Therefore, a new plan has been formulated and approved by DWR that will help keep better track of them over the next 12 years.
Some of the highlights include certain hunters being unable to use hounds or bait during spot-and-stalk hunts, archery hunters being able to use bait, and the number of females and adult males that hunters are able to take.
Justin Dolling, game mammals coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, said the number of females and adult males that hunters take will give important information about how a bear population is doing in hunting areas of the state.
“The number of females is important because females give birth to and care for the cubs,” he said. “But the number of adult males hunters take is the best early indicator we have about the health of a bear population.
“You know a bear population is decreasing if the number of adult males hunters take is going down and the number of females goes up.”
Starting in 2012, some areas of the state will become spot-and-stalk only areas, meaning no hounds or bait for certain hunters.
Utah will also have its first harvest-objective bear hunting areas starting next year. Having harvest-objective areas will allow biologists to focus more hunters on bears that are killing livestock and raiding campgrounds, according to a release from DWR.
Another change will come in some of the areas of the hunt. Currently, all of the state’s bear hunting areas are limited-entry areas, meaning only those that draw permits for a limited-entry area can hunt on it.
Under the new plan, some of the limited-entry areas will become harvest-objective areas.
According to DWR, switching an area to harvest objective will increase the number of people who can hunt the area, increasing the chances that a hunter will take a set number of bears.
Also, as soon as the quota of bears are taken in that area, the hunt on that area will be over for the season.
Those that are archery hunters, however, will be allowed to use bait in the coming years. DWR explained that using bait allows those hunters to lure bears close enough in order to get a clean and effective shot.
The approved plan has been made available to the public. In order to view the plan, visit go.usa.gov/rkf and click on the link marked “black bear management plan.”