Division of Wildlife Resources Prepares for Elk and Deer General Hunting Season
There are some hunts currently underway for upland game and waterfowl. But hunters are beginning to prepare for general season hunts for larger animals using firearms and not just a bow and arrow.
Faith Heaton Jolley is with Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources. She said even people who have been hunting their whole life should read state mandated guide books because they offer important information about laws including weapon types and how to tag animals.
Heaton Jolley also said people should confirm the type of license they have before they leave the house.
“That's probably the most common mistake that our officers say they see is just people killing wildlife or fishing without that valid license or without that permit,” Heaton Jolley said. “Sometimes it's just due to not even opening the envelope. And sometimes they'll leave their license or permit at home.”
Heaton Jolley advised that before hunters pull the trigger, they should make sure they identified the animal correctly.
She said it’s not too common, but sometimes people will shoot the wrong animal.
“We do get a couple cases every year where somebody will either one fully identify it and then shoot either the wrong species altogether,” she said. “The more common mistake is just harvesting the wrong gender. But most of the time when that does happen these individuals will realize that they made that mistake, and they'll report it.”
In Utah, it’s legal to use hunting blinds -- a camouflaged area where hunters set up cameras to watch - and bait - animals. Sometimes those blinds are set up near trails.
Heaton Jolley said this is another reason hunters should be certain of their target before they shoot.
“Those are also things to be aware of, and to make sure you're checking before you go out and you go hunting” she said. “There's rules about being within a certain distance of a trailhead, and things like that. So that's why we tell hunters like you need to be certain of your target and especially what's beyond it so you're not endangering somebody else.”
Jolley also said hunters should be mindful of fire restrictions currently in place. Because of recent wildfires and an especially dry season, target shooting is illegal in a number of places in the state.
The general hunting season for elk starts October 3, and the hunting season for deer starts October 17.