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Meetings highlight future Utah big game hunting

By Sun Advocate

The Division of Wildlife Resources will take ideas for Utah’s 2003 and 2004 big game hunting seasons from the public at a series of regional advisory council meetings at the end of March.
In addition to these ideas, the Division will also take input about proposed limited entry permit numbers for Utah’s 2002 Big Game Draw and changes to some of Utah’s big game management plans.
Among the management plan changes the division is proposing is raising the age objective for bull elk taken by hunters on the LaSal Mountains, Beaver, Mount Dutton, Boulder and Paunsaugunt units from 3 to 4 year-old bulls to 5 to 6 year old bulls. The Division is also proposing that the age objective on the Monroe unit be lowered from its current 7 to 8 year-old bulls, to 5to 6 year old bulls.
“It’s very important that people who are interested in big game hunting attend these meetings, and share their ideas with us,” says Steve Cranney, big game coordinator for the DWR. “Over the next few months we’ll be drafting specific recommendations to present to the public and the Utah Wildlife Board this fall. We need input from the public now to help us formulate those recommendations. If people wait until this fall to share their ideas with us, it will be too late in the process to give those ideas the consideration they deserve.”
Cranney says Utah’s statewide general archery buck deer hunt will probably be one of the main topics of discussion.
“Many of the hunters who hunt the Southern region felt the statewide opportunity increased hunting pressure in the region during the archery hunt, and they may want to see some changes made for 2003,” he says.
Cranney has also received comments from people who want the state’s general muzzleloader buck deer hunt moved back to November, and from people who want to discuss ways to get more youths involved in big game hunting.
“I expect those topics will generate a lot of discussion at the meetings,” he states.
Whether hunters are interested in one of the topics Cranney mentioned, or if they have another big game hunting idea for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, he encourages everyone interested to attend.
“Everyone’s ideas are important and we need your input,” he said.
The meeting for the southeastern Region will take place at 6:30 p.m. March 19 at the John Wesley Powell Museum, 885 E. Main Steet in Green River.

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