There are many great reasons to hunt upland game in Utah.

As Utah swelters under the summer sun, a cool reminder that fall isn't that far away is waiting for you on the Division of Wildlife Website.

Fall elk

At the web page, you'll find the 2017 – 2018 Utah Upland Game and Turkey Guidebook. You can also get a printed copy of the guidebook at your nearest Utah hunting license agent location or Division of Wildlife Resources office.

The guidebook is free. In it, you'll find hunting rules, season dates and bag limits for Utah's 2017 – 2018 upland game hunts. You'll also find information about the 20 upland game species that live in Utah. The book also contains distribution maps that show where each species lives in the state.

Something for everyone

It doesn't matter if you're an experienced hunter, someone who hasn't hunted for years or someone who has never hunted, upland game offer something for everyone.

When asked why someone should consider hunting upland game in Utah, DWR Upland Game Coordinator Jason Robinson provided the following:

Reason 1 — Plenty of time to hunt

Finding time to hunt can be tough. But upland game seasons are long, giving you plenty of time to get outside, relax and 'clear your head.'

The cottontail rabbit season, for example, starts Sept. 1 and runs until Feb. 28. That's almost six full months to get outside and chase cottontails.

Reason 2 — Close-to-home opportunities

Draw a big game permit, and you might have a four- or five-hour drive to get to your hunting spot. Not so with upland game. In many cases, a good upland game hunt is only 30 minutes from your home.

Reason 3 — Less strenuous hunts

Hunting chukar partridge in steep, rocky terrain is among the most strenuous hunts you'll find. But not all upland game hunts are that way. For example, cottontail rabbit hunting usually happens on relatively flat terrain that's easy to walk through.

2017-18 Upland Game Guidebook

"Cottontail rabbit hunting," Robinson says, "and many other upland game hunts are perfect hunts for hunters of all ages and abilities. That includes parents who have a youngster who wants to go hunting, and hunters who prefer an easier walk."

Reason 4 — Simple equipment

Unlike other types of hunting, the gear required to hunt upland game is relatively simple. Usually, a sturdy pair of boots; clothes that can handle the weather and terrain you'll hunt in; a backpack with water, small food items and room for the game you take; and a gun and ammunition, are all you need to get afield and take upland game.

"You don't need a lot of expensive equipment to hunt upland game," Robinson says. "And the gear you'll carry, including your gun, are usually fairly light and easy to carry."

Reason 5 — Healthy, tasty meat that's easy to get out of the field

In addition to being extremely healthy, upland game birds and animals are among the tastiest wild game you can put on your table. (If you're hunting in warm weather, dressing your animal or bird in the field, and then placing the meat in a plastic bag that has a small ice block in it, is the best way to care for the meat until you get it home.)

In addition to being tasty and healthy, upland game is easy to get out of the field. Big game hunters are fond of saying "once you take an animal, the fun is over and the work begins." That's not the case with upland game. After taking a rabbit, hare or upland game bird, simply slide the animal or bird into your back pack or hunting vest, and keep hunting.

Reason 6 — Simple rules and regulations

Upland game hunting rules are simple and easy to understand. "Get a copy of the free guidebook," Robinson says, "and read through it. As you do, you'll see that upland game hunting rules aren't complex. They're simple and easy to understand."

More information

Would you like to receive the latest information about hunting upland game in Utah? You can by subscribing to the DWR's free upland game updates. You can subscribe at www.wildlife.utah.gov/about-us/subscribe-to-updates.html. The updates will arrive in your email inbox.

If you have questions about hunting upland game in Utah, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.