Permit cutback to help increase deer, elk population
Efforts to increase the number of deer and elk in Utah will continue this year through a reduction in the number of antlerless hunting permits available in the state.
Division of Wildlife Resources wildlife biologists will present recommendations to decrease the number of antlerless permits for many of Utah's deer and elk herds at an April 20 public meeting.
The meeting will originate in Salt Lake City and will be broadcast at Carbon High School at 6 p.m. for southeastern Utah residents to view.
After viewing the interactive presentation, those in attendance can ask DWR officials questions. After the question and answer period, citizen Regional Advisory Council representatives at the high school will receive input.
The RAC will present that input to the Utah Wildlife Board when it meets April 29 to approve Utah's 2004 Antlerless Addendum.
The biggest reduction the DWR is proposing is in cow elk permits. It is recommended that only 6,587 cow elk permits be offered this fall, down more than 4,300 from the 10,952 available in 2003.
"We're about 10,000 animals under our statewide objective of 68,400 elk," said Jim Karpowitz, big game coordinator. "We want to do all we can to slowly bring the statewide elk population closer to that objective."
Biologists will also recommend a reduction in doe deer permits. Recommendation numbers will be 2,105 doe deer permits for this fall, down 1,500 from the 3,605 available in 2003.
"The number of fawns produced last spring was the highest we've seen in three years, but the total number of deer counted after last fall's hunting seasons was down from the previous fall," Karpowitz said. "We're recommending the reduction to take fewer does and help build the herds."
Most of the doe deer permits the DWR will recommend are for areas where there is agricultural depredation or rangeland concerns.
Two hundred and twenty-two doe pronghorn permits will be recommended for this fall. Most of those permits would be two-doe permits that would allow the holders to take two doe pronghorn off the Plateau unit in south-central Utah.
"The pronghorn herds on the unit are doing so well that they're now above the objective for the unit," Karpowitz commented. "Increased doe hunting and transplanting animals from the unit to other pronghorn units are two ways to bring the herds within objective."
It appears that Utah's deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and moose herds made it through the winter in good shape.
Spring and summer are crucial times for big game animals as they give birth to and care for fawns and calves.
Karpowitz said he is hoping for good rainfall over the next few months.
"Good precipitation during the spring and summer is important in providing the animals the forage they need," he said.
For more information about the meeting, contact the Price DWR office.