Utah’s Wildlife Board met at the end of April. A portion of this meeting was to determine the number of available hunting permits for the 2021 season.
With ever-increasing drought conditions across the West, big game is suffering. In the latest winter survey report, the UDWR estimated that 314,850 are deer in Utah. This is well under the state objective of 400,000 deer.
“We’ve had a few drought years in Utah recently, which has a significant impact on the survival rates of deer. In Utah, we have the longest range-trend study in the Western U.S., and we’ve seen that having suitable habitat is crucial for maintaining or growing wildlife populations. And drought conditions can really negatively impact that habitat, which in turn affects our wildlife species.” – DWR Big Game Coordinator Covy Jones
As a result, the Wildlife Board made the decision to reduce the number of general-season deer permits. By how many you may ask? Not by a few hundred, but by 5,560 permits.
Some may argue against the reduction of permits and others may argue that it is not enough. This is in some ways a bold move by the Wildlife Board, considering the majority of Utah’s DWR budget stems from hunting licenses and deer tags sold.
On the other hand, the Wildlife Board did approve two new urban antlerless deer hunts in Price and Oak City. This is to help combat depredation on agricultural areas and urban conflicts.
In March of this year, we at Ehuntr informed readers of this reduction proposal. The majority of the tag reductions will be taking place in Southern Utah units. Click here to read that article.