KEY: wildlife, hunting, recreation, wildlife conservation

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: March 13, 2017

Notice of Continuation: October 5, 2015

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 23-14-18

R657-38-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) Under the authority of Section 23-14-18, this rule provides the standards and requirements for qualified deer hunters to participate in the Dedicated Hunter Program by obtaining a certificate of registration.

(2) The Dedicated Hunter Program is a program that provides:

(a) expanded hunting opportunities;

(b) opportunities to participate in wildlife conservation projects ; and

(c) education in hunter ethics and wildlife management principles.

R657-38-2. Definitions.

(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-13-2.

(2) In addition:

(a) "Dedicated Hunter Permit" means a general buck deer permit issued to a participant in the Dedicated Hunter Program, which authorizes the participant to hunt deer during the general archery, general muzzleloader and general any weapon open seasons in the hunt area specified on the permit.

(b) "Hunt area" means an area prescribed by the Wildlife Board where general archery, general muzzleloader and general any weapon buck deer hunting is open to permit holders for taking deer.

(c) "Participant" means a person who has remitted the appropriate fee and has been issued a Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration.

(d) "Program" means the Dedicated Hunter Program

(e) "Program harvest" means using a Dedicated Hunter permit to tag a harvested deer or failing to return a Dedicated Hunter permit with the kill tag attached, while enrolled in the program.

(f) "Wildlife conservation project" means any project that provides wildlife habitat protection or enhancement, improves hunting or fishing access, or directly benefits wildlife or the Division's current needs and is pre-authorized by the Division.

R657-38-3. Dedicated Hunter Certificates of Registration

(1)(a) To participate in the program, a person must apply for, obtain, and sign a Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration as prescribed by the Division. A participant is not required to have the Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration on their person while hunting.

(b) Certificates of registration are issued by the Division through a drawing as prescribed in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking big game and R657-62.

(c) Certificates of registration are valid for 3 consecutive years, except as provided by R657-38-10 and R657-38-13, beginning on the date the big game drawing results are released and ending on the last day of the general season hunt for the 3rd year of enrollment.

(d) The number of Dedicated Hunter certificates of registration is limited to 15% of the total annual general season buck deer quota for each respective hunt area.

(i) Certificates of registration remaining unissued from the Dedicated Hunter portion of the big game drawing shall be redistributed as general single-season permits for their respective hunt areas in the general buck deer drawing.

(2) The Division may deny a Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration for any of the reasons identified as a basis for suspension in Section 23-19-9(7) and R657-38-15.

(3) A certificate of registration conditionally authorizes the participant to obtain and use a Dedicated Hunter permit to hunt deer within the area listed on the permit, during the general archery, general muzzleloader and general any legal weapon buck deer seasons according to the dates and boundaries established by the Wildlife Board. When available, the certificate of registration may also authorize hunting within the general deer archery extended area during the extended season dates.

(a) The person must use the appropriate weapons and equipment otherwise applicable to each season and boundary.

(4) The participant's selected hunt area, as issued through the drawing, shall remain the same for the entire duration of that program enrollment period.

(5) Participants in the program shall be subject to any changes subsequently made to this or other rulesduring the term of enrollment, unless a variance is authorized by the Division.

R657-38-4. Applications for Certificates of Registration.

(1) Applications to obtain a Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration are made pursuant to R657-62-16.

(2) To apply for a Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration, applicants must:

(a) have a valid Utah hunting or combination license;

(b) meet all age, hunter education, and license requirements in Sections 23-19-11, 23-19-22, 23-19-24, and 23-19-26 and in applicable rules;

(i ) A person 11 years of age may apply for and obtain a Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration if that person's 12th birthday falls in the calendar year the certificate is issued. A person may not hunt big game prior to their 12th birthday; and

(c) be compliant with the restrictions in Subsection (2).

(3) A person under any wildlife suspension may not apply for a certificate of registration until their suspension period has ended.

