Longer Seasons, New Hunts

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DWR ready to share upland game ideas

Utah’s hunters might have more chances to hunt upland game birds this fall and in the autumns to come. And season dates might also be more consistent across the state.

Dave Olsen, upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the state’s upland game rules are reviewed every three years.

“Since our last review in 2005, we’ve received some great recommendations from our Upland Game Advisory Committee and from hunters,” Olsen says. “Hunters have told us they would like more chances to hunt upland game. They would also like the upland game rules to be as simple and consistent as possible.

“We’re comfortable with the input we’ve received. We don’t believe implementing it would have negative biological effects on the state’s upland game populations.”

The following are among the upland game hunting rules the DWR is proposing for the next several years:

  • Make Utah’s general pheasant hunt a two-week hunt across the state by adding a week to the hunt in Utah County. The hunt in Utah County currently runs only one week.
  • Add an extra month to the forest grouse season. The season would still start at the beginning of September, but it would run until the end of December.
  • Lengthen the chukar partridge season and make the season dates the same across Utah. The state currently has three different seasons, depending on the area of Utah you’re hunting. The single statewide season would begin later in September than the current seasons do, but it would run until mid-February.
  • Research that’s been underway in Utah for several years shows that hunters generally take less than 10 percent of the state’s chukar population each fall. Allowing hunters some extra weeks to hunt shouldn’t have a negative effect on the populations.
  • Offer two new quail hunts, one in Daggett County and one in Sanpete County.
  • Offer a new sharp-tailed grouse hunt in Cache County.

Reduce the number of mature sage-grouse hens that hunters take by moving the start of Utah’s sage-grouse season from early September to late September. Utah’s sage-grouse hunting seasons are relatively short, and the number of permits offered for the hunts is relatively small. But biologists would like to move the start of the season back as an added precaution.

Starting the season later would give young birds more time to become independent from their mothers. As the chicks become independent, they’ll leave their moms and start dispersing. Hunting after the broods break up should reduce the number of mature hens that hunters take.

Learn more, share your ideas

All of the DWR’s upland game proposals should be available at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings/ by May 19. Once you’ve read the proposals, you can provide your comments one of two ways:

RAC meetings

Five Regional Advisory Council meetings will be held across Utah. Citizens representing the RACs will take the input received at the meetings to the Utah Wildlife Board. Board members will use the input to set rules, season dates and bag limits for Utah’s upcoming upland game hunts.

You can participate and provide your input at any of the following meetings:

Southern Region
May 27
7 p.m.
Cross Hollows Intermediate School
2215 W. Royal Hunte Dr.
Cedar City

Southeastern Region
May 28
6:30 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
885 E. Main St.
Green River

Northeastern Region
May 29
6:30 p.m.
Western Park, Rm. #2
302 E. 200 S.
Vernal

Central Region
June 3
6:30 p.m.
Springville Junior High School
165 S. 700 E.
Springville

Northern Region
June 4
6 p.m.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
Brigham City

E-mail

You can also provide your comments to your RAC via e-mail. E-mail addresses for your RAC members are available at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings/.

The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person’s e-mail address. You should direct your e-mail to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.