Below is a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
If putting locally sourced, nutritious meat on the table while enjoying Utah’s beautiful outdoors sounds good to you, take note that the application period for Utah’s 2023 antlerless hunts opens soon!
Depending on the age, a cow elk can provide between 120 to nearly 200 pounds of boneless meat. That meat can then be eaten in a variety of ways, including hamburger, roasts, steaks, stews, stir-fry or in fajitas. A doe deer will provide approximately 40 pounds of boneless meat.
Beginning on Wednesday, June 7 at 8 a.m., you can apply for a permit to hunt Utah’s antlerless big game animals, including:
- Antlerless elk
- Antlerless moose
- Antlerless deer
- Doe pronghorn
- Ewe bighorn sheep (Although you cannot apply for both an antlerless moose permit and a ewe bighorn sheep permit in the same year — you must pick one or the other.)
You must submit your application no later than 11 p.m. on Thursday, June 22 to be included in the drawing for hunting permits. Before you can apply for a 2023 antlerless permit, bonus point or preference point, you must have a valid Utah hunting or combination license. You can buy a license on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website, by calling 800-221-0659 or by visiting a license agent.
New this year, hunters can also apply for a big game bonus and preference point for antlered species during this antlerless application period if they missed the opportunity during the big game application period in March.
To be included in the drawing for antlerless hunts, you can apply online or over the phone by calling the nearest DWR regional office. You can find details about the different units — including boundary descriptions, biologists’ notes, and population and harvest statistics — on the Utah Hunt Planner.
The drawing results will be available on or before July 7. If any antlerless permits are available after the drawing, you can purchase them beginning at 8 a.m. on July 27. Check the online 2023 Utah Antlerless Application Guidebook for details. You can find all the regulations for hunting both antlered and antlerless big game in the 2023 Utah Big Game Field Regulations Guidebook.
“The antlerless big game hunts are a great opportunity to not only harvest meat and make some great memories outdoors, but also to help manage wildlife populations and maintain healthy herds and landscapes,” DWR Licensing Coordinator Lindy Varney said. “However, hunters should note that because the heavy snowfall last winter impacted deer populations in some areas of Utah, the number of antlerless permits were reduced in several areas.”
A few changes were approved by the Utah Wildlife Board for this year’s antlerless hunts, including:
Mandatory antlerless reporting: In response to hunters requesting more complete harvest data for the DWR to use when setting permit numbers, the board approved mandatory reporting of antlerless big game harvests beginning in 2023. Hunters will have 30 days after the hunting season ends to report their antlerless harvest online or over the phone. Failure to comply will result in a $50 fine and/or exclusion from next year’s antlerless hunt drawing.
New antlerless elk permit rules: Antlerless elk permits may be used only during the season dates printed on the permit. In the past, if hunters obtained an antlerless elk permit — along with additional buck, bull or antlerless permits for the same area — they could use the antlerless elk permit during the season dates authorized for their other permit(s). This is no longer the case.
New hunts: This year, the Utah Wildlife Board approved new archery-only hunts for doe deer and cow elk to address safety concerns and hunting pressure. These new hunts are on the following units:
- Doe deer, archery-only: Fillmore City and South Slope, Ashley Valley
- Cow elk, archery-only: Kamas; Nine Mile, Anthro; Ogden; Oquirrh-Stansbury, East; South Slope, Yellowstone; and Wasatch Mtns
You can see all of the changes for this year’s hunts on the DWR website.
(Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)