A Division of Wildlife Resources official has some advice for those who apply for 2005 Utah big game hunting permits.
Beginning Jan. 3, applications for 2005 general buck deer, limited entry, once-in-a-lifetime and Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit hunts will be available from hunting and fishing license agents statewide, the Division of Wildlife Resources' Web site (wildlife.utah.gov) and DWR offices.
To be included in the draw for permits, applications must be received through the mail or an overnight mail service no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 31, or through the DWR's Web site no later than 11 p.m. on Jan. 31.
Based on the number of applications received last year, DWR officials expect to receive almost 190,000 applications. Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR, has some tips hunters can follow to help ensure their application is included in the draw:Applying early is the best thing hunters can do to ensure their application is entered in the draw and save themselves time and frustration in the process.
"Most of the hunters who apply on the Internet wait until the last week to apply. Thousands of people trying to apply at the same time really slows the system down," she said. "If you apply early in the application period, it should take less than five minutes to submit your application."
Tutorow encourages hunters to include an e-mail address when they apply online.
"Having an e-mail address allows us to send a confirmation to you so you can double-check and make sure you entered your information correctly," she said. "Also, we'll send an e-mail to you in April, letting you know whether you drew a permit."
Hunters who submit paper applications also are encouraged to apply early.
"It takes a few days for a paper application to arrive in their mail, so make sure you mail it far enough in advance that we receive it by 5 p.m. on Jan. 31," she said. "Also, if there's an error on your application, but we receive it by 5 p.m. on Jan. 24, you'll receive a correction letter and a chance to correct and resubmit your application."
Another important item is to write credit card numbers correctly. Incorrect credit card information is the biggest reason applications are rejected. Tutorow advises hunters to write their credit card number slowly and clearly (so the people receiving the application can read it) and to double-check that they wrote the number correctly. Also, credit cards must be valid through May 2005 to be used as payment.
Tutorow also wants to make hunters aware of the following items.
Fifteen percent of the general buck deer permits in each region have been set aside for youth hunters who will be 18-years-old or younger on Aug. 20 (the start of Utah's 2005 general archery buck deer hunt). This should give youth hunters a better chance of drawing a Southern Region permit.
Youth hunters who apply as part of a group will not be included in the 15 percent, however, so youths who want the best chance of obtaining a Southern Region permit are encouraged to apply individually.
Hunters who obtained a 2004 limited entry or once-in-a-lifetime permit, but did not report their harvest success, may not apply for a 2005 big game permit. Hunters who have questions about this requirement may call the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659 for more information.