The Utah Wildlife Board has voted to reduce the number of general-season deer hunting permits.
Utah like much of the west has been facing an extreme drought for the last 5 years. This ongoing drought has caused a loss of deer in the state. While adult deer are affected by drought the real sufferers of extreme drought are the fawns. With the evidence showing that deer populations are continuing to decide the wildlife board thought it a good idea to reduce deer permits slightly.
Last year the state reduced deer permits by 5,560 permits. Below we will list how the state will reduce permits. This year they once again will be reducing total deer permits, this time by 1,300 permits. This year, general season buck tags will be reduced by 950 compared to 2021. Likewise, the state will reduce antlerless deer permits by 300 permits. Lastly, Limited-Entry deer permits will be reduced by 50. You can read about last year’s reductions by clicking here.
“We currently have more demand for deer hunting in Utah than we have the supply for. While it is antlerless deer permits, not buck permits, that impact deer population numbers, we are recommending a decrease for both types of permits. We use the data and management plans to make proactive recommendations to achieve healthier herds. “The number of permits we recommended for 2022 will help us achieve or maintain the objectives detailed in Utah’s mule deer management plan for harvest size, animal quality, and hunting opportunity.” – DWR Big Game Coordinator Covy Jones
Antlerless Hunts Created
However, despite these reductions, the Wildlife Board approved one new antlerless deer hunt. This hunt was created to address damage to agricultural areas caused by deer. Likewise, the Wildlife Board approved 5 new antlerless elk hunts. The DWR believes that the elk population in the state was able to better combat the drought conditions. This is mostly due to the habitat the elk use. Most of the deer permit reductions are on units that are considered to be a high desert habitat.