Utah Looking to Make Major Change to Elk Hunting

by Michael Freeman

The past few years have seen a surge in both gun enthusiasm and hunting. In fact, the latter’s interest in Utah is so pronounced the state is looking to make a major change with how it handles elk hunting.

The general season any bull elk and spike bull elk permits in Utah spiked in the past three years. In 2020 alone all 15,000 permits sold out in a mere eight hours. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources released a statement yesterday proposing to add said permits to the big game drawing for one year. “Because of increased public interest in elk hunting — and to avoid overloading its permit sales system — the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing to add general-season elk permits to the big game drawing for one year.”

Previously sold over the counter and online, the increased sales resulted in a miserable experience for everyone. “The increased demand for these permits has caused an overload to the license sales system for the past two years, which has led to slower processing times and a frustrating customer experience,” the statement continued. Elaborating, the Utah DWR said they are working with their contractor to rectify the problem.

DWR Wildlife Licensing Coordinator Lindy Varney also stated this idea is a trial for one year. “During this one-year trial period, we will assess the pros and cons of the current system compared to including the permits in the big game drawing,” Varney said. “We will also work with the statewide elk committee to improve the permit process.”

If you’d like to submit your feedback for this suggested process, the organization is accepting opinions on the matter. You can do so by visiting the official website and sounding off there.

New Hampshire Moose Hunters Celebrate a Great Hunting Year

Utah elk aren’t the only popular game this season, it seems. In New Hampshire, moose hunters are celebrating a huge turnout for successful hunts.

Boasting a 73 percent success rate for hunting moose, New Hampshire hunters are feeling good this season. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department reports hunters harvested 30 moose this season. For 9 days, 41 hunters took part in the endeavor. Most of them were lottery permit winners, with more than 5,500 people entering.

Henry Jones, the department’s moose project leader, thinks the weather patterns contributed to the success rate. “After a warm day statewide on the October 16 opener, cooler temperatures and showers prevailed in northern New Hampshire, which encouraged moose movement during the day. Central and southern areas of the state experienced milder temperatures, likely resulting in lower moose activity during the day,” the Associated Press reported.

Interestingly, this season’s success rate is still lower than last year’s 75 percent. Regardless, Jones says hunters came ready to play this year and I’m inclined to agree.