Applications for permits to hunt black bears during Utah's 2003 spring and fall seasons became available Feb. 4.
Hunters who have applied for a Utah black bear permit any year since 1993 should have received a preprinted application in the mail by Feb. 4.
Beginning at this time, hunters also may obtain applications from hunting and fishing license agents statewide, Division of Wildlife Resources offices and hunter education centers and the DWR's Internet website at www.wildlife.utah.gov.
To be included in the draw for hunting permits, applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on March 3. Draw results will then be posted by April 4.
Hunters who have a major credit card can apply online at the DWR's web site.
Hunters who don't have a credit card must mail their application in.
Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR says an instruction sheet to help hunters complete their application correctly will be included with the preprinted applications hunters receive in the mail.
"Read through it completely, before filling out the application," she advises.
Hunters who don't apply on the Internet are encouraged to mail their application early.
"Mail service is slower now than it was before the terrorist attacks of last year, so hunters need to mail your application early to make sure it has plenty of time to arrive before the 5 p.m., March 3 due date," Tutorow stated.
She also reminds hunters that they must specify whether they want a limited entry bear permit, or a limited entry bear archery permit, by checking the correct box on their application.
Applications will be rejected if a box isn't checked.
Tutorow also encourages hunters to obtain written permission from landowners before applying for a hunt that occurs on private land.
"Written permission is required to hunt private property and we encourage hunters to obtain it before applying," she advised. "We don't want hunters to draw a permit and then find they can't use it because landowners won't give them permission to hunt the area."
The DWR doesn't have a list of people who own land where black bear hunts occur, so hunters need to take time to locate the landowners themselves.
Less than 25 percent of Utah's black bear hunts occur on private property. Hunts that do occur on private property are indicated by an asterisk in the 2003 Utah black bear proclamation, which also became available Feb. 4.
Utah's experimental spring bear hunt will run April 12 through May 26 on four separate units.
Season dates on the 17 units open to fall hunting are Aug. 23 through Sept. 28 and Nov 1 through 27.
For more information call Utah Wildlife Administrative Services at 1-800-221-0659 or the nearest DWR office.