Utah Wildlife Board cuts deer hunt permits
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Wildlife Board is raising the cost and slashing the number of deer hunting permits in an effort to boost the state’s declining mule deer population.
The sweeping decision to cut permits by up to 13,000 per year starting in 2012 came against the advice of state wildlife program coordinator Anis Aoude, The Salt Lake Tribune reported today.
Aoude told board members during four hours of discussion Thursday before dozens of people at the Department of Natural Resources auditorium that none of the options being considered would increase deer populations.
But Chairman Rick Woodard and several board members said they need to address a 35-year decline in the state mule deer population.
“Something we’re doing right now is not working, and the board knows that,” board member Keele Johnson said. “Something has to change.”
The new requirements limit hunters to one general-season hunt per year in one of 29 management units around the state.
To offset the revenue lost by selling fewer licenses, the cost of a permit is projected to increase from $35 to about $41 for state residents and from $263 to about $307 for nonresidents.