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UT – HUNTING – DWR approves unlimited any-bull elk permits for youth hunters, other big game hunt changes

During a virtual meeting Thursday, the Utah Wildlife Board approved a few changes to the 2021 big game hunts as well as some other wildlife proposals, according to a news release sent out by the Department of Wildlife Resources. The Utah Wildlife Board has approved to modify the current elk management plan to allow for 17,500 any-bull elk permits for the 2021 hunting season rather than the unlimited amount of permits that DWR biologists previously proposed. An unlimited number of any-bull elk permits for youth hunters was also approved, but these do not count towards the 17,500 quota. The general-season any-bull elk permits have been limited to 15,000 statewide in recent years. The permits allow hunters to harvest a bull elk on designated any-bull hunting units using a muzzleloader or any legal weapon. The number of spike bull elk permits will still be capped at 15,000 permits statewide. DWR Big Game Coordinator Covy Jones said in a news release: “We proposed increasing the number of any-bull elk permits after in-depth discussions with the elk committee who wrote the statewide elk management plan. It’s a way to expand hunting opportunities for families, strengthen ties to Utah’s hunting heritage and provide a challenge for hunters, since this is not an easy hunt.” The wildlife board approved of some changes to the limited-entry elk hunts on seven different hunting units across the state, which includes an archery hunt for all of September. Some boundary changes and several new handgun-archery-muzzleloader-shotgun elk hunting units were also approved. The any-weapon spike bull elk hunts on the Book Cliff units were shortened to five days from Oct. 9 to 13. They approved extending the general-season any-bull archery elk hunt by five days for the next two years, and then asked for the statewide elk committee to review the change and determine if it should stay into the future. The board has approved several hunt changes for other big game species.  [full article]

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