Utah Division of Wildlife Website: http://www.wildlife.utah.gov
1st – March 3rd, 2011
Antlerless Big Game Applications will be in April 2011
General Application Information:
Utah requires applicants to own a valid hunting license when applying for permits (tags). This applies to both residents and non-residents. Hunting licenses in Utah are valid for one year (365 days) from the date of purchase. If one was interested in building points in Utah, by purchasing a license mid-way through the application period, this license can be used to two years of applications provided the application dates don’t change and the applicant remembers to apply the following year before his license expires. A combination license is also available which allows for both hunting and fishing in Utah at a discounted price vs. buying them separately.
Utah only has an online system for permit applications. They do not require upfront payment for permit costs which is a definite bonus on the pocketbook. The permit fees are charged to credit/debit card if you obtain a permit in the drawing. Make sure your card doesn’t expire and has a high enough credit limit to handle the hunts you apply for. Utah will make an effort to contact you if there are problems with your credit card, but it’s much better to not lose sleep worrying about it. These drawings typically take place between January and March depending on the hunt and species being applied for.
2011 marks the first year of a new Application Guidebook from the Utah Division of Wildlife (DWR) to help you through the application process. View it here.
Utah’s Point System
Utah uses a “Bonus” point system. However this system is more of a mix between a true bonus and preference point system. Half of the available tags go to those who have the most points in the application pool, while the other half are given out through a bonus system. Meaning you have more chances for these tags with more points because your name is in the drawing more times.
The “Bonus Point” system assigns a random number to each of your points, the lowest number is then taken as your draw number, and if low enough you will be awarded the tag. The more points an applicant has, the higher more chances he/she has of drawing a number low enough to qualify for a permit.
Utah requires that you apply at least every 3 years or your points will be lost. Bonus points may be purchased for the cost of the application fee ($10), and a bonus point purchase does count as an application.
Utah’s General Deer hunts as well as the Buck/Bull Combo permits are drawn on a separate preference point system. These permits are given to applicants with the most points.
Hunts and Season Types
Utah has a large amount of tags available for those interested in hunting using short range and specialty weapons. There are seperate archery, muzzleloader, and rifle hunts for nearly every species. There are also many antlerless hunts that occur from early fall to mid winter.
General deer hunting will be seeing major changes for 2012 as the state moves from a 5 regions system to a 29 unit management system. We could anticipate some of these units to have lengthy draw waits, similar to LE hunts in other states.
Available Big Game Permits
Limited Entry Permits (LE): Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain Elk, Pronghorn (Antelope).
Once in a Lifetime Permits (OIL): Shiras/Wyoming Moose, Bison, Desert and Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat.
There are also permits available in drawings for Cougar and Black Bear.
Utah has general season deer hunts separated by region, however these permits are often sold out during the big game draw and are not available to be purchased over the counter. By applying for these permits in the big game drawing one can build points and have a chance at drawing one of the harder to obtain general permits.
General Elk permits are also available. Most general elk hunting in the state is limited to spike only harvest. There are a few "any bull" units where branch antlered bulls can be harvested on an OTC tag.
Utah also has the dedicated hunter deer program as well as some buck/bull combo hunts.
The CMWU program is a partnership between the Utah Division of Wildlife and private land owners where a small percentage of these permits are available to the public through the big game drawing. Hunter experience ranges greatly due to expectations and disputes with management. It would be a good idea to contact CWMU managers before applying for these permits to get a better idea of the dates, wildlife, and management practices. Click this link for more CWMU information from the Utah DWR.
You can get more familiar with these hunts by reviewing the Utah “Guidebooks” which are available online at http://wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks/ or at license vendors in the state.
Residents can apply for one Limited Entry (LE) species and one “Once in a Life-Time species (OIL) in addition to general tags. However if a LE permit is obtained, one cannot hunt the general season in addition to the LE hunt. After drawing a LE permit, there is a 5 year waiting period before that applicant can apply again for that species. One can apply for a separate species without waiting. Example: if a LE elk permit is drawn, one can apply for a LE deer permit the following year, but must wait 5 years before applying for another LE elk permit.
Beginning in 2009 non-residents of Utah are able to purchase points for all LE and OIL species. If you didn’t start doing this in 2009, starting now would be very advantageous if you are interested in drawing multiple OIL or LE permits in Utah.
Non-resident Big Game permits also serve as nonresident fishing licenses.
|Youth Hunting License (under 14 years of age)||$11||N/A|
|General Archery, Any Weapon, CMWU, Muzzleloader||$35||$263|
|Premium Limited Entry, Premium CMWU||$163||$563|
|Managment Buck Deer||$75||$463|
|All General Hunts – Archery, Any bull, Muzzy Any Bull, Spike, Muzzy Spike, Youth Any Bull||$45||$388|
|Limited Entry, CMWU||$280||$795|
|Premium Limited Entry||$508||$1,500|
|Limited Entry, CMWU||$50||$288|
|Bull Moose, CMWU Bull Moose||$408||$1,513|
|Rocky Mountain Bighorn||$508||$1,513|
|ROCKY MOUNTAIN GOAT:|
Can I purchase a bonus point only without purchasing a big game hunting license for that year?