DWR offers tips for hunters as big game hunting seasons approaches

Sep 18, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: 8:10 pm

two buck deer shown, deer elk and moose are at risk for chronic wasting disease in utah...

Two buck deer in northern Utah. (Jim Shuler via Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

(Jim Shuler via Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY — As the big game hunting season gets underway in Utah, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is reminding hunters to prepare ahead of time.

As hunters head out into the mountains and fields this season, the DWR offers advice that every hunter should know. By following these tips, hunters can reduce the chances of an unfortunate mistake happening in the field.

Do your homework

The DWR says that individuals wouldn’t attempt to fly a plane without training or preparation. Along those same lines, they say people shouldn’t go hunting or fishing without knowing the laws.

According to a DWR press release, one of the most common hunting violations that officers encounter is someone who kills wildlife without a valid hunting license or expired fishing license.

In order to obtain a hunting license, you must take hunter education or take part in Utah’s Trial Hunting Program. For some species, an additional permit is required.

Once you have obtained a hunting license, you then need to educate yourself on the guidebook of the wildlife that you are going to hunt. 

“The best way to stay out of trouble is to review the regulations. And carefully check your permit before you go out in the field,” DWR Capt. Chad Bettridge said in the press release. “It’s shocking how many people go hunting without even opening their envelope to see what permit they drew.”

Click on the links for additional information on hunting and fishing

Hunters must seek permission and never trespass

Written permission from the landowner in advance is required if you desire to hunt on private property, according to the DWR. 

If you are caught trespassing, it can lead to fines and a class B misdemeanor. Additionally, hunters must know where the tribal lands are in the state and not trespass on those lands, either.

If you do receive permission from a landowner, clean up after yourself, and leave the gates the way you found them.

Other common mistakes

The DWR says another common mistake is when an individual shoots the wrong animal. The DWR stresses the importance of making sure you know what you are shooting at before pulling the trigger.

“Never take that shot if you aren’t absolutely sure and confident of your target and what is beyond your target, including if there are roads or buildings in the area,” Bettridge said in the press release.

The DWR also points out that an animal may not always immediately drop when it’s shot. It could cross into private property before dying. This is another common scenario that the DWR has seen.

“If you choose to hunt so close to the boundary that the animal may jump the fence or cross that boundary line, then you need to prepare in advance for that possibility,” Bettridge said in the release. “You can’t just cross onto that private property and retrieve the deer.

For additional information, you are encouraged to reach out to one of the DWR offices around the state. 

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DWR offers tips for hunters as big game hunting seasons approaches