAC feedback in May, when it could decide to set new objectives for individual units. New objectives would affect how many permits the Wildlife Board approves for the 2012 deer season.

In addition to discussing these topics, our biologists will be available to answer questions about the status of the local deer herds and the switch to unit-by-unit hunting.

At our open houses here in the Southeastern Region, personnel also will be on hand to help you apply for the Big Game Drawing. To join us, mark one of the following dates on your calendar:

Southeastern Region
Feb. 16 – DWR office in Price (319 N. Carbonville Rd), from 6 to 8 p.m.
Feb. 21 – Grand Center in Moab (182 N. 500 W.), from 6 to 8 p.m.

And here is a list of the open houses that have been scheduled for the other regions:

Northern Region
Feb. 13 – Sportsman’s Warehouse in Riverdale (1137 W. Riverdale Road), from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Southern Region
Feb. 13 – DWR office in Cedar City (1470 N. Airport Rd), from 5 to 7 p.m.
Feb. 15 – DWR field office in Washington County (451 N. SR-318 at Quail Creek Reservoir), from 5 to 7 p.m.
Feb. 22 – Sevier County Administration Building in Richfield (250 N. Main St), from 5 to 7 p.m.

Northeastern Region
Feb. 15 – The Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center in Vernal (320 N. 2000 W., on the USU campus), from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Central Region
Feb. 23 – DWR office in Salt Lake City (1594 W. North Temple), from 6 to 8 p.m.
Feb. 28 – DWR office in Springville (1115 N. Main St., in the Conference Center), from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Please take a few minutes to stop by and share your thoughts on this important topic — we’re looking forward to talking with you!

Bill Bates :Bill Bates is the wildlife section chief in the Salt Lake office. While working for the DWR, he's had the chance to restore river otter populations, research endangered fish, crawl into bear dens, and transplant big game animals.

View Comments (16)

  • Now I'm confused. For the last two years you stated you had a game management plan behind going to the 30 unit system. You were planning to better manage the deer herds by increasing the buck to doe ratio to above 17 or 18 bucks to 100 does in each region and manage the amount of tags issued based on numbers. Now your asking the biologist what you should be doing and they are asking the public. Stick to you game plan for a few years and see what happens. Just another half hearted decision by the UDWR. just when I thought you were making progress?

  • Pintail 1, the DWR never said they could better manage the deer herds by raising the buck-to-doe ratios and going to smaller units. It was the state Wildlife Board that imposed that upon the DWR despite their objections. The Board's reasoning was that doing this was a social issue to keep (trophy) hunters happy and not a decision based upon biology. The makeup of the Wildlife Board has now changed some, so the politics are swinging in a different direction that enables the DWR to manage things more along the lines of how they wanted in the first place, and they're asking for opinions. Sounds like a positive things to me now that the old farts on the previous board are gone.

  • I have been a hunter all my life I love to hunt but DWR please stop killing the coyotes!!! And stop asking for $ to help kill them!! I love to hunt but I also love wild places. Utah could be wild again and we could still hunt.

  • One more thing please stop making it about money and more about conservation there are too many hunters.

  • Kudos Richard! I was shocked and dismayed to see the check-box on the 2012 Utah Big Game application to donate for Coyote eradication. I too appreciate seeing everything wild when I hunt.
    Reminds me of an event advertised in the local newspaper a few years ago for a Predator/Varmint Derby Hunt--so many points assigned to each species. The hunt was cancelled due to Public (otherwise?) outcry. And one of those, at the time, ill-informed local politicians, now a Utah State Rep. has just pushed through legislation for a $50 bounty on Coyotes--ears only. Where will that money come from? You and me and unwittingly other hunters who may not want to pay for that.
    Nowadays, for the most part, folks in Utah aren't guarding their flocks and herds w/30-30's and as Hunters we, and DWR, should start to wean ourselves and our protege from the 'kill a coyote save a deer mentality'.

  • Definitely in agreement with Richard and David. While I do not consider myself an acconplished hunter by any means I too have noticed a significant decline in quality buck populations in southern Utah. While deer number seem on the decline I agree with the Mule deer report on your website, that predator eradication is nonsensical. I too love too see wild animals in their wildplaces. I firmly believe that predators can keep herds viable and healthy. the introduction of wolves in Yellowstone is a case inpoint,although mainly for the elk. In the case of mule deer their habitat lost has been substantial and I'm in agreement that habitat loss is a key factor in the decline of mule deer populations. Mule deer are not whitetails and require different habitat to proliferate. aside from development, fire suppression, warmer winters, the coyote eradication program is short sighted and psuedoscience in its implications. this should have never been on the application. Wild places left wild, will bring back ecosystems sustainable enough to accomadate all wild game and their interactions with predators, including the smartest predator, mankind.

  • I think we need to go with three point or better and have a special hunt to get rid of the bad genes like 24" 2 points. say like 100 permits for the special hunt per region and keep the regular permit number the same.

  • I am a resident of Indiana and i'm trying to find out if my wife an I can make money from coyote bounties. Also, i'm under the impression that we will be paid for our travel expenses plus 7.50 per hour and 50 dollars per '' hide ''. Does this apply to out of state hunters and if so, is there a maximum or minimum for how much money can be paid.

  • Scholzy, we have a page on our website that explains the details of Utah's predator control program.


    It's open to out-of-state residents, but the coyotes must be killed in Utah. We don't pay travel expenses or any money per hour. Payment is just for coyotes turned in, which must consist of the coyote’s lower jaw and either the full pelt or the scalp (with both ears attached).

    Cory Maylett
    Communication program coordinator
    Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

  • Dear Friends:
    I have been a lifetime resident of Utah and hunted for over fifty years. I am now 68 years old and still bow hunt. I am a part time resident of Pine Valley, Utah in Washington County. I applied for an archery tag to hunt with my grandsons, but did not draw one. I would like the board to consider automatically granting all bow hunters over the age of 65 an automatic permit for the general season archery hunt on any non-restricted unit or special hunt category for deer. I don't have many hunts left in my old legs and would like to make sure before I pass on, that I get to hunt till the end. Thanks for reading