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Be aware out there during hunting season

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Hunters can use public trails, even where hunting isn't allowed, to get to areas where they can hunt.

It’s hunting season in Utah, and local land managers say it’s important for both hunters and recreationalists to know the laws before they head outside.

The hunting season in Utah began August 20th with the general archery hunt for deer, and will end November 10th, which is the final day to hunt elk with a muzzleloader.

Open space managers for Park City and Basin Recreation say it’s important that hunters understand what public lands they can - and can’t - hunt on, especially in Summit County where hunters, hikers and bikers share the space.

Park City Municipal Trails and Open Space Manager Heinrich Deters says Park City has a law that prohibits firing a gun within city limits, so staying on trails around the resorts and avoiding state and federal land is a good idea.

"I don’t take my kids in the Uintas right now to ride bikes because it’s hunting season, it’s rifle season," said Deters. "Those are lands, forest service lands, where hunting is allowed. There are pockets in the Wasatch Back on the east side and west side where hunting is allowed. Like Lamb’s Canyon is an area. You will encounter possibly hunters on the Crest Trail. Like here in Park City you probably shouldn’t be encountering a hunter in the middle of Round Valley."

Basin Recreation Open Space and Trails Manager Phares Gines says a considerable portion of their trails are on easements through privately owned land and discharging a weapon of any kind or taking game from Basin Trails is strictly prohibited. But hunters can use the trails to access areas where hunting is allowed.

"Rob’s is a good example," explained Gines. "It leads up into Hunters Trail and into the Canyons and Toll Canyon. Summit Park areas have those potentials for access to other areas that may be huntable. So, I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to wear some bright orange during hunting season, just in case.”

If hunters travel on trails where hunting is prohibited, their firearms may not have ammunition in the chamber or magazine, muzzleloaders may not be charged with powder or ball, and archery equipment may not have an arrow nocked. Gines says it falls upon the hunters to know the regulations, and a great resource is the website wildlife.utah.gov.