Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fewer bison permits for the Henry Mountains among 2010 Big Game Proposals

The number of hunting permits for most of Utah’s big game animals could go up this fall.

One exception is cow bison permits for the Henry Mountains. But fewer permits to hunt cow bison on the Henry Mountains is actually good news—it means the bison herd on the unit can start building to a new management objective.

Learn more, share your ideas
You can review all of the Division of Wildlife Resources big game permit proposals at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings . Once you’ve read the proposals, you can share your thoughts and ideas one of two ways:

RAC meetings
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 set the permit numbers. They’ll approve the final numbers at their March 31 meeting in Salt Lake City.

You can participate and provide your input at any of the following meetings (please note that the Northeastern RAC is meeting on a Monday):


E-mail
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.

Permit recommendations
The following chart shows the number of permits that were available in 2009 and the number the DWR is recommending for 2010:
                                              2009        2010
General season buck deer        94,000     94,000
Premium limited entry deer      173          179
Limited entry deer                   1,021      1,034
Management buck deer            60            95
Limited entry bull elk                2,737       2,976
Pronghorn antelope                  992          1,035
Moose                                     147           139
Bison                                       170           39
Rocky Mountain goat               104           111
Desert bighorn sheep                37             45
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep  24             31

Fewer bison permits
It’s time to start increasing the number of bison on the Henry Mountains in southeastern Utah.

To do that, the Division of Wildlife Resources is recommending fewer bison hunting permits for the unit this fall.

Two types of bison permits are offered for the Henry Mountains. Most of the permits allow hunters to take either a bull bison or a cow bison. Others allow hunters to take only a cow.

“A management plan for the Henry’s was approved in August 2007,” says Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR. “One of the objectives in the plan limits the number of adult bison on the unit to not more than 305 after the 2010 hunting season is over.”

The plan allows that number to increase to not more than 315 adults after the 2011 season is over and not more than 325 after the 2012 season.

Using information from aerial surveys, harvest data from the 2009 hunt and range studies of habitat on the Henry Mountains, biologists feel it’s safe to start increasing the number of bison on the unit to the 305 adult objective.

And right now should be a good time to do that. Aoude says the DWR and its partners have spent more than $1 million on habitat work on the Henry’s over the past three years alone. More than 8,000 acres of habitat has been improved. And multiple water sources have been developed across the unit.

1 comment: