Dedicated Hunters in Utah have given the stateвЂ™s wildlife more than $6 million in volunteer hours and service in the pastВ four years alone. But the program thatвЂ™s provided that service will change in 2012.
ThatвЂ™s when deer hunters in Utah switch from hunting deer in five large regions to hunting on smaller areas called units.
Rhianna Christopher, volunteer program coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the DWR has worked hard to keep the Dedicated Hunter program hunters join in 2012 as close as possible to the current program. вЂњThis is a valuable program,вЂќ she says. вЂњWe want the program to work for hunters.вЂќ
The following are the major changes the DWR is recommending for the Dedicated Hunter program starting in 2012:
- After lifetime license holders choose the unit they want to hunt, 15 percent of the remaining general-season deer hunting permits in each unit would be set aside for Dedicated Hunters.
- To join the Dedicated Hunter program in 2012, youвЂ™d have to do two things: Apply to join the program and draw a permit for the unit youвЂ™d like to hunt.
- If you draw a permit for the unit youвЂ™d like to hunt, your permit will be issued to you after you complete the Dedicated Hunter program requirements. The unit you obtain a permit for is the unit youвЂ™d hunt during the three years youвЂ™re in the program. During your three-year enrollment period, you would not be allowed to change or exchange your permit for a different unit.
- In addition to applying for the Dedicated Hunter program, you could also apply for a limited-entry buck deer and a regular general-season buck deer permit. But you would be issued only one of the three permits. You would apply for all three permits during the 2012 big game application period.
- The Dedicated Hunter limited-entry permit draw would be eliminated in 2012.
More information about the changes the DWR is recommending is available in a chart Christopher has compiled.В The chart is available at https://go.usa.gov/TSL.
More information about the current Dedicated Hunter program is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/dh.
After youвЂ™ve reviewed the ideas at https://go.usa.gov/TSL and www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings, you can let your Regional Advisory Council members know your thoughts by attending your upcoming RAC meeting or by sending an email to them.
RAC chairmen will share the input they receive with members of the Utah Wildlife Board. The board will meet in Salt Lake City on June 9 to approve changes to the program.
Dates, times and locations for the RAC meetings are as follows:В В В
Cedar Middle School
2215 W. Royal Hunte Dr.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St.
Bingham Entrepreneurship and Energy Research Center 320 N. 2000 W.
110 S. Main St.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
You can also provide your comments to your RAC via email.В Email addresses for your RAC members are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.
The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each personвЂ™s email address.В You should direct your email to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.