|This deer scopes the terrain at Consumers for good grazing. Beginning Jan. 3, Utah hunters will be able to apply for big game permits through Division of Wildlife Resource offices throughout the state.|
Applications for big game hunting permits for Utah's 2003 seasons will be available by Jan. 3, and a Division of Wildlife Resources official has some advice for those who apply.
Beginning Jan. 3, applications for general buck deer, ML300 elk, limited entry, once-in-a-lifetime and cooperative wildlife management unit hunts will be available from hunting and fishing license agents statewide, the DWR's Internet website at www.wildlife.utah.gov and DWR offices.
Hunters who applied for a Utah big game hunting permit last year should receive an application in the mail by Jan. 3, and shouldn't have to visit any of the locations.
To be included in the draw for permits, applications must be received through the DWR's web site, or through the mail or an overnight mail service, no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 31.
Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR has some tips hunters can follow to help ensure their application is included in the draw and include the following:
Apply on the Internet. Hunters who have a credit card can apply online at the DWR's web site. Tutorow says this is the best way to apply.
"Applying on the Internet allows hunters to get their application in within minutes and eliminates the chance that it will be lost in the mail," she explained. "It also cuts down on the possibility of making a mistake because the program will let the user know if they entered something incorrectly or forgot to include some information."
Mail the application early. Hunters who don't have one of the four credit cards must mail their application in. Tutorow encourages them to pick up an application as soon as they're available, and to mail it back as soon as possible.
"Mail service has been slowed because of last year's terrorist attacks, so mailing an application early is important in giving it plenty of time to arrive before the due date," she said.
"Also, if an error is made, but the application is received by 5 p.m. on Jan. 24, the applicant will receive a correction letter and a chance to correct and resubmit the application."
Complete the application correctly by taking enough time to do so.
"I'd encourage hunters to take their time when completing their application and to make sure it's completed correctly," Tutorow suggested. "There are a number of tools to help them do that."
An instruction sheet will be included with applications hunters receive in the mail. Instructions also are found in the 2003 Utah Big Game Proclamation.
The proclamation will be posted on the DWR's web site, and available from DWR offices and hunting and fishing license agents, by Jan. 3.
"If hunters have any questions at all, the DWR encourages them to call their nearest division office or come in to the nearest DWR location," Tutorow stated. "We'd be happy to review their application with them."
Tutorow also has two reminders for big game hunters:
Hunters will receive two applications in the mail. The applications are on a single sheet of paper that's folded in half. The application that says 2003 resident general buck deer and muzzleloader elk (ML300) application form at the top is the form that Utah residents must use when applying for general buck deer and ML300 elk permits. The other application is for 2003 limited entry, once-in-a-lifetime and cooperative wildlife management unit big game permits.
Preference points will only be awarded to hunters who are unsuccessful in the January draw for general buck deer and muzzleloader elk (ML300) permits.
Unless hunters are willing to sit out a year, they should apply in the January drawing for all regions they're interested in hunting.
In 2002, southeastern and southern region resident and nonresident permits sold out in the drawing, as did all of the resident permits for the central region. If hunters wait for the second drawing which will be conducted in May, they may not get their region of choice.
For more information call the nearest DWR office, or the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659.