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Application Strategy 2022: Utah sheep, moose, mountain goat & bison

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Utah's 2022 bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat and bison application overview

Jump to: NEW FOR 2022 State Information Draw System Rocky sheep Breakdown Desert sheep Breakdown Moose Breakdown Mountain Goat Breakdown Bison Breakdown

Note: The application deadline for all Utah species is March 3, 2022 at 11 p.m. MST. Applicants wishing to purchase preference and/or bonus points have until March 17, 2022 at 11 p.m. MST. You may apply online here.


New for 2022

  • New restrictions for trail cameras and baiting. See article links below:
  • Utah Wildlife Board bans trail camera usage for big game hunting
  • Utah to ban big game baiting
  • Some unit boundaries and unit names may have been changed for 2022. See the 2022 Utah big game guidebook for more information.
  • New child support law now in effect: As of July 1, 2021, there are restrictions on fishing and hunting license purchasers for non-payment of child support. See the 2022 Utah big game guidebook for more information.

Your goHUNT INSIDER account also has the NEW Point Tracker feature. This allows you to enter the number of points you have for each state and species and, as you research through Filtering 2.0 and Draw Odds, your point total will automatically be highlighted.


State Information

To view important information and an overview of Utah’s rules/regulations, the draw system and bonus points, tag and license fees and an interactive boundary line map, check out our State Profile. You can also view the species profiles to access historical and statistical data to help you find trophy areas.

Utah State Profile Rocky Bighorn Profile Desert Bighorn Profile Moose Profile Mountain Goat Profile Bison Profile goHUNT Maps Draw Odds Filtering 2.0

Important dates and information

  • The deadline to apply is March 3, 2022 at 11 p.m. MST. Apply online here.
  • Applicants can also apply via telephone by calling any Utah Department of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) office.
  • The bonus point/preference point only purchase and application withdrawal deadline is March 17, 2022 at 11 p.m. MST.
  • Applicants can withdraw their application at no additional cost until March 17, 2022.
  • Results will be emailed or available online on or shortly before May 31, 2022.
  • Hunters must have a valid hunting or combination hunting/fishing license to apply.
  • Hunting licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. If you time it correctly, you can apply for two consecutive years on one license. You do not need an active hunting license to hunt, just to apply.
  • Applicants must be 12 years old by Dec. 31, 2022 to apply.
  • Hunters must be 12 years old to hunt.
  • Hunters born after Dec. 31, 1965 must have taken an approved hunter’s education course.
  • Withdrawing or correcting an application is allowed before the application deadline. Corrections are made by withdrawing an application and submitting a new one. Be aware: you will be charged the $10 application fee again to make adjustments and reapply.
  • Group applications are not allowed for bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat or bison.
  • Nonresidents may apply and build bonus points for all available species.
  • Residents may only apply for one limited entry species: elk, antelope or deer. They may also apply for one once-in-a-lifetime species: moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat or bison. They can also apply for general season deer and the dedicated hunter program if they are not already enrolled.
  • Bighorn sheep, bull moose, bison and mountain goats permits are once-in-a-lifetime. If you draw one and hunt — regardless of harvest — you cannot apply again in your lifetime.

Utah once-in-a-lifetime fees for 2022

Item Resident Nonresident
365-day
hunting license
$11 youth (13 and under)
$16 youth (14 to 17)
$34 adult (18 to 64)
$25 adult (65 and older)
$29 youth (14 to 17)
$72 adult (18 and older)
365-day hunt/fish
combination license
$20 youth (14 to 17)
$38 adult (18 to 64)
29 adult (65 and older)
$33 youth (17 and under)
$98 adult (18 and under)
App fee
per species
$10 $15
Desert and Rocky Mountain
bighorn sheep
$513 $2,200
Shiras moose $413 $2,200
Rocky mountain goat $413 $2,200
Bison $413 $2,200

Note: Applicants need to buy either a hunting license or combination hunting/fishing license to apply. Applicants will not be charged the cost of the permit unless they are successful in the draw.


