Utah's 2002 Antlerless
Permit Status
Fewer doe deer permits and more cow moose permits will be available to Utah's hunters this fall. At a May 2 meeting in Moab, the Utah Wildlife Board voted to decrease doe deer permits from the 5,680 offered in 2001, to 3,695 for this fall's hunts. The board also increased cow moose permits from the 31 offered last year, to 55 this year.

In addition, the board approved decreases in cow elk permits, increases in doe pronghorn permits and eliminated Utah's antlerless elk control permits.

Applications for 2002 antlerless permits will be available by June 4 from hunting and fishing license agents statewide, Division of Wildlife Resources offices and the Division's Internet Web site (www.wildlife.utah.gov).

To be entered in the draw for permits, applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on June 17. Results of the 2002 Utah Antlerless Draw will be posted by August 1.

2002 Antlerless Permits

The weather across Utah the past 12 months was a major factor in the board approving fewer doe deer permits for hunts this fall.

"In general, the number of deer fawns across the state this spring is down," said Steve Cranney, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "Several years of drought have affected many of the deer herds in the southern and eastern regions of the state, and these are the areas where permits were decreased most. There are also some permit decreases in the Northern Region, parts of which were hit hard by significant snowfall this past winter. Field biologists are still evaluating the extent of deer losses there.

"Also, in some areas of the state, herds have been at or over their population objective and we've had to offer quite a few doe deer permits the past couple of years to keep them in line with approved numbers," Cranney said. "Now that we have them there, doe deer permit numbers can be cut back."

While doe deer permit numbers were cut significantly, cow moose permits almost doubled from the 31 offered last year, to 55 this year. "Most of the increases are along the populated areas of the Wasatch Front, where moose populations are at all-time highs," said Jim Karpowitz, once-in-a-lifetime big game species coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

In addition to the doe deer and cow moose actions, the board also approved a 15 percent decrease in cow elk permits, reducing permits from 12,500 last year to 10,594 this year. Doe pronghorn permits were increased slightly, from 284 offered last year to 296 for this fall.

Antlerless Elk Control Permits

The board also voted to support a Division recommendation to eliminate antlerless elk control permits. These permits were offered last year to try to increase the number of cow elk taken on five units where elk populations were over management objectives. In addition to taking a bull elk, general bull elk hunters were able to purchase an elk control permit for $20 and take one cow elk on any of the five units.

"Three of the five units were on land where public access was difficult due to extensive private lands. We were hoping that by offering elk control permits we could encourage hunters to approach landowners to access their property and put pressure on these herds, but it didn't happen," Cranney said. "In the process, too much pressure was put on the elk herd on the Plateau unit, which is a big public land unit in south-central Utah.

"The bottom line is, the elk control permit idea didn't work so we asked the board to eliminate it and offer all cow elk permits through the antlerless draw, as in the past," Cranney said. "Offering them through the draw will allow us to set the number of permits we feel are needed for each unit and direct hunting pressure where it's needed most."

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office, or the Division's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

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