|A total of 1,000 doe deer hunting permits will be available for a northeastern Utah area that wasn't scheduled to be open to doe deer hunting this fall.
At an emergency meeting July 22 in Salt Lake City, the Utah Wildlife Board approved two doe deer hunts for the Wasatch Mountains, Currant Creek unit. The unit is located in Wasatch and Duchesne counties. The hunts will run October 19 - 27 and November 11 - 24.
Applications for the Currant Creek permits will be accepted August 1 through 5 p.m. on August 9. Draw results will be posted by August 27.
Beginning August 1, hunters with an American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa credit card may apply for a permit at the Division of Wildlife Resources' Internet Web site (www.wildlife.utah.gov). Hunters who don't have one of these credit cards must mail an application in. Applications will be available at DWR offices, and the DWR Web site, beginning August 1.
The board decided to hold a doe deer hunt on the Currant Creek unit because of poor winter range conditions in northeastern Utah.
"Because of the drought, there's been absolutely no new growth on plants on winter ranges in eastern Utah this year," said Steve Cranney, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "The deer herds in the northeastern part of the state are near their management objectives, which means there will be too many deer for the food supply that's going to be available this winter. If deer numbers aren't reduced and we have even a normal winter, many of the deer will probably starve to death and winter range plants will be severely damaged."
The DWR asked the Wildlife Board to approve 1,000 doe deer permits for the Currant Creek unit to try to prevent that from happening.
The board also approved additional doe deer permits on other units in northeastern Utah where hunts are already scheduled this fall. Permits for these units will be issued in Utah's first Antlerless Draw. Applications have already been accepted for that draw and results will be posted by August 1.
The board also approved an increase in cow elk permits on some units in northeastern Utah to try and reduce potential competition between deer and elk for limited food on winter ranges. The cow elk permits will also be issued in the first Antlerless Draw.
Cranney says winter range conditions are also poor in southeastern Utah. Deer numbers there are far enough below management objectives, however, that DWR biologists are not asking for additional doe deer permits. "Even though there are not high deer populations, lots of snowfall and cold temperatures could still result in substantial deer losses there as well as in the southwestern parts of the state, where deer populations are somewhat higher," Cranney said.
In a final big game action, the board also increased the number of cow elk permits on the San Juan unit in southeastern Utah, from 100 to 200. "Southeastern Utah has been experiencing drought conditions for years, and the San Juan unit is probably in the worst shape of any unit in the state," Cranney said.
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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