The Utah Draw System

Hunting license to apply

Every applicant will need to have a valid hunting license to apply for hunts or even if they want to apply for bonus points only. That hunting license is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. Applicants can buy one hunting license every two years and apply if they time it correctly. For example, if you purchase a hunting license and apply on the last day of this application period and then apply early in next year's application period you could apply for two years on one hunting license. You do not need a valid hunting license to actually hunt; you only need it to apply in the draw. 

The permit split offers 90% to residents and 10% to nonresidents.

Once-in-a-lifetime species draw system

Utah has a hybrid draw system for once-in-a-lifetime permits where they allocate 50% of the permits for each hunt to the applicants with the most bonus points and 50% are randomly allocated. The random draw takes into consideration the number of points each applicant has, meaning you get more chances in the random draw with each point you have. 

If there is an odd number of permits, for example, three, the bulk goes to high point holders and only one will be randomly allocated. If there is one permit only, it will be randomly drawn. In most cases, there is only one nonresident permit for once-in-a-lifetime hunts, meaning that permit will be randomly allocated. 

Bonus points are given for each year an applicant applies for a once-in-a-lifetime species and is unsuccessful in the draw. Applicants can also apply for bonus points only if they choose to until March 17 at 11:00 p.m. MST. Bonus points are species specific, meaning you cannot apply bonus points for desert bighorn sheep toward a bison hunt. We highly recommend that nonresident applicants apply for all once-in-a-lifetime hunts and not for bonus points only. With Utah offering half of their permits through a random draw, applicants should apply for hunts. They will receive a bonus point if they are unsuccessful in the draw. 

Residents can apply for general season deer, dedicated hunter deer, one limited entry species and one once-in-a-lifetime species. Residents must pick one once-in-a-lifetime species to apply for; they cannot apply for all. We recommend applicants select the one once-in-a-lifetime species they most want to hunt and stick with it until they draw before starting to apply for others. 

Hunt choices

Utah allows applicants to enter one hunt choice for once-in-a-lifetime species. If you draw a permit and hunt, your accumulated points will be purged.

Group applications

Group applications are not permitted for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat or bison.

Draw order

Utah’s draw goes in the following order from first to last:

  1. Buck deer (multi-season premium limited entry, premium limited entry, multi-season limited entry, limited entry, Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) and management buck deer)
  2. Bull elk (multi-season limited entry, limited entry and CWMU)
  3. Buck antelope (limited entry and CWMU)
  4. Once-in-a-lifetime species (bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat and bison)
  5. General buck deer (lifetime license holders)
  6. General buck deer (dedicated hunters)
  7. General buck deer (youth)
  8. General buck deer
  9. Youth any bull elk

Note that if you draw a limited entry deer, elk or antelope permit, your moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and/or bison application will not be considered in the draw. You cannot draw both a limited entry permit and a once-in-a-lifetime permit in the same year. This is an important consideration if you have enough points to draw both a once-in-a-lifetime and limited entry hunt.

Bonus point system

For all species, the maximum point amount is 29 for 2022; however, there are some species that no longer have applicants at that level. Below are the high point holders for applicants who either purchased a point or applied.

Bonus point system

Species Resident Nonresident
Rocky Mountain
bighorn sheep
29
(1 applicant)
25
(1 applicant)
Desert bighorn sheep 27
(8 applicants)
29
(15 applicants)
Moose 28
(3 applicants)
28
(1 applicant)
Rocky Mountain goat 27
(2 applicants)
24
(1 applicant)
Bison 28
(1 applicant)
29
(1 applicant)

 

Once-in-a-lifetime permits in 2021*

Species Resident Nonresident
Rocky Mountain
bighorn sheep
61 4
Desert bighorn sheep 73 6
Moose 138 8
Rocky Mountain goat 108 8
Bison 128 14

*Note: Utah won't set their 2022 allocations until May, which is after the application deadline. These totals do not include resident CWMU moose permits.

Utilize the standalone Draw Odds and unit profiles to select the best option for you to apply. The majority of applicants do not have the points to guarantee that they draw a bonus point permit; therefore, the best bet is to use the draw odds within your INSIDER account to select a hunt. After you apply, cross your fingers and rub your lucky rabbit's foot because draw odds for once-in-a-lifetime species are almost all less than 1% throughout the entire point range.


