|Limiting opportunities to pursue bears with hounds in Utah in the fall will be among items the public may provide input on at upcoming Regional Advisory Council (RAC) meetings.
"There have been conflicts in the fall between houndsmen pursuing bears and hunters hunting big and small game," said Alan Clark, Wildlife Section chief for the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). "We'd like to have a general discussion with the public about this issue on hunting units statewide. Do we need to start limiting bear pursuit through season adjustments, or going to a limited-entry bear pursuit system? We need the public's help to answer that question."
Public input also will be sought about a recommendation to offer a total of 209 public black bear hunting permits for Utah's 2003 seasons. That would be a slight decrease from the 217 permits offered in 2002.
In addition, the DWR will recommend that black bear hunting not be allowed on the Cache unit in northern Utah. The unit would remain open for bear pursuit, however. "There are a limited number of bears in the Cache unit and very few bear/human conflicts, so we don't believe a hunt is justified there," Clark said.
At the meetings the public will hear presentations about the proposals and may ask questions and provide their input and suggestions. RAC citizen representatives will take the public input received to the Utah Wildlife Board when it meets December 17 in Salt Lake City to approve Utah's 2003 Black Bear Proclamation.
Meeting dates, times and locations are as follows:
For more information about the meetings, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the Division's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.
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