The Utah Wildlife Board recently approved changes to deer and elk hunting that go into effect in 2024. These changes affect weapon technology regulations if hunting with archery equipment or muzzleloaders and require mandatory harvest reporting for general season deer and elk hunts in the state, according to a news release.
The changes to the technology regs are a result of a committee established by the Utah Division of Wildlife (UDWR) on behalf of the board in January 2022. The diverse group of stakeholders proposed the following changes that were approved last week:
“The goals of the committee are to preserve hunting traditions into the future, help wildlife managers meet their objectives in species management plans and to increase opportunities for hunters,” said Blair Stringham, UDWR Utah Wildlife Migration Initiative Coordinator.
Mandated harvest reporting will now extend to all general season buck deer and bull elk hunts in Utah effective Jan. 1, 2024. That means that hunters who participate in the following hunts will have to turn in a harvest report at the end of their season:
“Hunters have been requesting this data for years, and technology now makes it easier to conduct these surveys and collect this information after the hunts,” said Kent Hersey, UDWR Big Game Projects Coordinator. “This will also help us to maintain more comprehensive and quality harvest data and will provide better insights into Utah's big game hunts.”
Permit holders will have 30 days to report the results of their hunt after the end of a hunting season. If they don’t, they will be excluded from the following year’s big game and antlerless applications. In 2025, anyone who is late to report will have to pay a $50 fee to be eligible for the next year’s big game hunting applications.
For more information, click here to read the news release.
Length restrictions on arrows and bolts for airgun, archery and crossbow hunting in Utah will be removed in 2024.
Scopes stronger than 1× power on muzzleloaders for all muzzleloader hunts will be prohibited and applies to all big game muzzleloader hunts, including general season, limited-entry, management and handgun-archery-muzzleloader-shotgun-straight-walled-rifle-only hunts. Scopes of any power will still be allowed on muzzleloaders during any legal weapon hunts. Visual impairment certificates of registration for scopes would still be allowed. This means that, otherwise, only open sights, peep sights, a red dot or scopes with 1× power or less will be allowed on muzzleloaders in those hunts.
General season buck deer
Dedicated hunter buck deer
Youth general season buck deer
General season archery elk
Spike bull elk
Multi-season spike bull elk
Any bull elk
Youth general season elk