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Deer hunting forecast for Southeastern Utah

Archery hunters should see more buck deer in southern Utah when the state's general archery buck deer hunt kicks off August 20.

General season archery deer hunters may hunt on any area in Utah that's open to general season deer hunting.

"Good fawn production in 2004 and good survival this past winter have strengthened herds across the region," said Bill Bates, Southeastern Region wildlife manager. "Most units show both short and long-term upward trends as far as the total number of deer in the herds."

While the number of deer is up this year, all of southeastern Utah's deer herds are still under management objective as far as the total number of deer. Bates says deer habitat in southeastern Utah faces a long road to recovery after years of drought, but aggressive habitat restoration work by the DWR and other agencies is beginning to pay off thanks to normal rainfall during the 2005 growing season.

"If the weather returns to a normal pattern, the vegetation in the region will rebound and the deer herds should continue to grow," Bates said.

Bates says hot temperatures in July drove most of the region's deer to higher elevations. If August continues to be unseasonably warm, deer will be in areas near the timberline and close to water. If the weather cools and monsoonal rains fall, the deer will move to lower elevation areas and will be more scattered.

To find success, Bates encourages hunters to do some pre-season scouting and practice with their bow.

For more information, call the Price office at (435) 636-0260.

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