Tips for Archery Hunting in Utah
Find Water and You'll Find Deer

That's the advice Utah wildlife managers have for hunters as Utah's 2002 general archery buck deer hunt nears. The season runs August 17 - September 13.

"There are an estimated 310,000 deer in Utah right now, and buck to doe ratios on almost all of our general season hunting units are at or above the statewide objective of 15 bucks per 100 does, so there should be plenty of bucks available this year," says Steve Cranney, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

"The secret to finding those bucks is finding water, because the deer will really be focused on water sources this year," Cranney continued. "With the drought we're having, many water sources that have historically held water will be dry this year. It's especially important that hunters scout their areas before the season, to find the water sources that have water in them."

Division of Wildlife Resources wildlife managers offer some additional advice for archery hunters heading afield this season:

Setting Up Early

Unless it rains between now and the hunt, vegetation across the state will be extremely dry and noisy to walk on. To avoid spooking deer, Boyde Blackwell, Northeastern Region wildlife manager, advises hunters to set up early and then hold still as it gets light. "By getting up earlier, hunters can take advantage of the night and the little bit of dew that may help dampen the sounds they make moving around," he said.

Blackwell also provides advice for hunting near water. "I recommend hunting the water, but don't camp on it," he said. "The animals need access to the available watering holes and this is much more difficult when someone camps right on it, especially if the person owns dogs."

Hunting Cover Areas From Tree Stands

Brad Crompton, Southeastern Region wildlife biologist, suggests looking for deer under cover this year, rather than in openings. "Locate green, succulent forage in the vicinity of a water source, and you'll probably find deer," he said.

Crompton also suggests using a blind or tree stand to avoid alarming the deer with noisy walking. "Select closed rather than open canopy locations, which will be greener and will offer cooler conditions and greater protection from the sun," he advises to hunters looking for a spot to set up a tree stand.

Hunt An Area You're Familiar With

In addition to locating a water sources, Cranney suggests hunting an area you're familiar with.

"The statewide general archery permit gives hunters a chance to try different areas of the state, which is great for learning different areas and finding a place you like," Cranney said. "If you've hunted archery for a few years, though, I would advise you to stay in an area you're familiar with.

"The more you know about an area the better your success will be, no matter how the deer populations in it are doing," he said. "This is especially important for a guy with a bow. In archery hunting, the best success comes to hunters who know the habits of animals in the area they're hunting, and where the water sources are."

| WH Home | Contact Western | WH Archive |

Copyright © 2002 J & D Outdoor Communications. All rights reserved.