Utah Mule Deer

In recent years, Utah has regained some of its former mule deer glory. Many record-class specimens have been taken, especially in limited-entry areas where hunting pressure is controlled to allow bucks to grow old. Many private ranches also have improved under a Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit program that limits tags but allows hunting when mature bucks are vulnerable in early September and early November.

News, notes and alerts

  • Application period opens January 25
  • Application deadline is March 1
  • Applications are submitted online
  • Draw results are posted online by May 31
  • Hunters must buy an annual hunting license
  • Hunting licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase
  • Buying a landowner voucher does not affect preference or bonus points
  • Premium tags allow hunters to hunt all seasons until they harvest a buck

Highlights

  • General rifle seasons are in October when most mature bucks are in heavy cover
  • Most archery seasons take place in August and early September
  • Muzzleloader season starts in late September, when big bucks move into cover
  • Some units are mostly private or private-access public land
  • Hunters can enjoy wilderness hunting in several units
  • Most large private ranches offer guided hunts or lease to outfitters who do so
  • Many general season units are crowded with hunters and offer low hunter success

Deer tag quota

Point breakdowns

Boone and Crockett entries: Typical

** Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are included if any part of the unit is found within the county.

County Entries Units within county
Kane 34 25C/26 Plateau-Boulder/Kaiparowits, 27 Paunsaugunt, 28 Panguitch Lake, 29 Zion
Garfield 20 12/16B/16C Central Mtns-Manti/San Rafael, 15 Henry Mtns, 22 Beaver, 24 Mt Dutton, 25C/26 Plateau-Boulder/Kaiparowits, 28 Panguitch Lake
Summit 16 4/5/6 Chalk Creek/East Canyon/Morgan-South Rich, 7 Kamas, 8 North Slope, 17B/17C Wasatch Mtns-Avintaquin/Currant Creek
Morgan 13 3 Ogden, 4/5/6 Chalk Creek/East Canyon/Morgan-South Rich
San Juan 12 13A La Sal-La Sal Mtns, 14A San Juan-Abajo Mtns, 14B San Juan-Elk Ridge

Boone and Crockett entries: Nontypical

** Units listed below may not have a current hunt for this species. Units in this table are included if any part of the unit is found within the county.

County Entries Units within county
Utah 11 12/16B/16C Central Mtns-Manti/San Rafael, 16A Central Mtns/Nebo, 17A Wasatch Mtns/West, 18 Oquirrh-Stansbury, 19C West Desert/Tintic
Iron 9 20 Southwest Desert, 22 Beaver, 28 Panguitch Lake, 29 Zion, 30 Pine Valley
Cache 10 2 Cache, 3 Ogden
Kane 8 25C/26 Plateau-Boulder/Kaiparowits, 27 Paunsaugunt, 28 Panguitch Lake, 29 Zion
Morgan 8 3 Ogden, 4/5/6 Chalk Creek/East Canyon/Morgan-South Rich
San Juan 6 13A La Sal-La Sal Mtns, 14A San Juan-Abajo Mtns, 14B San Juan-Elk Ridge

Dedicated Hunter Program

The Dedicated Hunter program is designed to give hunters a unique opportunity to hunt all three general deer seasons (archery, muzzleloader, and rifle). If drawn, you will be enrolled in the program for three years. You may obtain a permit and hunt all three years, but you can only harvest two bucks in a three year period. You can only hunt the unit you drew. In exchange for having a guaranteed permit and the opportunity to hunt all three seasons, a hunter must complete 32 service hours on UDWR approved conservation projects. Residents may buy out 24 of their 32 hours at a rate of $20 per hour. Nonresidents may buy out all 32 of their service hours at the same rate.

When you apply to join the Dedicated Hunter program, you'll be charged a nonrefundable $10 application fee. If you are successful in the drawing, you will be charged one of the following fees:

Utah's Dedicated Hunter price breakdown*

Residents
Category Price
Adult $195
Youth (age 12 to 17) $120
Nonresidents
Adult $1,047
Youth $814
Lifetime license holders
Adult $75

* The program fee includes your certificate of registration and your annual deer permit fees for all three years. It also includes a $5 fee for the Predator Control Program.


Because you can hunt all three hunts, being in the Dedicated Hunter program gives you the ability to find a great buck and really focus on harvesting him. Some great bucks are taken every year by dedicated hunters on general season units. You will have to decide if the cost in time and money is worth it. You may apply for the Dedicated Hunter program and a general season deer tag, if you are drawn into the Dedicated Hunter program, then your general season deer application will be removed from the system.