Utah is a prime destination for big game hunters, with a variety of huntable species and unique hunting opportunities throughout the state. The state offers hunting opportunities for elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, black bear, and cougar. Utah has perhaps the most diverse landscapes of any state, ranging from high mountain peaks to unique desert landscapes in southern Utah.
Applications, Draw System, and Top Hunting Areas:
Learn More about Utah’s Application Process
Learn More about Utah’s Point System
Learn More about Utah’s Top Hunting Areas
Big Game Species to Hunt in Utah:
Utah’s Elk Hunting:
Utah is known for its trophy elk herds and offers both limited-entry and general-season hunts for elk. The state has a variety of hunting units with different regulations and seasons, including archery, muzzleloader, and rifle hunts. The archery season typically runs from late August to mid-September, while Utah’s unique rifle season date structure allows bulls to be hunted with a rifle during the rut, as well as during the later October and November season dates.
Mule Deer Hunting in Utah:
Utah has a thriving population of mule deer, with both limited-entry and general-season hunts available. The state has a variety of hunting units and seasons similar to elk hunting, including archery, muzzleloader, and rifle hunts. The archery season typically runs from late August to mid-September, while the rifle season takes place from late October to mid-November.
Pronghorn Antelope Hunting:
Utah has a large population of pronghorn antelope, with both limited-entry and general-season hunts available. The state has a variety of hunting units with different regulations and seasons, including archery, muzzleloader, and rifle hunts. The archery season typically runs from late August to mid-September, while the rifle season takes place from late September to late October.
Bighorn Sheep Hunting:
Utah has both Rocky Mountain and desert bighorn sheep populations and offers limited-entry hunts for both species. The state has a drawing for permits in the spring, with the season typically running from early September to late November.
Mountain Goat Hunting:
Utah also has a limited-entry mountain goat hunt, with a drawing for permits in the spring. The season typically runs from mid-September to mid-November.
Black Bear & Mountain Lion (Cougar) Hunting:
Utah has a moderate-sized black bear population and offers both spring and fall hunts. Spring bear hunts take place in early September, while fall hunts take place from late September to mid-November. Bear hunts are designated by license type whether you can bait, pursue with dogs, or spot-and-stalk. Like most western states, Utah also has a thriving cougar population and offers both limited-entry and general-season hunts. The state has a variety of hunting units and seasons, with the general-season hunts typically taking place from mid-November to mid-December.
Utah also has a strong conservation ethic and has invested heavily in habitat improvement and management for its big game populations. This investment has resulted in a healthy and sustainable population of big game species and provides hunters with quality hunting opportunities.
When planning a hunting trip to Utah, it is important to research the regulations and seasons for the specific species and hunting unit you are interested in. Additionally, hunters should consider the terrain and elevation of the hunting unit, as some areas may be more challenging to hunt than others.
Overall, Utah offers a unique and exciting hunting experience for big game hunters. With a variety of species and hunting opportunities, along with its limited-entry hunting program and strong conservation ethic, Utah should be a top destination for any serious big game hunter.