Want some local elk or deer meat? Apply for antlerless hunts, starting May 28
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 2020 antlerless hunts opens soon.
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 28 at 8 a.m., you can apply for a permit to hunt cow elk, cow moose, doe deer, doe pronghorn and, for the first time, ewe bighorn sheep, in Utah. (Although you cannot apply for both a cow 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 18 to be included in the drawing for hunting permits. Before you can apply for a 2020 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 permits 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 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 Big Game Coordinator Covy Jones said.
In December 2019, the Utah Wildlife Board approved several amendments to the hunt drawing process, several of which apply to the antlerless permits. If a hunter surrenders their permit(s) at least 30 days before the season opens, their previously acquired bonus/preference points will be reinstated and the waiting period will be waived, if applicable. However, if they surrender the permit(s) less than 30 days before the season opens, they will lose their bonus/preference points. Previously, it was difficult to reallocate those permits when there was less than 30 days' notice, so this change will help prevent lost hunting opportunities.
Another change to be aware of is that if a hunter obtains a general-season antlerless permit over the counter (after the antlerless drawing) or a private-lands-only permit, they will lose any preference points they've previously accrued for that specific antlerless hunt. If they purchase an antlerless elk control permit, they will not lose their preference points.
If you have questions about applying for an antlerless permit, call 1-800-221-0659 or your nearest DWR office.
The drawing results will be available on or before July 9. If any antlerless permits are available after the drawing, you can purchase them beginning July 22. Check the 2020 Utah Antlerless Application Guidebook for details.