Utah DWR proposes changes to the elk hunting permit process

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources plans to change the process for obtaining elk hunting permits in Utah. They want to add general moose seasonal permits to big game breeding for just one year.

The reason? Increasing demand for elk hunting permits in Utah and the technical problems caused by the demand.

“The increased demand for these permits has resulted in an overload of the license sales system for the past two years,” said Lindy Varney, DWR Wildlife Licensing coordinator, “resulting in slower turnaround times and a frustrating customer experience.

“Our current contract sales system works well for the rest of the year, but these ‘sales days’ for the moose tickets create a rush of purchases that overloads the system on a few days of the year.”

Changes to the permit for elk hunting are based on demand and technical problems

Varney said they asked for an update to the database which will add to their capabilities. But in the meantime, they want to include the general season permits for “every bull elk and sting elk” in big game breeding.

This would replace selling the permits online or at the counter, as it is common for hunters to obtain those permits. Varney said that this new proposal is in some ways an experiment.

“We will evaluate the pros and cons of the current system versus including the permits in big game education,” said Varney. “We’ll also be working with the National Elk Committee to improve the permitting process. Then we will recommend a long-term solution in 2022. “

The Utah DWR wants to leave recommendations for a five-day extension of the archery hunt for elk bulls. The public recommended these changes, which the DWR approved last year for a period of two years.

Other proposed changes to the DWR

The DWR said it would be requesting another three-year cycle of recommendations for waterfowling regulations. Blair Stringham, coordinator of the Migratory Wildlife Program, said that while COVID-19 affected the agency’s ability to survey some waterfowl populations in 2020, those numbers have generally remained constant from year to year.

Stringham said they will make recommendations using the most liberal baggage limit options provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Allocation recommendation for the maximum number of points

The DWR will propose a change in the issuing of permits for high point applicants. To get more applicants with the maximum number of points through the draw system, the DWR recommends increasing the percentage for applicants with the maximum number of points to 60%.

Public input requested

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources welcomes and relies on public comments for any proposed changes. In November, the five regional councils of Utah meet, which the public can attend either in person or electronically.

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