Utah's 2022 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep breakdown

All Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep hunts 2022

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Resident permits
(2021)
Nonresident permits
(2021)
Book Cliffs,
South
175"+ 100% 4
50% with 23
1
Box Elder,
Newfoundland Mtn
(early)
155"+ 100% 7
100% with 21
1
Box Elder,
Newfoundland Mtn
(late)
155"+ 100% 8
100% with 20
0
Box Elder,
Newfoundland Mtn
(archery)
155"+ 100% 4
36% with 16
0
Central Mtns,
Nebo
170"+ 100% 3
67% with 21
0
Fillmore, Oak Creek
(early)
165"+ 100% 6
51% with 20
0
Fillmore, Oak Creek
(late)
165"+ 100% 6
51% with 20
1
Fillmore, Oak Creek
(archery)
165"+ NA 2
100% with 17
0
Nine Mile,
Gray Canyon
170"+ 100% 5
75% with 23
1
Nine Mile,
Jack Creek
175"+ 75% 3
40% with 22
0
North Slope,
Three Corners
160"+ 100% 2
100% with 20
0
North Slope, Summit,
West Daggett
160"+ 100% 3
67% with 22
0
Oquirrh-Stansbury,
West
165"+ 100% 5
51% with 18
0
Wasatch Mtns,
West
170"+ 100% 3
100% with 22
0

*Permit numbers will be set at the May big game board meeting. There will be nonresident permit(s) available for the four units/hunts as indicated above for the same units in 2022.

Managing points and expectations

2022 maximum bonus points for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep:

  • Residents: 29
  • Nonresidents: 25
 

Residents can apply for one of 14 hunts. Nonresidents can apply for one of four hunts, which are indicated in the table above. If there is a bonus point permit available for nonresidents in 2022, it’s most likely going to be in the Box Elder, Newfoundland Mtn Unit.

The best random odds for a resident hunt is the Box Elder, Newfoundland Mtn archery. The best odds for a nonresident hunt is the Fillmore, Oak Creek. It’s unlikely that there will be a nonresident bonus point permit for any of the hunts. There is likely to be one random permit for each of the four hunts.


Utah's 2022 Desert bighorn sheep breakdown

Utah offers 16 hunts available to residents. Nonresidents can apply for five hunts. Over the past several years, Utah has offered more desert bighorn sheep permits than ever, approximately 80 statewide. The units with the largest population and best trophy potential are the Kaiparowits, East and West. The Zion Unit has struggled over the past several years and is not what it once was in terms of trophy potential or population. A few other areas worth researching are the San Rafael Units. Populations are stable and increasing, although the trophy potential is not quite as good as it is in the Kaiparowits.

All Desert bighorn sheep hunts 2022

Unit Trophy
potential
Harvest
success
Resident permits
(2021)
Nonresident permits
(2021)
Henry Mtns 150"+ 80% 5
26% with 21
0
Kaiparowits,
East
165"+ 89% 6
100% with 25
1
Kaiparowits,
West
165"+ 100% 9
26% with 24
1
Kaiparowits,
Escalante
160"+ 100% 8
36% with 21
0
La Sal, Potash,
South Cisco
150"+ 100% 4
51% with 22
0
Pine Valley,
Beaver Dam
165"+ 100% 4
67% with 24
0
Pine Valley,
Virgin River
165"+ 100% 2
50% with 25
0
San Juan,
Lockhart
150"+ 100% 3
67% with 23
0
San Juan,
North
150"+ 100% 3
35% with 21
0
San Juan,
San Juan River
150"+ 100% 1
Random only
0
San Juan, South 150"+ 100% 2
100% with 24
0
San Rafael,
Dirty Devil
160"+ 100% 5
34% with 22
1
San Rafael,
Dirty Devil
(archery)
160"+ NA 2
100% with 20
0
San Rafael,
North
150"+ 100% 5
29% with 23
0
San Rafael,
South
150"+ 100% 8
45% with 23
2
20% with 28
Zion 170"+ 75% 2
50% with 26
1

*New hunts and tag numbers will be set at the May big game board meeting.

