WOODS CROSS – The first wave of fall hunting seasons begins this Saturday, Aug. 16 with archery hunts for deer and elk, among other species.
The good news for archery hunters is there will be plenty of deer to hunt this season.
According to a study conducted by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the number of bucks per 100 doe ratio has increased significantly over the past few years, even as hunters took home their prizes during the 2013 Fall hunting season.
There will also be two more units added to the list this year where deer hunters with anterless elk-control permits can take a cow elk home this year.
The overall number of bucks per 100 doe is at least the same as or better than last year’s numbers, according to the biologists.
In the Northern Utah units, where most of the land is private, two large public hunting units have a lower rate of bucks to doe. In the Box Elder unit the number of bucks to 100 doe was 12. Unit 2 in the Cache region reported 13 bucks per 100 doe.
Due to the mild winter, biologists said the numbers could actually be better than when the study was first conducted.
Unit 7 in Kamas, where there is a lot of public land, there were 22 bucks after last year’s hunt was over.
Overall, more than 90 percent of the fawns and adult does on the Cache unit survived through the winter.
“That’s an extremely high survival rate,” said regional assistant wildlife manager for DWR Darren DeBloois in a press release sent to the Clipper. “If that rate continues the deer herds in northern Utah will continue to grow.”
The rain received over the spring and summer months helped with the survival of the deer as well, said DeBloois, leaving them with plenty of food and water sources to thrive on.
“Because of that, deer will be dispersed and at higher elevations during the archery hunt,” he said.
The best time to find deer in any of the units is early in the evening and in the early morning hours.
“Figure out the routes they are taking and find a spot along the routes that will allow you to intercept the deer as they move,” said DeBloois. “Finding water sources is the key to finding deer, especially in unit 1.”
Hunters who have a permit in that unit should be aware of two things, DeBloois said the black bear population is growing in that area, and units three through six are located mostly or entirely private land.
Hunters in those units need to obtain written permission from the landowner before hunting in the private areas.