Utah 2013 hunting permit numbers: Some rise, some fall
By Brett Prettyman
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published May 06 2013 09:35AM
The Utah Wildlife Board followed proposals from state wildlife biologists and approved more cow elk hunting permits while decreasing the number of general-season buck mule deer permits at a recent meeting in Salt Lake City.
The board, which is appointed by the governor and represents various wildlife-related interests, reduced the number of general deer permits by 1,900 to 84,600 for the 2013 hunt. A large percentage of the reduction came in the limited-entry deer hunts as the number dropped from 967 in 2012 to 827 for this year.
Anis Aoude, big-game coordinator of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, told the board the overall population of mule deer in the state is increasing, but management objectives for male-to-female ratios on many of the 30 hunting units remain unmet. Reducing hunting permits on those units should increase the buck-to-doe ratios at levels set in the statewide deer management plan.
Aoude reported that an estimated 318,000 mule deer were in Utah after the 2012 hunts, up from the 286,000 thought to be around after the 2011 deer hunt. At the same time, Utah deer hunters took 34 percent more deer in 2012 than in the previous year.
Utah’s Rocky Mountain Elk population also continues to increase. Aoude and other state biologists recommended — and the wildlife board approved — increasing cow elk permits by more than 3,000 for 2013 to help bring the state’s population back under the target of 70,965.
The board also approved increases in buck pronghorn (189) and doe pronghorn (425) hunting permits hunts this fall.