Those who didn’t draw a permit to hunt deer or elk this year will have another chance to get one later this month.
More than 4,300 general season permits for buck deer, mostly for archery and muzzleloader hunters, will go on sale soon. More than 29,000 elk permits for rifle and muzzleloader hunters will also be available.
The day when permits become available varies depending on the type of permit.
All remaining elk permits will be sold starting on July 17. July 19 is the first day you can buy an archery or muzzleloader permit for deer, while the few remaining rifle permits for deer will go on sale on July 31.
For deer, there remain 2,030 archery permits, 2,230 muzzleloader permits, and only 120 rifle permits. The elk permits are for rifle or muzzleloader hunting, while archery permits for elk are unlimited.
The remaining permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8 a.m. on the day they go on sale. They can be purchased online at www.wildlife.utah.gov, from Division of Wildlife Resources offices statewide, and at more than 300 hunting license agents across Utah. A list of license agents and where they’re located is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/licenses/agent.html.
Some of the license agents, including sporting goods stores, may not be open for business by 8 a.m. Contact the agent in advance to learn when they will be open for business on the days the permits go on sale.
Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR, said the agency’s website will be busy on the mornings the permits go on sale. If the site reaches the maximum number of people it can serve, a message will pop up indicating the site has reached its full capacity, she said.
“If that happens, stay on the site and be patient. You should be able to access the site again in a few minutes,” Tutorow said.
Permits are still available for 12 of Utah’s 30 new deer hunting units. You can see which units have permits at http://go.usa.gov/dno. In Northern Utah, there are 619 archery and 421 muzzleloader permits on the Box Elder unit; 682 archery and 339 muzzleloader permits on the Cache unit; and 148 archery and 204 muzzleloader permits on the Ogden unit. All remaining rifle deer permits are for the Ogden and Kamas units.
General archery elk permits will be available throughout both the general and extended archery seasons. Starting at 8 a.m. next Tuesday, elk permits for rifle and muzzleloader hunters will be on sale.
Of the remaining 29,300 limited elk permits, 15,000 are for spike-only units and 14,300 are for any-bull units. Before you buy a rifle or muzzleloader permit, you need to decide which unit you want to hunt on — an any-bull unit where you’re allowed to take a bull of any size, or a spike-only unit where only spike bulls may be taken.
If you’re new to elk hunting, spike-only units are a good choice for increasing your chances of filling your tag, said Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR.
“There are plenty of spike bulls in Utah, and there’s a lot of public land to hunt them on,” Aoude said.
If you decide to chase branch-antlered bulls on an any-bull unit, he said the two Uinta Mountains units — the North Slope and the South Slope — are the best bets.
The other any-bull units are more challenging and recommended for more experienced hunters, he said.
“Many of these units are covered by private land, or they don’t have the number of elk on them that the North Slope and South Slope have.”
Copies of the 2012 Utah Big Game Field Regulations Guidebook are available for free at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks. Questions should be directed to the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.