The Utah Wildlife Board followed proposals from state wildlife biologists and approved more cow elk hunting permits while decreasing the number of general-season buck mule deer permits at a recent meeting in Salt Lake City.
The board, which is appointed by the governor and represents various wildlife-related interests, reduced the number of general deer permits by 1,900 to 84,600 for the 2013 hunt. A large percentage of the reduction came in the limited-entry deer hunts as the number dropped from 967 in 2012 to 827 for this year.
Anis Aoude, big-game coordinator of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, told the board the overall population of mule deer in the state is increasing, but management objectives for male-to-female ratios on many of the 30 hunting units remain unmet. Reducing hunting permits on those units should increase the buck-to-doe ratios at levels set in the statewide deer management plan.