Wednesday, April 14, 2010

DWR shares ideas for this fall’s Antlerless Big Game Hunts

If they have a cow elk permit for the same area, all bull elk hunters—including rifle hunters—might be allowed to take a cow elk during this fall’s bull elk hunt.

That change—and permit numbers for Utah’s 2010 antlerless big game hunts—are among items Division of Wildlife Resources biologists want your input about.

Learn more, share your ideas
You can read the DWR’s proposals on the Web at . Once you’ve read the proposals, you can provide your comments one of two ways:

RAC meetings
Five Regional Advisory Council meetings will be held across Utah on April 27. Citizens representing the RACs will take the input received to the Utah Wildlife Board. Board members will use your input to set permit numbers for this fall’s hunts.

The April 27 meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. You can participate and provide your input at any of the following locations:

Northern Region
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
Brigham City

Central Region
Springville Junior High School
165 S. 700 E.

Northeastern Region
Uintah Basin Applied Technology
450 N. 2000 W.

Southeastern Region
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St.
Green River

Southern Region
Cedar Middle School
2215 W. Royal Hunte Dr.
Cedar City

You can also provide your comments to your RAC via e-mail. E-mail addresses for your RAC members are available at .

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 numbers
The following are the number of antlerless hunting permits available in 2009 and the number DWR biologists are recommending for this fall:

                              2009           2010
Cow elk                  11,146      9,813
Doe deer                 1,775       2,025
Doe pronghorn        1,107      622
Cow moose            30           19

Taking cow elk during the bull elk hunts
Allowing hunters to take a cow elk during the bull elk hunts is among the strategies DWR biologists have used to keep elk herds within population objectives outlined in Utah’s elk unit management plans.

If they have a cow elk permit for the same unit on which they’re hunting bulls, archery and muzzleloader elk hunters are allowed to take a cow elk during the bull elk hunts.

Biologists want to give rifle bull elk hunters the same chance.

“There are two advantages to allowing hunters to take a cow elk during the bull elk rifle hunts,” says Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR.

“First of all, doing so would help ensure enough cow elk are taken,” he says. “Rifle hunters have the highest success rate.

“Also, allowing hunters to take a cow elk during the bull elk rifle hunts would reduce the number of hunters who hunt during the cow elk-only hunts later in the year,” he says. “That would reduce hunter crowding and reduce pressure on the elk while they’re on their winter ranges.”

Deer and Crops
Almost 90 percent of the doe deer permits the biologists are recommending would be used to control deer in areas where deer are damaging crops on farm land.

The remaining 12 percent of the permits—250 of the 2,025 permits biologists are recommending—would be used to keep deer herds on the Paunsaugunt and Panguitch Lake limited-entry units from growing beyond the number their habitat can support.

“The deer herds on these two units are at their population objective,” Aoude says. “We need to make sure we balance the number of deer with the habitat that’s available to them.”

Pronghorn on the Parker Mountains
In 2009, the Utah Wildlife Board approved 1,107 doe pronghorn permits. Most of those permits were used to reduce the number of pronghorn on the Parker Mountains in southwestern Utah. (The population objective for the unit is 1,500 pronghorn.)

“The unit is getting closer to its population objective,” Aoude says. “Because it’s getting closer to the objective, we can start reducing the number of doe pronghorn permits offered for it.”

Moose: Nearing their objective
Aoude says the number of moose in northern Utah is approaching the population objective. Biologists are recommending a slight decrease in the number of cow moose permits available this year.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

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