Want the chance to harvest local elk or deer meat? Apply for antlerless hunts starting May 26
Salt Lake City — If putting locally sourced, nutritious meat on the table while enjoying Utah's beautiful outdoors sounds good to you, take note that the application period for Utah's 2022 antlerless hunts opens next week.
Depending on the age, a cow elk can provide between 120 to nearly 200 pounds of boneless meat. That meat can then be eaten in a variety of ways, including hamburger, roasts, steaks, stews, stir-fry or in fajitas. A doe deer will provide approximately 40 pounds of boneless meat.
Beginning on Thursday, May 26 at 8 a.m., you can apply for a permit to hunt Utah's antlerless big game animals, including:
- Antlerless elk
- Antlerless moose
- Antlerless deer
- Doe pronghorn
- Ewe bighorn sheep (Although you cannot apply for both an antlerless moose permit and a ewe bighorn sheep permit in the same year — you must pick one or the other.)
You must submit your application no later than 11 p.m. on June 16 to be included in the drawing for hunting permits. Before you can apply for a 2022 antlerless permit, bonus point or preference point, you must have a valid Utah hunting or combination license. You can buy a license on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website, by calling 1-800-221-0659 or by visiting a license agent.
Applications for antlerless hunts can be submitted through the DWR website. Details about the different units — including boundary descriptions, biologist notes, and population and harvest statistics — can be found on the Utah Hunt Planner.
The drawing results will be available on or before July 7. If any antlerless permits are available after the drawing, you can purchase them beginning at 8 a.m. on July 21. Check the online 2022 Utah Antlerless Application Guidebook for details. You can find all of the regulations for hunting both antlered and antlerless big game in the 2022 Utah Big Game Field Regulations Guidebook.
"The antlerless big game hunts are a great opportunity to not only harvest meat and make some great memories outdoors, but also to help manage wildlife populations and maintain healthy herds and landscapes," DWR Licensing Coordinator Lindy Varney said. "However, hunters should be aware that we've had a few drought years in Utah recently, which has a significant impact on the survival rates of deer and other big game animals. As a result, there are fewer antlerless deer, elk, pronghorn and bighorn sheep permits available this year than last year."
At the end of April, the Utah Wildlife Board approved several changes, including adding new hunts for antlerless deer, elk and pronghorn. See details about those changes and others on the DWR website.