R657-38-5. Dedicated Hunter Preference Point System.

Dedicated Hunter Preference points are issued pursuant to R657-62-10.

R657-38-6. Fees.

(1) Any person who is 17 years of age or younger on July 31st of the application year shall pay the youth participant fees.

(2) Any person who is 18 years of age or older on July 31st of the application year shall pay the adult participant fees.

(3) Lifetime License holders shall pay a reduced fee as authorized by the annual fee schedule.

(4) A participant who enters the program as a Utah resident and thereafter becomes a nonresident, shall be changed to a nonresident status and may be issued nonresident permits at no additional charge for the remainder of the three-year enrollment period.

(5) A participant who enters the program as a nonresident and thereafter becomes a Utah resident, shall be changed to a resident status and may be issued resident permits with no reimbursement of the higher nonresident fee for the remainder of the three-year enrollment period.

R657-38-7. Refunds.

(1) A refund for the Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration may not be issued, except as provided in Section 23-19-38.2 and R657-42.

(2) Any eligible refund of a certificate of registration fee, may be issued pro rata, based on the number of years in which any portion of a hunt may have occurred during the enrollment period.

(3) Drawing application fees are nonrefundable.

(4) A refund shall not be issued under any circumstance if a participant's harvest record indicates two harvests.

R657-38-8. Wildlife Conservation and Ethics Course Requirement

(1) After successfully obtaining a Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration and prior to obtaining the first Dedicated Hunter permit of the program, a participant must complete a wildlife conservation and ethics course prescribed by the Division.

(2) The wildlife conservation and ethics course is available through the Division's Internet site.

(3) The Division shall keep a record of all participants who complete the wildlife conservation and ethics course.

R657-38-9. Service Hour Requirement

(1)(a) Except as provided in R657-38-14, each participant in the program shall provide a minimum of 32 hours service as a volunteer on Division approved wildlife conservation projects.

(i) A participant may obtain a permit in the 1st year of the program without having provided service hours.

(ii) A participant must have completed a minimum of 16 service hours prior to receiving a Dedicated Hunter permit in the 2nd year of the program.

(iii) A participant must have completed a minimum of 32total service hours prior to receiving a Dedicated Hunter permit in the 3rd year of the program.

(b) If the participant fails to complete the minimum 32 hours of service by the expiration of the certificate of registration in the 3rd year, the participant will be ineligible to apply for or obtain any Utah hunting licenses or permits until the remaining service hours have been completed.

(i) After a certificate of registration has expired, incomplete service hours may be completed through Division approved projects or by payment at the established purchase rate.

(ii) A participant who has not been issued any Dedicated Hunter permits during the enrollment shall not be required to complete the service hour requirement.

(c) Residents and nonresidents may complete service hour requirements through service, purchase, or a combination of the two options. (d) If a participant fails to fulfill the wildlife conservation and ethics course or the minimum service requirements in any year of participation, the participant shall not be issued a Dedicated Hunter permit for that year.

(2) Wildlife conservation projects may be designed by the Division, or any other individual or entity, but must be pre-approved by the Division.

(a) Goods or services provided to the Division for wildlife conservation projects by a participant may be, at the discretion of the Division, substituted for service hours based upon current market values or comparative state contract rates for the goods or services, and the approved service hour purchase rate..

(b) The Division shall publicize the dates, times, locations and description of approved wildlife conservation projects and activities on the Division's Internet site.

(3) Service hours must be completed within the enrollment period.

(a) Service hours exceeding the 32 hour minimum shall not be applicable beyond the enrollment period and shall not be credited to subsequent certificate of registrations.

(4) Except as provided in R657-38-14 for participants surrendering due to injury or illness, all participants are required to perform their own service hours.

(a) Service hours are not transferrable to other participants or certificates of registration.

R657-38-10. Service Hour Exceptions and Program Extension.

