Deer and bighorn sheep in six areas in Utah will soon receive some added protection from cougars.
On March 3, Division of Wildlife Resources Director Jim Karpowitz signed an emergency change to UtahвЂ™s cougar hunting rules. The change increases the number of cougars that hunters can take on six hunting areas in Utah.
Three of the areas are in southern Utah. The number of deer that died in these areas during the winter of 2009 – 2010 was higher than expected.В And the number of fawns compared to the number of does in the three areas has been low for the past three years.
The remaining three areas are in central and southeastern Utah. Each area has a bighorn sheep population thatвЂ™s either declining in number or is stable in number but is still heavily preyed on by cougars.
If youвЂ™re among those who have a cougar harvest objective hunting permit for this season, or youвЂ™re thinking about getting one, youвЂ™ll want to pay close attention to the changes — some cougar hunting areas that closed earlier this season will reopen to hunting.
A complete list of the areas in question, and how many additional cougars can be taken, is available at https://go.usa.gov/4CI.В After clicking on the link, scroll down to the вЂњChanges to the guidebookвЂќ heading to find the changes.
You can also stay updated on which harvest objective areas are open to hunting, and which have been closed, by visiting https://go.usa.gov/4CN.