The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has recommended some bear hunting changes.
Currently, the state is in its second year of a three-year recommendation cycle for black bear hunting. Because of this three-year cycle, the DWR is not currently looking to change permit numbers or harvest objectives for bear hunting. However, the Utah Black Bear Management Plan will expire in 2023. Because the Plan is expiring, the DWR decided to have a committee make recommendations to update the bear management plan.
Black Bear Hunting Changes
As a result of this updated plan process, the DWR is suggesting giving the district biologist more flexibility to take into account bear populations in surrounding hunting units. Likewise, the DWR recommended several bear hunting changes. These recommendations will be listed below.
- Eliminating the mandatory orientation course, but instead, provide educational materials to permit holders with their mailed permits.
- Additionally, Prohibiting the use of chocolate or cocoa as bait since chocolate/cocoa can have properties that can be toxic to animals.
- Likewise, require bait sites to comply with all DWR rules, but also the DWR will not review locations and approve them before a COR is issued.
- Allowing the use of a single metal container (with a maximum size of 55 gallons) to be used for bait, if securely attached at the bait site.
- Allowing a hunter with a valid bait permit to hunt over another hunter’s bait site, with written permission from the COR holder.
The DWR is also recommending some changes to season dates. The DWR would like to see the fall baiting season eliminated. By eliminating the fall bait season it would no longer overlap with the fall hound season. The main reason for this is it is illegal to use both bait and hounds on a bear hunt. If this change is approved, the spring bait season would be the only baiting allowed.