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DWR proposes new hunts in 2019

You might have more chances to hunt bison and pronghorn in Utah in 2019. Biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources are also recommending new archery hunts that might reduce the number of deer coming into cities and towns in Utah County.

Plans that will guide the management of bighorn sheep and mountain goats across Utah — as well as rules that will guide waterfowl hunting in Utah for the next three years — are also among items that will be discussed at an upcoming series of public meetings.

By Oct. 25, all of the biologists’ recommendations should be available to review.

Learn more, share your ideas

After you’ve reviewed the ideas and plans online, you can let your Regional Advisory Council members know your thoughts by attending your upcoming RAC meeting or by sending an email to them.

RAC chairmen will share the input they receive with members of the Utah Wildlife Board. The board will meet in Salt Lake City on Nov. 29 to approve the plans and rules for Utah’s 2019 big game and waterfowl hunts.

Dates, times and locations for the RAC meetings are as follows:

Central Region
Nov. 6, 6:30 p.m.
Springville Junior High School (enter through the west side)
189 S. 1470 E., Springville

Northern Region
Nov. 7, 6 p.m.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N 300 West, Brigham City

Southern Region
Nov. 13, 5 p.m.
Cedar Middle School
2215 W. Royal Hunte Dr., Cedar City

Southeastern Region
Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E Main ST, Green River

Northeastern Region
Nov. 15, 5:30 p.m.
DWR Northeastern Region Office
318 N Vernal Ave, Vernal

Email

You can also provide your comments to your RAC via email. Email addresses for your RAC members are available at wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/rac-members.html.

The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person’s email address. You should direct your email to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.

More chances to hunt

Big game animals are doing well in Utah. And, in certain pockets of the state, they’re doing extremely well. To help manage the populations, and give hunters more chances to hunt, DWR biologists are recommending some new hunts in 2019. Here’s a sample:

New bison hunts on the Henry Mountains in southeastern Utah and the Book Cliffs in eastern Utah
New muzzleloader and archery pronghorn hunts in eastern Utah
A Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep hunt on the Oquirrh-Stansbury unit in north-central Utah. The hunt would be the first bighorn hunt held on the unit since 2015.

Controlling deer in cities and towns

Deer are thriving along the Wasatch Front. And the number of people along the front is growing. In some cases, more deer and more people mean more conflicts between the two.

To try and reduce the number of deer that are making their way into cities and towns in Salt Lake and Utah counties, biologists are recommending more extended archery hunts. (The season dates for extended archery hunts are longer than most hunts. For example, in 2018, deer in the Wasatch Front extended archery area can be hunted from Sept. 15–Nov. 30. Archery hunters can take one buck deer or one doe deer. Four extended archery deer hunts are currently held in Utah.)

“The extended archery hunts have worked,” says Covy Jones, big game coordinator for the DWR. “They’ve helped reduce the number of deer that make their way into cities and towns. They’re a great management tool.”

Along the west slope of the Wasatch Mountains, biologists would like to make four changes. Three of those changes would occur in Utah County:

Establish a new extended archery hunt in the mountains near Herriman in Salt Lake County.

Establish a new extended archery hunt in areas around Utah Lake in Utah County.

Extend the boundary of the Wasatch Front extended archery area all the way to American Fork Canyon in Utah County.

Currently, the boundary starts at the Weber/Davis County line and then runs south before ending at the Salt Lake/Utah County line.

Establish a new South Wasatch extended archery area. The area’s boundary would start at American Fork Canyon and extend south to Hobble Creek Canyon.

“Extending the Wasatch Front boundary to American Fork Canyon,” Jones says, “and creating two new extended archery areas in Utah County should help reduce the number of deer that are coming into urban areas in the county.”

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