(1) A participant who is a member of the United States Armed Forces or public safety organization that is mobilized or deployed on orders in the interest of national defense or declared state of emergency may request a one-year program extension if;

(a) the person is mobilized or deployed for a minimum period of 3 consecutive months, or;

(b) the participant is mobilized or deployed during the general buck deer season.

(i) The extension may not be granted for a year where the participant was issued a Dedicated Hunter permit and the division determines the participant hunted with the permit.

(2) If an extension is granted:

(a) the minimum annual program requirements shall be postponed into the subsequent year of the enrollment; and

(b) a permit will not be issued in the year the qualifying mobilization or deployment occurs.

(3) The participant must provide evidence of the mobilization or deployment period.

R657-38-11. Allowable Harvest and Permit Return Requirements.

(1)(a) A program participant may take a maximum of two general season deer within the enrollment period. Only one deer may be harvested in a single year.

(b) The harvest of an antlerless deer using a Dedicated Hunter permit, when permissible in the extended archery areas and seasons established in the big game guidebook, shall be considered a program harvest.

(2) Upon issue of a Dedicated Hunter permit, the participant is credited with a program harvest.

(a) Two program harvests are allowed within an enrollment period.

(b) If program harvests are accrued during the 1st year and 2nd year of the enrollment, a permit shall not be issued for the 3rd year.

(c) In order to remove a program harvest credit, the participant must:

(i) not have harvested a deer with the Dedicated Hunter permit; and (ii) return the permit and attached tag, or a qualifying affidavit as proof of non-harvest to a Division office. A handling fee may be assessed for processing an affidavit.

R657-38-12. Dedicated Hunter Permits.

(1) Pursuant to Sections 23-19-24 and 23-19-26 person must have a valid Utah hunting or combination license to apply for or obtain a big game permit.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a permit may not be issued if the participant does not possess a valid hunting or combination license at the time of permit issuance.

(b) A valid hunting or combination license is not required to obtain a permit in the first year of the enrollment period, provided the participant possessed a valid license when applying for the Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration.

(2) The participant must have a valid Dedicated Hunter permit in possession while hunting.

(3) Upon completion of the minimum annual requirements, a Dedicated Hunter permit may be issued. The method and dates in which the Division issues and distributes Dedicated Hunter permits shall be published on the Division's website or in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking big game.

(4) The Division may exclude multiple season opportunities on specific management units due to extenuating circumstances on a portion or all of a hunt area.

(5)(a) The Division may issue a duplicate Dedicated Hunter permit pursuant to Section 23-19-10.

(b) If a participant's unused Dedicated Hunter permit and tag is destroyed, lost, or stolen prior to, or during the hunting season in which the permit is valid, a participant may obtain a duplicate. A handling fee may be assessed for the duplication.

(c) A duplicate Dedicated Hunter permit shall not be issued after the closing date of the general buck deer season.

(6)(a) A participant may surrender a Dedicated Hunter permit in accordance with Rule R657-42.

(b) A participant may not surrender a Dedicated Hunter permit once the general archery deer hunt has begun, unless the Division can verify that the permit was never in the participant's possession.

(7)(a) Lifetime license holders may participate in the program.

(b) The Lifetime license holder shall apply for a certificate of registration in the same manner as all other prospective participants.

(c) Upon joining and for the duration of enrollment in the program, the lifetime license holder agrees to temporarily forego any rights to receive a lifetime license buck deer permit as provided in Section 23-19-17.5.

(d) A refund or credit is not issued for a forgone lifetime license permit.

R657-38-13. Obtaining Other Permits.

(1) Participants may not apply for or obtain any Utah general season buck deer permit, including general landowner buck deer permits, or respective preference points issued by the Division through the big game drawing, license agents, over-the-counter sales, or the internet during an enrollment period in the program.

(a) Any other Utah general season deer permit obtained is invalid and must be surrendered prior to the beginning season date for that permit. Refunds are governed by Section 23-19-38.

