UTAH RECOMMENDS BEAR AND ELK CHANGES – Recently Utah recommended changes to their deer management program. These changes were met with some pushback and confusion. Utah has also recently released their proposed changes to bear hunting and some minor changes to elk hunting. Both of these changes should be minor compared to the mule deer changes.
Recommended Bear Hunting Changes
2024 will be the final year of the 3-year recommended plan for black bear hunting in Utah. Since there is only one year remaining, the DWR is proposing minor changes to the current black bear program.
- In previous years, all hunters applying for a black bear permit have been required to complete a black bear orientation program. Utah is now proposing that hunters only complete this orientation once they draw a tag. This will make it easier to apply for bear in Utah and only require those with tags to do the course. The DWR will require hunters with a bear tag to have proof of completion of the course on their person while hunting.
- The other small change to the plan is to remove a paragraph from the previous plan. This would remove requirement of the a statewide rollup of harvest variables, which is incompatible with the objectives outlined in other changes to the plan that were approved last year.
“This proposed update to the management plan allows biologists to recommend management strategies and address bear populations in specific units across Utah in response to issues like drought impacts, human conflicts and impacts to mule deer populations,” DWR Game Mammals Coordinator Darren DeBloois said.
Changes to Elk Management
The proposed changes to the elk plan are also minor. They are proposing that the population objective be changed in 8 units. They are also proposing the management split of a couple of units to allow for better management of the units.
- Splitting the Central Mountains elk unit plan into separate plans for the Manti and Nebo hunting units
- Splitting the South Slope elk unit plan into separate plans for the Yellowstone unit and for the Diamond Mountain/Vernal/Bonanza unit.
There are also a few changes to the poacher reporting program. These changes are to help to better protect those reporting poachers. Do you agree with the changes above?