Saturday, February 6, 2010
Apply now for a Bear Hunting or Pursuit Permit
If you enjoy pursuing bears with dogs, a big change awaits you this year: if you want to pursue on the Book Cliffs, San Juan or La Sal units this summer, you’ll have to obtain a permit through a drawing.
The number of pursuit permits available for the three eastern Utah units this summer is limited. And the summer season has been split into an early season and a late season.
You can apply for a pursuit permit for the units starting Feb. 2 at http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/ . Starting Feb. 2, you can also apply for a black bear hunting permit for any bear unit in the state.
To be included in the draw for permits, your application must be received through the Web site no later than 11 p.m. on Feb. 25.
Results of the 2010 Utah Black Bear Draw will be available by March 11.
Applying for a bonus point
If you’re not going to hunt bears in 2010, you can still apply for a bonus point. Bonus points increase the chance that you’ll draw a bear permit in the future.
Applications for bonus points will also be accepted at http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/ from Feb. 2 until 11 p.m. on Feb. 25.
2010 Black Bear Guidebook
Before you apply, you’ll need a copy of the 2010 Utah Black Bear Guidebook. The guidebook should be available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks by late January.
Reason for pursuit change
The Book Cliffs, San Juan and La Sal units are three of the most popular places in Utah to pursue bears with trained hounds. Unfortunately, that popularity has caused some problems.
“Last summer, we received more than 150 complaints from campers, hikers and others who were recreating in the area,” says Justin Dolling, game mammals coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
“Some of the houndsmen were using as many as 20 hounds to pursue a single bear,” Dolling says. “When these hounds get on a bear’s track, they bark a lot, and they’re extremely noisy. The noise and the commotion they and the houndsmen caused bothered some of the people who were camping and hiking in the area.”
In addition to a limited number of permits, the number of hounds houndsmen can use to pursue bears on ANY unit in the state during the summer pursuit season will also be limited.
Houndsmen may not use more than eight hounds to pursue a single bear in the summer.
This change applies to the summer pursuit season only. The number of dogs houndsmen can use during the spring and fall pursuit and hunting seasons is not limited.
For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.