Differences between licenses and permits

There are some basic differences between a Utah hunting or fishing license and a hunting permit. Here's a closer look.

When do you need a license?

If you plan to fish or hunt game animals in Utah, you must have a license. There are three main types of licenses:

  • Fishing licenses — These licenses allow you to fish. There are several different types of fishing licenses to meet the needs of different anglers.
  • Basic hunting license — This license allows you to hunt small game, including most species of waterfowl and upland game. It also allows you to apply for the separate hunting permits you need in order to hunt certain species (for example, big game, bear, cougar and other animals).
  • Combination license — This license includes all the benefits of the basic license, and it allows you to fish.
How do you obtain a license?

You can purchase licenses online. They are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.

When do you need a permit?

In addition to either a basic hunting or combination license, you need a separate hunting permit for the following species: bear, bighorn sheep, bison, bobcat, cougar, deer, elk, moose, pronghorn, Rocky Mountain goat, sage-grouse, sandhill crane, sharp-tailed grouse, swan and turkey.

How do you obtain a permit?

First, take a look at the hunting guidebook for the species you want to hunt. It will indicate whether you should apply for a permit in the state's hunt drawing. (Learn more about Utah's permit drawings, bonus and preference points and applying for a permit with a group.) Not all permits are offered in a drawing, and sometimes, there are a few permits available after the drawing. For one of these permits, you can choose to buy a permit online, visit your local DWR office or visit a retail sales outlet.

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