Utah Antlerless Permits
Antlerless Big Game Hunting Permits Approved for Fall Hunts

Hunters will have fewer Utah antlerless big game hunting permits to apply for after the Utah Wildlife Board voted to reduce the number of antlerless deer, elk, moose and doe pronghorn permits available for this fall's hunts.

Board members made their decision May 1 after hearing recommendations from Division of Wildlife Resources biologists and citizens representing Utah's five public Regional Advisory Councils.

The board consists of seven citizens appointed by Gov. Mike Leavitt.

Antlerless permit applications for this fall's hunts will be available by May 27 from hunting license agents, Division of Wildlife Resources offices, and the DWR's Internet Web site (wildlife.utah.gov).

Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on June 16 to be included in the 2003 Utah Antlerless Draw. Draw results will be posted by July 31.

Antlerless Permits

DWR biologists say very few big game animals were lost in Utah this past winter. There has been a reduction, however, in the number of fawns and calves born over the past few years and the number that are surviving to adulthood.

"Drought conditions make it harder for big game animals — especially female deer and pronghorn antelope — to give birth to healthy fawns that will survive over time," said Jim Karpowitz, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "Reduced fawn and calf production will result in smaller herd sizes and fewer animals available for hunters.

"There are good numbers of big game animals in the state now, but we're concerned about the future of the herds and the condition of rangelands," Karpowitz said. "We want to ensure that we only take enough female animals to keep herds within management plan objectives and within the capacity of the range."

The biggest permit reduction approved by the board was in doe deer permits. Board members approved 2,370 doe deer permits for this fall, down 2,675 from the 5,045 offered last year. They also approved 10,720 cow elk permits, down 940 from the 11,660 available last year.

Doe pronghorn permits were reduced from 286 last year, to 240 this year. Cow moose permits were reduced from 55 offered last year, to 23 this year.

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

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