BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
WOODS CROSS — The recent recommendation in the amount of permits allowed for the upcoming deer hunt has been approved by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
On May 2, the division made the final approval to reduce the number of deer and buck hunt permits, despite biologists’ finding the number of deer and buck has increased.
This fall, a total of 84,600 general deer permits will be available for the 2013 hunt, a difference of 1,900 permits compared to 2012.
Big Game Coordinator Anis Aoude said in an email to the Clipper that even though the total number of deer in Utah is going up, the number of bucks per 100 does is still below expectations in some of the hunting units.
Two factors go into the changing of the amount of permits every year: the average number of bucks per 100 does over the last three years, and whether that ratio has increased, decreased or stayed the same in that amount of time.
There are 30 general season units available, and this year’s numbers mean a decrease of approximately 63 permits per unit.
“Based on the data we collected, we recommended 1,900 fewer permits for this fall’s hunts,” said Aoude.
Another concern was the number of bucks taken over the past two years, said Aoude. According to biologists, the number of bucks killed both in last year’s hunt, as well as the 2011 hunt, has gone up despite the reported population growth.
In 2012, the number of bucks killed was up 34 percent compared to 2011.
“Utah had about 286,000 deer after the 2011 hunt,” said Aoude. “Despite hunters taking more bucks in 2012, about 318,000 deer were in the state after the hunts were over last fall. That’s encouraging. It shows the overall deer population is growing.”
Other changes made from the meeting are fewer limited-entry buck deer permits, more cow elk permits and more pronghorn permits for the upcoming season.
This season, the limited entry permits will go down by 140 to a total of 827. The cow elk permits will increase to 17,817 (up from 14, 763) and the pronghorn permits will go up to 853 (up from 664) for 2013.
Minor changes have also been made in the number of doe pronghorn, bull moose, bison, Desert bighorn and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, and mountain goat permits for the 2013 season.