The issue of whether to allow hunting for up to five years, starting with 2013, depending on herd conditions, is on the agenda of the board of trustees, which is set to meet Wednesday, Aug. 8 in Cedar City.
“I’m keeping open on it,” said board member Joseph Hull, who represents Davis County on the board.
“I know it’s going to be hard,” he said of the contentious issue. “What they’re (State Parks) trying to do is make it so the wording in the law can be changed.”
The issue has been subject to appropriations bills in the legislature, but could move under State Parks Board jurisdiction.
Under that changed scenario, the board could vote on whether conditions are conducive to holding a big game hunt this year, Hull explained.
So-called big animal hunts have been held on the island since 2011 and one is set for 2012.. Some $283,000 was raised from the sale of two Mule Deer and two Big Horn Sheep permits last year.
Some people are concerned that the financial return on the trophy hunt will diminish as the largest, most prized animals are killed.
“By them (State Parks) having more control, there’s much more likelihood there won’t be a hunt, if the fees and trophy size goes down,” said County Commissioner John Petroff.
He is among county officials opposed to the hunt.
“I think there are probably only a half dozen premier bucks out there,” Petroff said. “I’m looking at it as pragmatically as possible. Whoever is in charge (of the hunt), I’ll continue to lobby them to stop hunting.”