DWR provides archery safety reminders ahead of fall hunt

Aug 3, 2023, 3:30 PM

An archery target with arrows sticking out. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has provided so...

Shooting on an archery range can increase the chance you take a deer or elk when Utah's general archery hunts start Aug. 19. (Mike Christiensen/Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

(Mike Christiensen/Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has provided some archery safety reminders for the upcoming fall hunting season. 

“We want to reiterate to people that hunting is a great pass time, it’s kind of a tradition here in the state, and it’s something we want to see continue for generations (so) that families can get outside and enjoy this unique recreational activity together,” said Faith Heaton-Jolley, a spokesperson for the Utah DWR. 

The general-season buck deer archery hunt, general spike, and any-bull elk archery hunts are approaching. They are the first big game hunts of the season, and they begin Saturday, August 19. 

Archery hunting doesn’t involve firearms, but it does present some unique risks, said the DWR. The division is reminding hunters to take proper preparation and safety measures. 

“(We want to make) sure that people are keeping in mind to have those good ethics and hunt responsibly, know the laws before they go out, make sure they’re doing their research, (and) that they’re prepared so they can have a great and safe hunt,” said Heaton Jolley.

Archery safety 

Hunters should never take a shot that is beyond the range they are comfortable shooting. Before they release the arrow, hunters should be sure of their target, and what is behind it. 

The DWR said to never shoot where there is a road in the background. “You want to be able to identify the animal, know exactly what species … what it is that you’re shooting at, and then you want to know there is some kind of backdrop behind that animal as well, just in the event that you happen to miss and you don’t hit your target,” said Heaton Jolley. 

The division takes violations that can affect public safety very seriously. If hunters are caught violating them, they could receive misdemeanor charges, and if someone is injured, they could face a felony. 

Hunters should be aware of their tree stand’s weight rating. They should ensure that it will support them and their equipment. 

Factoring in the weight of equipment can ensure the stability of a tree stand, said Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Hunter Education Program Manager RaLynne Takeda. Unstable tree stands can create a greater risk of falls. 

Hunters should wear a fall arrest system when they are climbing. They should remain attached to the harness until they are back on the ground. 

Equipment should not be carried while climbing. The DWR says it should be transported up a tree using a haul line after the hunter has finished their ascent. 

The DWR reminded hunters that it is illegal to build a tree stand on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management. In these areas, portable stands must be used. 

Ethics and preparation

Hunters can take the DWR’s bowhunter education class online or in a classroom. While it is not required, it is a helpful resource for hunters of all skill levels. 

The online course teaches bowhunting safety, ethics, and hunting methods, among other topics. 

It is important that hunting ethics are followed. Good hunting ethics include respecting the landscape, not trespassing, and practicing fair chase, said Heaton Jolley. 

Practicing fair chase means that a hunter is giving an animal a fair opportunity to escape. “(Make sure) they’re not pinned in a corner by a fence (then shot,)” said Heaton Jolley. 

A new requirement for 2023

A new requirement this year is that if hunters harvest an animal, they must harvest the meat from the front quarters above the knee, hind quarters above the hocks, along the backbone, and the loins and tenderloins. 

Adequate harvesting is part of good hunting ethics. “You use all the parts of the animal that you harvest so you’re not being wasteful,” Heaton Jolley said.   

Hunters should know the regulations before they begin. They can obtain a free copy of the 2023 Utah Big Game Field Regulations Guidebook at any DWR office or on the DWR website. 

Related reading: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

A brown sign reads "Red Ledges, Day use only, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fee required."...

Briana Chavez, KSL TV

Search and rescue crews faced difficult challenges in rescue of injured 16-year-old boy

A Utah County official said a group was climbing rocks in Red Ledges, a popular trail on Diamond Fork, when a boulder struck one of the hikers.

14 hours ago

The blue waters of Coalville's Echo Reservoir meet the beige sand....

Adam Small

Nearly half of Utah reservoirs are 100% full

The Utah Division of Water Resources said that 20 of Utah's reservoirs are completely full.

15 hours ago

While Bryce Canyon National Park is Utah's smallest national park, it still boasts an astounding co...

Grant Olsen

7 ways to enjoy Bryce Canyon as it enters its second century

Bryce Canyon National Park recently celebrated 100 years since it was designated as a national monument by President Warren G. Harding.

22 hours ago

Washington Terrace Fire Department removing a storm drain lid to retrieve ducklings that had fallen...

Kennedy Camarena

Storm drain ducklings rescued by firefighters

Ducklings that fell into a storm drain in Washington Terrace were rescued by firefighters on Saturday after receiving a call to help.

2 days ago

The Foundation’s 38-foot RV, customized with two private exam rooms, will travel around the count...


Free skin cancer screening program visits Park City

Local dermatologists will provide free full-body skin cancer screenings in Park City in an RV meant just to check patients.

3 days ago

The best thing people can do to stay safe around bison is to give them space....

Kennedy Camarena

Caution: Bison ahead

Most people have to travel to Yellowstone to see Bison. Utahns, however, have Antelope Island State Park, where they can find bison.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

DWR provides archery safety reminders ahead of fall hunt