BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
BOUNTIFUL— The general deer and buck hunt may be six months away, but the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is already making some changes to the number of permits it will allow for the upcoming season.
In upcoming scheduled meetings of DWR’s five Regional Advisory Councils, one of the main topics of conversation will be the reduction of general buck deer hunting permits this season.
Starting on Tuesday, April 9, each advisory council will vote on whether to reduce the permit number from 86,500 to 84,600, a change of 1,900 permits.
Should all five advisory councils vote in favor of the change, it will mean an average reduction of 380 permits per region, or about 63 permits per hunting unit.
Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for DWR, said two factors determine how many permits can be offered on a unit: the average number of bucks per 100 does over a three year span, and whether or not that number has increased, decreased, or remained the same during that time.
Based on the current data collected, he said the recommendation is to change the number of permits allowed to 84,600.
However, the constant change in the number of permits isn’t anything new, said Aoude, and the number of permits can always increase or decrease from year to year based on the data they collect after each year’s general buck hunt.
“Two years ago after the hunts in 2011, the statewide deer population was about 286,000 deer,” he said. “Despite hunters taking more bucks in 2012, about 318,000 deer were still in the state after the hunts were over last fall. That’s encouraging. It shows the overall deer population is growing.”
The changes will include a decrease in the number of limited-entry buck-deer permits from 967 to 860, a decrease of 107 permits.
Despite the general permits going down, however, the number of cow elk, buck pronghorn and doe pronghorn permits will be going up, according to DWR.
Cow elk permits will increase to 17,982, an increase of more than 3,000 permits from 2012. Buck pronghorn permits will increase to 753 С up from 664 in 2012 С and doe pronghorn permits will increase to 962, an increase of 425 permits from 2012.
The DWR will conduct the first of its’ Advisory meetings on Tuesday, April 9, and the final meeting regarding the change in permits will be voted on April 18 in the Northern Region office of Brigham City.
Comments and concerns will be accepted, and can be emailed to the board members of each region.
Advisory board member emails are listed at wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/rac-members.html.