The change DWR biologists are recommending to the deer plan would allow them to use the most up-to-date habitat information available to decide whether deer population objectives should be raised, lowered or remain the same.
In the past, the plans for all five regions in Utah were revised once every five years.
Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR, says the DWR’s range trend crew does extensive on-the-ground habitat analysis in one of the five regions every summer. Then the next summer, they travel to the next region.
“If deer objectives need to change,” Aoude says, “it makes sense to make the changes as soon as possible after receiving the latest habitat information for a region. Instead of revising all five regions once every five years, we’re recommending that one region be revised each year, using habitat information the range crew gathered the summer before.”
The biggest change biologists are recommending involves Utah’s elk herds. “We feel the state can handle a few more elk than we’re currently managing for,” Aoude says.
Biologists are recommending that the total number of elk in Utah be allowed to grow from a current objective of 68,825 elk to 70,965 elk. If approved, the 2,140 additional elk would be scattered across the following units: Chalk Creek, Kamas, Avintaquin, West Desert, Fillmore and Fish Lake.
The only area where the total number of elk would decrease is the Paunsaugunt unit in southern Utah. Biologists are recommending that the elk herd on the unit be reduced by 35 animals. Learn more and share your ideas at the southern meeting May 8th, 7pm at the Richfield High School, 510 West 100 South, Richfield, UT
You can see all of the biologists’ recommendations on the Web at