PROPOSED BEAR PERMIT CHANGES IN UTAH – Utah is working to improve its bear hunting program state-wide, which includes a few changes. Last year, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources approved the new three-year plan to the bear program. This plan includes season structure and permit numbers. However, with concerns regarding mule deer, fair chase, and hunting with dogs, the DWR has proposed several new changes for 2020.
- Restricting pursuit seasons. The plan would be to only give out 75 permits for spring hunts in a few of the units, with only 10% of those going to non-residents.
- Limiting dog numbers. This proposed rule would limit hunters to only being able to use a maximum of 16 dogs to pursue bears and mountain lions.
- They also propose that the 8 dog limit for the summer pursuit be retained.
- Rule clarification. Clarifying that a hunter cannot pursue a bear or mountain lion repeatedly due to the animal not having an opportunity to escape. This rule would also clarify that hunters call off their dogs once the animal is treed or cornered.
- Increasing spot and stalk tags in Southern Utah by 30 tags. That would be a total of 50 tags for those units. The units include the Plateau and Bolder/Kairparowits.
- Increasing the summer bait tags by 5 in those same units. That would bring the total number to 17.
This new plan comes with some new restrictions and rule changes, but it also comes with new opportunities. These changes are currently in the proposal stage, and the Utah DWR is currently requesting feedback on these rule changes. If you’d like to share your opinion, feel free to visit the DWR’s website. There you will find a list of dates and times for upcoming RAC meetings across the state. The meetings started yesterday, December 3rd, but continue throughout the month. There’s also one in January 2020.
What are your thoughts on the proposed changes for bear in Utah?