Updated: February 8, 2016, 12:13 pm
It's your chance to weigh in on how many permits are issued this year.
Did you apply for a deer or elk permit in Utah this year? If so, you may already know that permit numbers have not yet been set for any of the 2012 big game or antlerless hunts. The Utah Wildlife Board will set all of those permit numbers when it meets on May 3.
Before the Wildlife Board meets, the state's Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) will meet to hear the DWR's permit-number proposals and to gather public input. If you have strong feelings about how many permits are approved for the 2012 big game season, please attend your local RAC meeting and share your thoughts with RAC members.
The DWR is proposing permit numbers for all of the state's big game and antlerless hunts:
In December 2011, the Wildlife Board asked the DWR to propose a more flexible approach to unit-based deer management. One of Utah's deer-management strategies (the number of bucks per 100 does) directly affects how many hunting permits are approved.
In 2012, the DWR is proposing to manage 14 of the general-season buck deer units for 15–17 bucks per 100 does. The other 16 general-season units would be managed for 18–20 bucks per 100 does. These changes would result in a total of 86,500 permits for 2012, which is 500 fewer permits than were available in 2011. The 86,500 permits would be split by weapon type as follows:
See detailed permit recommendations for all of the general-season deer units.
If the DWR were to manage all of the units for at least 18 bucks per 100 does (which was the case before the board's request in 2011), the total number of permits would drop to 80,200.
Utah's current deer management plan calls for a buck-to-doe ratio of 18–25 bucks per 100 does on all of the state's general-season units. If the Wildlife Board allows some units to be managed for less than 18–25 bucks per 100 does, the board will amend the deer management plan so it includes the new ratios.
In 2012, the DWR is proposing almost no changes to the number of general-season bull elk permits. If the Wildlife Board approves the DWR's recommendations, there will be 14,300 any bull elk permits and 15,000 spike bull elk permits. The only proposed change is a slight increase in permits for the Youth Late Season Any Bull Elk hunt. See detailed permit recommendations.
In 2012, the DWR is proposing a slight increase in premium limited-entry buck deer permits on the Henry Mountains and a decrease in the number of management buck permits on the Paunsaugunt. See detailed permit recommendations for each premium limited-entry buck deer unit.
In 2012, the DWR is proposing only few small changes to permit numbers for limited-entry buck deer units. See detailed permit recommendations for each limited-entry buck deer unit.
In 2012, the DWR is proposing a slight decrease in the overall number of limited-entry bull elk permits. See detailed permit recommendations for each limited-entry bull elk unit.
In 2012, the DWR is proposing a very slight increase in the overall number of buck pronghorn permits. See detailed permit recommendations for each limited-entry buck pronghorn unit.
In 2012, the DWR is proposing a decrease in bull moose permits and an increase in both bison permits and Rocky Mountain goat permits. There are minimal changes to the permit recommendations for desert and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. See detailed permit recommendations for all once-in-a-lifetime species.
In 2012, the DWR is proposing a decrease in antlerless deer permits and an increase in antlerless elk and doe pronghorn permits. The DWR is not recommending any antlerless moose permits this year. See detailed permit recommendations for all antlerless hunts.
Do you have strong feelings about the proposed permit numbers for 2012? Now is the time to share your views with your local RAC members and RAC chairs or with the Utah Wildlife Board. The RACs are meeting to discuss these recommendations as follows:
The Utah Wildlife Board will meet at 9 a.m. on May 3 to make a final decision on all of the permit recommendations for 2012. The board meets in the auditorium of the Department of Natural Resources building (1594 West North Temple in Salt Lake City).