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Utah big game hunting application period opens March 23

 Want the chance to hunt big game in Utah this fall? You'll need to apply.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Want the chance to hunt big game in Utah this fall? You'll need to apply.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has moved the application period to March and April starting this year.

"After receiving requests from the public, the DWR approved the shift in application dates from January to March so that hunters will have information about the proposed permit numbers prior to applying," DWR Wildlife Licensing Coordinator Lindy Varney said. "Hunters can access the proposed permit numbers for each hunt unit beginning in April. This information will be available on the Utah Hunt Planner.

The final permit numbers will be approved by the Utah Wildlife Board during its public board meeting May 4.

The application period opens March 23 at 8 a.m. and runs until 11 p.m. April 27.

There are a few exceptions to the new application period; permits for the state’s general-season bull elk hunts won’t be available until July.

Permits for the general-season archery bull elk hunt go on sale July 11, the any-bull elk permits go on sale July 13 and the spike bull elk permits go on sale July 20. Permits will be sold on the DWR website, at all DWR offices and at license agent locations.

To be included in the drawing for the hunts, apply online or over the phone by calling the nearest DWR regional office.

The Utah DWR will announce results of the drawing May 31. Those selected will be notified by email. The drawing results will also be available online and by calling 1-800-221-0659.

Big game hunts are held in Utah for the following species:

  • Bighorn sheep (desert and Rocky Mountain)
  • Bison
  • Elk
  • Moose
  • Mountain goat
  • Mule deer
  • Pronghorn

Hunters interested in a chance to hunt all of Utah’s general-season deer hunts can apply for Utah’s dedicated hunter program.

The Utah DWR said those not planning to hunt in 2023 can apply for a bonus point or a preference point. Earning a point increases the chances of drawing a permit the next time. Applications for a point must be received no later than 11 p.m. on April 27.

However, hunters will also have an opportunity to apply for a bonus or preference point during the antlerless application period from June 7 to June 22. A hunting license or a combination license is required to apply for a bonus/preference point or a big game hunting permit.

New this year, hunters can now edit applications free of charge at any time during the application period (before 11 p.m. on April 27).

The DWR is also making hunters aware of resources available to keep everyone safe. For those hunting in a new area or going after a different species for the first time, the Utah Hunt Planner is an interactive, online map that provides information from DWR biologists.

For more information about applying for a 2023 Utah big game hunting permit, see the 2023 Utah Big Game Application Guidebook or contact the nearest DWR office.

KPCW Director of Digital Media