Utah adds units, decreases licenses for 2012 deer hunting season

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has a website — http://go.usa.gov/ncx — offering assistance to prospective deer hunters trying to understand the state’s new 30-unit deer hunting system.

The application period for 2012 Utah deer hunting season begins today and prospective hunters have several new regulations to consider.

Instead of the traditional five hunting regions, Utah now has 30 deer hunting units.

A hunter familiar with a former hunting region should consult a map to see which units are in that region.

According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the change was made after hunters expressed concern about the few bucks seen during the 2010 hunt season.

The division, which was aware of a decline in buck numbers statewide, preferred increasing buck numbers by cutting buck license numbers.

However, last June the state wildlife board directed the agency to adopt the 30-unit hunting model.

Because the division also was mandated to increase the number of mature bucks statewide, the new system required a decrease in the number of general-season deer licenses.

Last year, deer licenses sold out in a matter of days, and the division recently said that with fewer licenses expected to be issued this year, a similar situation may develop.

Information is available at http://go.usa.gov/ncx.

The site offers a map and boundary description for each of 30 units, the number of bucks per 100 does in each unit, and the number of hunters in each area in 2011.

According to Amy Canning, communications specialist with the Utah wildlife agency, one item that isn’t on the site is drawing odds from last year.

That’s because this is the first year of the 30-unit system and there isn’t any history to determine drawing odds.

“After the application period is over, and after the Utah Wildlife Board sets permit numbers this spring, we’ll have the information needed to let those who apply for the 2013 hunt know what the odds were in 2012,” Canning said.

Applications for a Utah 2012 deer tag are available at http://www.wildlife.utah.gov.

Application deadline is 11 p.m. March 1.

Results of the draw will be available by May 31, according to Canning.


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