Want the chance to hunt big game in Utah in 2024? The application period opens March 21
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Two mule deer standing on a hillside

Want the chance to hunt big game in Utah in 2024? The application period opens March 21

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Salt Lake City — If you're interested in harvesting your own deer or elk meat this fall, be sure to take note of the upcoming application period and apply for hunts before the deadline.

Two mule deer standing on a hillside

Similar to last year, the application period for Utah's big game hunts will again be held in March and April, so hunters can see the proposed permit numbers prior to applying. The application period opens on March 21 at 8 a.m. and runs until 11 p.m. on April 25. To be included in the drawing for the hunts, you can apply online or over the phone by calling the nearest DWR regional office.

The results of the drawing will be released on May 16, which is earlier than in past years. You'll be notified by email, but you can also get the drawing results online or by calling 800-221-0659.

Big game hunts are held in Utah for the following species:

  • Bighorn sheep (desert and Rocky Mountain)
  • Bison
  • Elk
  • Moose
  • Mountain goat
  • Mule deer
  • Pronghorn

"We don't have the data from the winter big game captures, the previous fall hunt harvest rates, and other big game surveys until March," DWR Wildlife Licensing Coordinator Lindy Varney said. "After we receive that data, we put together the permit recommendations for the upcoming fall big game hunting seasons. Last year, due to public request, we approved shifting the application dates from January to March so that hunters will have information about the proposed permit numbers prior to applying. Hunters can access the proposed permit numbers for each hunt unit beginning in April on the Utah Hunt Planner. The final permit numbers will be approved by the Utah Wildlife Board during their public board meeting on May 2."

Starting March 21, applications will be accepted for most of Utah's 2023 big game hunts. However, there are a few exceptions — permits for the state's general-season bull elk hunts won't be available until July. Permits for the general-season archery bull elk hunt go on sale July 9, the any-bull elk permits go on sale July 11 and the spike bull elk permits go on sale July 18. Permits will be sold on the DWR website, at all DWR offices and at license agent locations.

Join the Dedicated Hunter program

In addition to applying for the hunts, if you'd like a chance to hunt all of Utah's general-season deer hunts, you should consider applying for Utah's Dedicated Hunter program. You can learn more about the program, and how to join it, on the DWR website.

Utah Hunt Planner

If you're thinking about hunting in a new area — or going after a species you've never hunted before — you will likely have a lot of questions. The Utah Hunt Planner is an interactive, online map that provides valuable information from DWR biologists to help answer a lot of those questions.

The Hunt Planner provides in-depth, hunter-focused information about all of Utah's hunts. Use it when you're researching hunts you want to apply for or use it after you draw a permit for a particular hunt. You can learn the best spots to find animals, see what the terrain is like, identify blocks of public land in the unit and locate the primary access points.

Visit the DWR website for more information about how to use the Utah Hunt Planner.

Applying for a bonus point or a preference point

If you're not planning to hunt in 2024, you can still apply for a bonus point or a preference point. Earning a point increases the chance you'll draw a permit the next time you apply. Your application for a point must be received no later than 11 p.m. on April 25. However, you will also have an opportunity to apply for a bonus or preference point during the antlerless application period from June 5–19. You must have a hunting license or a combination license to apply for a bonus/preference point or a big game hunting permit.

For more information about applying for a 2024 Utah big game hunting permit, see the 2024 Utah Big Game Application Guidebook or contact the nearest DWR office.

Apply now

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