If you want to hunt for deer or other big game in Utah this fall, you need to get your application in soon.
Applications must be received at wildlife.utah.gov no later than 11 p.m. on March 3 (next Thursday) to be included in the draw for permits.
If you decide to apply, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources recommends doing so before the last day of the application period. Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR, says the amount of patience you have is the critical factor in deciding when to apply.
“If you apply before March 3, you should be able to get your application in fast,” Tutorow said.
If you wait until March 3, however, you could run into some challenges.
“Thousands of hunters wait until the last day to apply,” Tutorow said. “Receiving that much traffic in such a short period of time tends to slow our website down.”
If you decide to wait until March 3 to apply, make sure you start the process before 11 p.m. If you start applying before 11 p.m. and don’t log off until you’ve completed your application, the system will allow you to finish your application.
“If you log out after 11 p.m., and then you try and get back into the system,” Tutorow said, “you’ll be out of luck. Starting at 11 p.m., the only thing you can apply for is a bonus point or a preference point.”
Based on phone calls the DWR is receiving, some hunters are confused about where Utah’s general rifle buck deer hunt will be held this fall.
The Utah Wildlife Board last year voted to split the state into 29 smaller hunting areas instead of five larger regions, but Tutorow said those changes won’t take effect until the 2012 season.
“So this fall,” she said, “you can still hunt within the five regions you’re used to hunting in.”
The DWR is asking hunters to include a small donation with their big-game applications to help control coyotes in the state.
Also, general-season permits for Utah’s spring turkey hunts go on sale beginning Thursday for those who don’t have a limited-entry permit. The permits will be sold until May 31, the last day of the season.
There is no limit on the number of turkey permits that can be sold; however, only one permit per hunter is allowed each year.
There are two general turkey hunts this year. The first, a youth-only hunt for those who were 15 years or younger on Jan. 27, runs from April 29 to May 1.
The general hunt for all turkey hunters begins on May 2 and runs through the end of the month.