If you didnвЂ™t draw a permit to hunt wild turkeys during UtahвЂ™s limited-entry hunt, you can still hunt turkeys in the state this spring. UtahвЂ™s general statewide turkey hunt is about to begin.
Justin Dolling, upland game and migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says he and other DWR biologists are excited that all of UtahвЂ™s turkey hunters can hunt this year. вЂњOur biologists have worked hard to get Utah s turkey population to the point that all of the stateвЂ™s turkey hunters can hunt,вЂќ Dolling says.В вЂњItвЂ™s rewarding to see how well turkeys are doing in Utah.вЂќ
The general statewide hunt starts on April 29 for those who were 15 years of age or younger on Jan. 27. (Jan. 27 is the day results of the 2011 limited-entry turkey drawing were posted.) Adult hunters get to join the youngsters starting May 2.
Despite how well the stateвЂ™s turkey population is doing, Dolling says the birds are struggling in two areas in the state. San Juan County and the part of Grand County thatвЂ™s south of Interstate 70 received a lot of snow two winters ago (the winter of 2009 – 2010). The heavy snowfall killed many of the turkeys in the area.
This past winter, DWR biologists brought 50 turkeys into the area from South Dakota and transplanted them.В But Dolling says it will take time for turkey populations in the area to rebuild.В вЂњIf you were planning to hunt in San Juan County or the southern part of Grand County this spring,вЂќ he says, вЂњIвЂ™d recommend finding another spot.вЂќ
This is the second year Utah has held a general statewide turkey hunt. The following are some details about the hunt:
- Permits are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov.В Permits are also available at DWR offices and from more than 300 hunting license agents across Utah.
- The permits arenвЂ™t limited in number, so you wonвЂ™t have a problem getting one.
- Permits will be available until the season ends on May 31.
- Please remember that if you buy a permit at www.wildlife.utah.gov, it will take about five to 10 days for your permit to arrive in the mail. You must receive your permit before you can hunt.
- If you buy a general turkey permit, you can hunt anywhere in Utah thatвЂ™s open to turkey hunting.
Two general hunts will be held:
- The first hunt is a special youth hunt.В Hunters who were 15 years of age or younger on Jan. 27 can participate in the hunt.В The youth hunt runs April 29 – May 1. To participate in the youth hunt, young hunters must buy a general statewide hunting permit.В Young hunters who drew a limited-entry permit canвЂ™t participate in the youth hunt. Youngsters who buy a permit for the youth hunt can also use the permit to hunt during UtahвЂ™s general statewide hunt.В That hunt opens May 2.
- The second hunt-the general statewide hunt-is open to anyone who buys a general turkey permit. The general hunt runs May 2 – 31.
- You can buy a general turkey permit and still keep all of your limited-entry turkey bonus points.В You wonвЂ™t lose any of your bonus points if you buy a general turkey permit.
- If you obtained a limited-entry turkey permit, you canвЂ™t obtain a general turkey permit.В (You can have only one turkey permit each year.)
For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWRвЂ™s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.