Hunters who did not obtain a limited-entry cougar permit this year, still have the opportunity to do so. Permits to hunt cougars on harvest-objective units go on sale Nov. 5.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources licensing coordinator Judi Tutorow says there are three major differences between harvest-objective units and limited-entry units. First, the number of permits that can be sold for a harvest-objective unit are not limited. Hunters can buy these permits online or over-the-counter.
Hunts on a harvest-objective unit can close before the season ends. Utah has several cougar management areas. Each area has several individual units. Once hunters take the number of cougars biologists want taken on the management area, the hunt on all of units in the area will close.
“For example, let’s say the harvest objective for a management area is 48 cougars. The hunt on all of the units in that area will close when 48 cougars are taken on the area,” explained Tutorow. “Even if the date when the season is supposed to end has not arrived yet.”
The season can also close early if hunters take the number of female cougars biologists want taken on the management area. If an area closes early, that does not mean the cougar hunt is over. If a specific hunting area closes, hunters can still hunt on any harvest-objective area in Utah that is still open.
Tutorow reminds hunters that Utah’s 2013 – 2014 cougar harvest-objective season begins Nov. 13 on some units and March 3, 2014 on others. Dates for each unit are available in the Utah Cougar Guidebook available online at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks. A copy is also available at DWR offices and from hunting and fishing license agents across the state.
Hunters who obtain a limited-entry cougar permit for the 2013 – 2014 season, cannot purchase a harvest-objective permit.
Before each hunting trip on a harvest-objective unit, hunters must call 1-888-668-LION (5466), or visit www.wildlife.utah.gov/cougarharvest, to verify that the area is still open to hunting. he phone line and the website are updated by noon each day. Closures take effect the following day.
For more information regarding the upcoming cougar season, contact the nearest DWR office.