Proposed DWR Study Could Bring Changes To Southern Utah Hunting
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing a variety of changes to big game hunting that could take effect in 2024. Some of the recommended changes would provide alternative hunting strategies for five hunting units here in southern Utah. These strategies would put those units in to a four year research study lasting four years.
As a result of recent feedback the DWR is proposing some different deer hunting strategies in the southern Utah units for the duration of the research study. The study looks to determine if restrictions based on antler points, weapon technology and / or season length can improve mule deer population performance along with hunting opportunities and hunter satisfaction.
The study is proposed to start in 2024 and run through 2027. The results would then be analyzed and evaluated before potentially be included in the 2029 Utah deer management plan.
For the duration of the four year study, the DWR is recommending setting permit numbers on each of the units based on the four year average of permit numbers from 2020 through 2023. Two additional hunting units, Monroe and Zion, will be used as reference units during the research study and won't have any changes, but they will be included in the set permit numbers during the study timeframe.
The DWR will recommend maintaining those permit numbers on the seven units, unless the buck to doe ratio falls below 15 or goes above 24. If that were to happen, there would be flexibility to adjust the permits by up to 20% annually in an attempt to maintain stable buck to doe ratios.
The DWR has several other proposals and is seeking public input. The public comment period opened on October 24th for each of the five Regional Advisory Councils and for the Utah Wildlife Board. Members of the public can watch the meetings online or attend in person.
The Southern Utah RAC meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 14th at 6PM in the Charles R Hunter room in the Hunter Conference Center on the campus of Southern Utah University.
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