WOODS CROSS – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced recently that the deer population is getting better, and hunters will benefit from that news by having more permits available to them.
However, the same news released by DWR also shows a drastic decrease in many other hunts when the 2014 hunting season begins for certain hunts.
The board, consisting of seven members, voted in early May to increase the number of general buck deer permits by 200, making 84,600 permits available for the fall hunt.
The main reason the permit number has increased for the general hunt, according to biologists, is the number of bucks per 100 doe per herd in a hunting unit.
Hunting this season saw success all across the state, and the numbers still show that some units have an average of 15-17 bucks per 100 doe. In nearly half of the units in Utah, 18-20 bucks per 100 doe have been reported.
Biologists also noted to the board that the 2013 hunting season saw the best hunting numbers in the state since 2007. Last year saw more than 25,000 bucks harvested on general hunting units. Six years prior, a total of 28,000 bucks were harvested by some 97,000 hunters.
However, while some other hunts also saw a slight increase in the number of permits available, other hunts saw a small to significant decrease in permits available for the 2014 season.
Doe deer and limited-entry bull elk permits increased by 105 and 100, respectively, for 2014.
Desert bighorn sheep permits also increased, but the rest of the hunts either stayed with its current number of permits or decreased by a substantial margin.
The biggest hit for 2014 permits came in the number of cow elk permits available for this season. Last year 17,817 permits were available. This season there will be 16,775, or a decrease of 1,042 permits.
Doe pronghorn permits saw the second biggest drop in permits available, from 962 in 2013 to 669 this season.
Bison (from 104 to 84) and mountain goat (162 to 108) permits also took a dip compared to 2013 permit numbers.
Biologists are optimistic; however, that the state’s long-term goal of having 350,000 deer in the state is a positive sign for hunters moving forward into this fall’s hunting season.