OUTDOORS + RECREATION
New Elk Management Plan being proposed by DWR
SALT LAKE CITY — There could be some changes coming to elk hunting in the state.
A new 10-year Utah Elk Management plan is being proposed by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
Elk Management Plan for Utah
According to the DWR, the current elk management plan was updated in 2020 after being approved in 2015. However, it is scheduled to expire in December. A 19-person committee has brought the elk management plan up to date.
Starting in 2023, the new elk management plan will take effect. It will be in effect until 2032 with a halfway review set for 2028.
The new plan identifies several strategies and goals in how to better maintain the elk population around the state. It also touches on different recreation opportunities such as hunting.
“The demand for elk hunting in Utah has continued to grow over the years,” DWR Big Game Coordinator Dax Mangus said in a news release. “In 2014, the over-the-counter any bull elk permits sold out in 77 days, and the spike-only elk permits sold out in 84 days. In 2022, the any bull elk permits sold out in five hours and the spike elk permits sold out in only nine hours. We are proposing several strategies to respond to these dramatic increases in demand for general-season elk hunting opportunities, as well as find ways to address continued ‘point creep’ in the limited-entry system.”
According to the DWR, the new proposed plan offers eight changes to the general elk hunt.
- Creating six new hunting units to any bull elk hunt.
- Splitting the current 13-day hunt of any bull with any legal weapon into two seven-day hunts.
- Provide 15,000 permits for the early season hunt. This is for any bull with any legal weapon.
- Lifting the cap on permit numbers for the late season hunt with any legal weapon for any bull.
- Setting a limit of 7,500 multi-season any bull permits.
- Adding the Diamond Mountain unit to the general spike hunt.
- Make 15,000 spike bull permits available each year, and setting a cap of 4,500 multi-season permits.
- Provide a youth general-season elk permit. It would be good on any bull or spike units during all general seasons.
The DWR is accepting feedback on these and other changes. The public comment period began Tuesday. Feedback on the proposed changes as well as other changes can be given at the DWR’s website.
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