Updated: February 8, 2016, 12:22 pm
Did you know that Utah is home to a thriving population of wild turkeys? Jason Robinson, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says more than 25,000 turkeys live in Utah. "It's tough to get a solid estimate," he says, "but based on the number of male turkeys hunters took this past spring, we estimate the state's population at more than 25,000 birds."
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Those at the boat ramp at Red Fleet Reservoir were all smiles when the first fish hatchery truck drove down the ramp on Nov. 16. The truck released more than 3,800 Colorado River cutthroat trout into the reclaimed waters. The truck returned a few hours later with its second load of fish, another 5,000 cutthroat trout from the Whiterocks State Fish Hatchery.
A new black bear strategy, started in Utah in 2015, did exactly what wildlife managers hoped it would: it led to government agencies taking fewer bears and hunters taking more. In 2014, hunters and government agencies took a total of 378 bears in Utah. In 2015 — despite putting more hunters in the field — the number taken declined to 370.
You can see Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep up close at the annual Bighorn Sheep Watch. The Division of Wildlife Resources will host the event on Dec. 5, 2015, along an eight-mile stretch of the Green River in southeastern Utah. The event is free.
If you're a woman 16 years of age or older — and you want to learn more about firearms — the Division of Wildlife Resources has a deal for you. The agency's Wildlife Recreation program is sponsoring a firearm safety clinic and shooting opportunity on Nov. 21, 2015.
Utah's pheasant hunt runs until Dec. 6 on state and federal land across Utah, and in private land enrolled in the Walk-In Access program. To ensure plenty of birds are available to hunt, hundreds of pheasants will be released on Thursdays or Fridays, just in time for hunters heading out for the weekend.
Applications are being accepted for next year's most prized Utah big game hunting permits — 2016 sportsman permits. You can apply for a sportsman permit online until no later than 11 p.m. on Nov. 18, 2015.
Interested in catching 25 to 50 fish in just a couple of hours? Believe it or not, those who fish for burbot at Flaming Gorge Reservoir often catch more than that.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing changes for 2016 that would allow you to place some additional equipment on your bow and muzzleloader. The Division is also proposing a new elk plan, which could open the door to some new cow elk hunting opportunities next fall too, and two new bighorn sheep hunts. The proposals will be discussed during the November Regional Advisory Council meetings.
Thousands of tundra swans are flying into northern Utah right now. During a Nov. 4 survey flown over marshes on the northeastern shore of Great Salt Lake, Blair Stringham spotted more than 25,000 swans. And more are on their way.
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