Managing points and expectations

2022 maximum points for desert bighorn sheep

  • Residents: 27
  • Nonresidents: 29
 

Utah's 2022 Shiras moose breakdown

Northern Utah sits at the southern extent of Shiras moose habitat and, as such, the populations seem to be somewhat finicky. Populations peaked in the early 2000s with a state-wide population estimated just shy of 4,000. Since then, populations have dipped through 2012 when the statewide estimate was about 2,500. Since 2012, the populations have been relatively stable at approximately 2,500. Drought is likely the largest contributor to moose population decline. The largest herds in the state occur along the Wasatch Front, the Cache and the North Slope and Summit in the Uintas. Trophy potential is average when compared to states like Colorado or some of the better units in Wyoming. 

Moose permits are extremely hard to draw. There are several thousand more resident applicants who have moose bonus points than the other species like mountain goat or bison. If you are a relatively new resident applying for moose, we would suggest you consider switching to another one of the once-in-a-lifetime species and even consider going to Alaska if you want to hunt moose. Residents can apply for one of 12 hunts while nonresidents can apply for five hunts.

Utah bull moose hunts

Unit Harvest
success
Resident permits
(2021)
Nonresident permits
(2021)
Cache 100% 11
34% with 25
1
Chalk Creek 100% 3
100% with 25
0
East Canyon* 100% 4
34% with 24
0
East Canyon,
Morgan-Summit
*
100% 4
100% with 23
0
Kamas 100% 3
67% with 24
0
Morgan, South Rich* 100% 5
16% with 23
0
North Slope, Summit 79% 14
100% with 25
2
North Slope, Three Corners,
West Daggett
100% 6
26% with 24
1
Ogden* 100% 12
100% with 25
1
South Slope,
Diamond Mtn, Vernal
100% 2
100% with 23
0
South Slope,
Yellowstone
75% 4
50% with 24
0
Wasatch Mtns,
Central Mtns
100% 34
20% with 24
3
29% with 24

* Units are mostly private land.

Many are not aware that there are many CWMU hunts with permits available for residents to draw. Nonresidents may not apply for CWMU permits, but it’s likely that there are bull moose landowner tags available for purchase on some of these properties. See the UDWR guidebook for more information on CWMU hunts. We do not provide draw odds for CWMU hunts due to the fact that they are only available to residents and are only valid on the private land(s) for which the permit is valid. 

Managing points and expectations

2022 maximum points for Shiras moose

  • Residents: 28
  • Nonresidents: 28
 

Utah's 2022 Rocky Mountain goat breakdown

Mountain goat harvest in Utah peaked in 2012/2013 and has since declined over the past eight years. Currently, Utah is harvesting approximately 120 mountain goats statewide. The largest populations occur in the Beaver and the North Slope, South Slope High Unitas West and Central Units. The Nebo Unit also has a thriving, healthy population. Several other units have smaller populations, but are still available to apply for. 

Trophy potential is decent although it is not as good as it seemed to be 10 years ago. A 50” billy is truly rare. The best options for a trophy size billy are the Beaver and North Slope, South Slope High Unitas West and Central Units. The hunts typically run into October, offering long hair and beautiful capes. Mountain goats inhabit rocky, steep terrain and, for the most part, they occur in those same types of areas throughout Utah. The Unitas Units are rough and will require backpacking or pack stock to find success. The Beaver Unit in southern Utah has great access and is likely the least physically demanding hunt for mountain goats in the lower 48.

Odds of drawing a permit are tough, but it’s worth applying for the $15 application fee. Residents can apply for one of 17 hunts, while nonresidents have six hunt options.

All Utah mountain goat hunts for 2022

Unit Harvest
success
Resident permits
(2021)
Nonresident permits
(2021)
Beaver
(early)
90% 7
100% with 22
2
25% with 22
Beaver
(late)
90% 9
22% with 21
0
Central Mtns, Nebo
(archery)
100% 8
43% with 15
1
Central Mtns, Nebo 100% 11
27% with 18
1
Chalk Creek, Kamas,
Uintas
92% 11
100% with 16
1
La Sal, La Sal Mtns 86% 7
100% with 18
1
Mt Dutton 100% 2
51% with 21
0
North Slope, South Slope,
High Uintas Central
(archery)
75% 4
52% with 15
0
North Slope, South Slope,
High Uintas Central
91% 9
44% with 17
1
North Slope, South Slope,
High Uintas East
67% 3
35% with 16
0
North Slope, South Slope,
High Uintas Leidy Peak
100% 3
100% with 17
0
North Slope, South Slope,
High Uintas West
91% 19
45% with 17
1
Ogden, Willard Peak 100% 3
67% with 20
0
Wasatch Mtns,
Box Elder Peak
100% 2
100% with 21
0
Wasatch Mtns, Lone Peak 100% 3
51% with 18
0
Wasatch Mtns, Provo Peak 67% 3
67% with 19
0
Wasatch Mtns,
Timpanogos
100% 4
26% with 19
0

