Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Statewide Deer Archery Hunting may return in 2010
The facts are in, and the findings are clear—based on the acres of public land that have deer habitat, the Southern Region doesn’t have any more archery hunters in it than any other region in the state.
In fact, based on the number of acres per archery hunter, the Southern Region is actually the least crowded region in Utah.
For that reason, the Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing that general archery deer hunters be allowed to hunt anywhere in Utah that’s open to general-season hunting.
(In 2009, archery hunters had to choose one region to hunt in during the first two weeks of the hunt. After the first two weeks, they could hunt anywhere in Utah that was open to general-season hunting.)
All of the DWR’s recommendations for Utah’s 2010 big game seasons are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings .
Learn more, share your ideas
Once you’ve read the proposals, you can share your thoughts and ideas one of two ways:
Five Regional Advisory Council meetings will be held across Utah. Citizens representing the RACs will take the input received at the meetings to the Utah Wildlife Board. Board members will use the input to help them set rules for Utah’s 2010 big game hunts. They’ll set those rules at their Dec. 3 meeting in Salt Lake City.
You can participate and provide your input at any of the following meetings (two notes: the Southern Region meeting begins at 5 p.m. The Central Region meeting will be held on a Thursday.):
Richfield High School
510 W. 100 S.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St.
Western Park, Room #1
302 E. 200 S.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
Springville Junior High
165 S. 700 E.
You can also provide your comments to your RAC via e-mail. E-mail addresses for your RAC members are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings .
The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person’s e-mail address. You should direct your e-mail to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.
Acres of land per hunter
“The data is clear—archery hunters are not the only reason some people feel the Southern Region is crowded during the first part of the archery hunt,” says Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR.
Aoude bases his finding on two statistics:
- the acres of public land in the region that have deer habitat
- the number of archers who hunt in the region.
You can see the statistics at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings/info/09-11-08.pdf .
Crowding—what’s causing it?
Even though the Southern Region has more acres of public land per hunter than any region in Utah, that doesn’t mean certain parts of the region aren’t crowded from mid August to mid September.
“Southern Utah is a very popular place to camp and hike. And that’s what’s causing most of the crowding,” Aoude says. “We don’t feel we should restrict and penalize archery hunters because other people enjoy being in the woods too.”
Aoude says archers can also be part of the crowding challenge, but that situation isn’t unique to the Southern Region—it happens in every region in the state. “There are certain areas in every region that are popular and draw a lot of hunters,” he says.
A committee helped the DWR draft the statewide proposal for 2010. The committee included three archery hunters from southern Utah, two members of the Utah Bowhunter’s Association, two members of Bowhunters of Utah and Bill Fenimore, a member of the Utah Wildlife Board.
“The data helped the committee see that archers aren’t the only reason the Southern Region gets crowded during the first part of the archery hunt,” Aoude says. “The committee took the data, looked through it and then recommended to us that Utah return to a statewide hunt for the entire general archery season.”