(2)(a) Participants may apply for or obtain a limited entry buck deer permit, including CWMU, limited entry landowner, conservation, expo, and poaching reported rewards permits.

(i) A limited entry buck deer permit may be obtained without completion of the annual program requirements, but does not exempt the participant from fulfilling the minimum requirements of the entire enrollment.

(ii) A person who is enrolled in the program and obtains a limited entry buck deer permit through the Utah Big Game drawing or accepts a poaching reported reward limited entry deer permit, may request the Dedicated Hunter program enrollment period be extended one additional year. Any other method of obtaining a limited entry buck deer permit shall not extend the enrollment period, but shall take the place of one of the 3 enrollment years.

(iii)Harvest with a limited entry buck deer permit shall not be counted as a program harvest.

(b) If the participant obtains a limited entry buck deer permit and has been issued a Dedicated Hunter permit, that permit or the Dedicated Hunter permit must be surrendered as permissible by R657-38-11 and R657-42. (i) A participant who obtains a limited entry buck deer permit may only use that permit in the prescribed area and season listed on the permit. Dedicated Hunter privileges are not extended to that permit.

(ii) A limited entry buck deer permit may not be obtained if the Dedicated Hunter permit has been in possession of the participant during any open portion of the general buck deer season.

(3)(a) Participants may apply for or obtain antlerless deer permits as provided in Rule R657-5 and the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking big game.

(b) Except as provided in R657-38-11(1), harvest of an antlerless deer with an antlerless deer permit shall not be considered a program harvest.

R657-38-14. Certificate of Registration Surrender.

(1) A participant may formally request withdrawal from the Dedicated Hunter program by surrendering the Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration pursuant to R657-42, provided the participant meets the surrender requirements and does not have a program record indicating two harvests within the enrollment period.

(a) A participant who has not possessed any permits in the program during any portion of the hunting seasons applicable to those permits , may surrender and have all requirements waived.

(b) A participant who has possessed only one permit in the program during any portion of the hunting seasons applicable to that permit and not credited with a program harvest on that permit, may surrender upon completing a minimum of 11 service hours;

(c) A participant who has possessed two permits in the program during any portion of the hunting seasons applicable to those permits and credited with no more than program harvest between the permits, may surrender upon completion of a minimum of 22 service hours.

(2) The Division may reinstate preference point(s) for a participant surrendering in the first year of the enrollment period, provided the person did not possess a dedicated hunter permit during any portion of the hunting seasons applicable to the permit .

(3) "Possessed" means, for purposes of this section, that division records show a Dedicated Hunter permit was printed, mailed to or picked up by the participant, and not surrendered prior to the beginning of the general archery buck deer season.

(4)(a) Pursuant to 23-19-38, a participant who becomes ill or suffers an injury that precludes that person from using the permits or completing program requirements, may request withdrawal from the Dedicated Hunter program pursuant to R657-42 and upon furnishing verification of illness or injury from a physician.

(b)If the participant requesting withdrawal due to illness or injury has a program record indicating two harvests, the Division may waive the remaining service hours or authorize another person to fulfill the requirement in the participant's behalf.

R657-38-15. Certificate of Registration Suspension.

(1) The Division may suspend a Dedicated Hunter certificate of registration pursuant to Section 23-19-9 and R657-26.

(2) A certificate of registration may also be suspended if the participant:

(a) fraudulently submits a time sheet for service hours; or

(b) fraudulently completes any of the program requirements; or

(c) is under a judicial or administrative order suspending any wildlife hunting or fishing privilege within Utah or elsewhere; or

(d) provides false information on the drawing application; or

(e) has violated the terms of any certificate of registration issued by the Division or an associated agreement. (3) A Dedicated Hunter permit is invalid if a participant's certificate of registration is suspended.

(4) The program enrollment period shall not be extended in correlation with any suspension.