Managing points and expectations

2022 maximum points for mountain goat

  • Residents: 27
  • Nonresidents: 24
 

Utah's 2022 bison breakdown

Within Utah, bison inhabit the Henry Mountains, Book Cliffs and Antelope Island. The Book Cliffs and Henry Mountain herds are free-ranging and occur almost entirely on public lands. Bison hunts are highly sought after and herds are doing well. In 2020, there were 134 bull bison and 91 cow bison harvested, which was the most ever in the state. Trophy potential is very good for all three units with older age class bulls available in good numbers. There are 16 hunts available and nonresidents can apply for all, but two of those. 

The hunt dates vary for the Henry Mountains hunts with some hunts running into late December and even into January. Typically, the later the hunt, the more challenging it can be due to weather and hunting pressure. If you apply for and draw one of the late hunts, be prepared for a physically demanding, cold, snowy, tough hunt. 

We receive a few questions about the over-the-counter (OTC) bison hunt in the Nine Mile/Range Creek unit. This hunt opened in 2020. This hunt was started to target large herds that migrated from reservation land onto public lands late in the fall and winter. 

The area is extremely remote with the primary access an 84-mile float trip through Desolation Canyon, which requires a permit. There may be additional access to Range Creek via a mountain pass, which can be impassable in winter conditions. Another option is accessed via land administered by the Utah Museum of Natural History; however, they offer no vehicle access, a limited number of walk-in access permits and close all access after Dec. 1.

In 2020, hunters killed 123 bison on this hunt, but this past fall, hunters only killed eight bison total. The drastic reduction in the number of bison harvested is likely due to changes the tribe made on the reservation to deter bison from migrating. The herds had been hunted quite hard the previous year and may be learning where and when hunting pressure is coming from. The future of this hunt is not entirely known, but we would anticipate a similar harvest success moving into 2022, which was about 5%. For those of you who have ample time to hunt and can sort through the logistics to gain access, it may be worth it. For most hunters this is not a good option.  

One major consideration is that if you buy one of these OTC bison permits, any bison points you have accrued will be purged and you are no longer allowed to apply for the draw hunts. You can purchase the OTC bison permit again year after year until you fill your permit, provided the UDWR continues with the hunt into the future.

All Utah bison hunts for 2022

Unit Harvest
success
Resident permits
(2021)
Nonresident permits
(2021)
Antelope
Island
100% 2
17% with 26
0
Book Cliffs,
Bitter Creek
(early)
100% 7
100% with 25
1
Book Cliffs,
Bitter Creek
(late)
100% 3
23% with 23
1
Book Cliffs,
Bitter Creek
(cow)
100% 3
100% with 19
1
Book Cliffs,
Little Creek, South
(archery)

NA New hunt New hunt
Book Cliffs,
Little Creek, South
(early)
NA New hunt New hunt
Book Cliffs, Little Creek,
Roadless
(late)
100% 18
81% with 22
2
100% with 25
Book Cliffs, Little Creek,
South
(muzzleloader/cow)
NA New hunt New hunt
Book Cliffs, Little Creek,
South
(cow)
90% 18
75% with 6
2
100% with 22
Henry Mtns
(early)
100% 15
46% with 25
1
Henry Mtns
(mid)
100% 15
44% with 23
2
50% with 24
Henry Mtns
(late)
100% 13
68% with 22
1
Henry Mtns
(cow/early)
82% 12
77% with 14
1
Henry Mtns
(cow/late)
50% 12
100% with 16
1
Henry Mtns
(archery)
100% 6
100% with 20
0

Managing points and expectations

2022 maximum points for bison

  • Residents: 28
  • Nonresidents: 29
 

Find your draw odds

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