Utah Approves Unlimited Any-Bull Elk Permits for Youth Hunters

by Jennifer Shea

The Utah Wildlife Board is allowing an unlimited number of any-bull elk permits for youth hunters as part of several changes approved last week. 

Utah Wildlife Board Passes Changes

The board also capped any-bull elk permits for adults at 17,500. That was lower than the unlimited number of permits that Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologists had recommended, The Pyramid reports.

The permits let hunters harvest bull elk on select any-bull hunting units using any legal weapon.

Previously, they had capped any-bull elk permits for adults at 15,000 for the entire state. And for now, they decided spike bull elk permits will stay at 15,000 permits statewide.

“We proposed increasing the number of any-bull elk permits after in-depth discussions with the elk committee who wrote the statewide elk management plan,” DWR Big Game Coordinator Covy Jones told The Pyramid. “It’s a way to expand hunting opportunities for families, strengthen ties to Utah’s hunting heritage and provide a challenge for hunters, since this is not an easy hunt.”

Season Extended by Five Days

The board extended the general season any-bull archery elk hunt by five days for 2021 and 2022. The statewide elk committee will review the change to figure out whether it should continue in future years. 

The DWR also runs the Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) program. It grants hunting permits to private landowners. They offer hunting opportunities to public and private hunters for a variety of animals. And the board approved five new CWMUs for this year, for a total of 126 CWMUs in the state of Utah. 

The board also changed the number of conservation and expo permits. The former are permits granted to conservation and sportsmen’s groups. The latter goes to people who attend the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City. They made that change because of the hunts discontinued or altered this year.

Of course, the 2021 expo was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. But a virtual expo will be held in its place.