Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Wild West! Utah, with its breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife, is a paradise for hunting enthusiasts. From stalking elusive deer in the mountain ranges to tracking down waterfowl in the marshlands, hunting in Utah offers an exhilarating blend of challenge and thrill. So grab your gear and let’s explore this hunter’s haven together!
In this detailed guide, we have covered all you need to know about hunting in Utah. We will explore the hunting seasons, species information, license information, and the best places to hunt right here.
What Can You Hunt in Utah?
Utah is a paradise for hunters, boasting diverse terrain and abundant wildlife. Mule deer are one of the most sought-after game animals in the state, often found in northern and central regions. These graceful creatures require patience and skill to hunt successfully due to their sharp senses and wily nature.
Elk also thrive here; these majestic beasts provide an exciting challenge as they move through valleys and mountains with their characteristic bugling calls during mating season echoing throughout the area. Smaller game like rabbits, squirrels, coyotes, quails, pheasants, or even wild turkeys can be hunted too – although not quite as grandiose as elk or deer – offering a fun yet rewarding experience nonetheless!
Utah is an amazing destination for deer hunting, with three main species – mule deer, white-tailed deer, and elk. Mule Deer can be found almost everywhere in the state while White-tails are more common in the northeast region. Elk have their own special habitats located both north and south of Utah’s borderlines.
What makes this land so special for hunters is all of the public areas available to explore: national forests, state parks, and other natural wonders offer plenty of chances to track down a trophy buck or doe! Just remember that when you hunt on public land, it’s important to follow regulations set by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) so we can keep our traditions alive without doing any harm.
To increase your success rate out hunting in Utah, scouting is essential; know where they like to feed and bed down then set up trail cameras if possible—all great ways to get an edge over these elusive animals! As experienced hunters will tell you though, stalking a big game isn’t something done overnight either; patience plays its part too.
When it comes time for gear, make sure you’re equipped with a reliable rifle or bow that fits within DWR caliber restrictions as well as camouflage clothing & scent control products which are key factors in getting close enough for a clean shot.
Also, always wear blaze orange clothing when out there and practice proper firearm safety – after all, respecting both nature and wildlife should come hand-in-hand with any successful hunter’s mentality no matter how experienced they may be.
Deer Season Utah
|Archery||Aug 19 – Sep 15|
|Muzzleloader||Sep 27 – Oct 05|
|Early General Any Legal Weapon (rifle)||Oct 11 – Oct 15|
|Any Legal Weapon (rifle)||Oct 21 – Oct 29|
Utah is home to one of the largest elk populations in America, boasting an estimated 80,000 roaming freely through the region’s wilderness. These majestic creatures are a beautiful sight with their massive antlers and strong builds but they aren’t so easy to hunt due to their elusive nature and sharp senses.
The best time for hunting elk in Utah is during fall; that’s when they’re most active and vocal which makes it easier for hunters to locate them. Don’t let your guard down though! Elk may look large and powerful but they can cover long distances quickly so come prepared with proper gear and physical stamina.
One of the greatest places for spotting these animals in Utah is the Wasatch Mountain Range – offering diverse terrain from steep canyons, and densely wooded areas, all the way up to open meadows, perfect habitats for elk! The challenging landscape might be tough going but you’ll definitely feel rewarded once you spot your prey.
Elk Season in Utah
|Any Bull Elk||Aug 19 – Sep 20||Archery|
|Spike Elk||Aug 19 – Sep 08||Archery|
|General Elk||Nov 01 – Nov 09||Muzzleloader|
|Youth Bull Elk||Sep 16 – Sep 24||Rifle|
|Spike and Bull Elk||Oct 07 – Oct 19||Any Legal Weapon|
|Limited-Entry||Aug 23 – Sep 19||Archery|
|Limited-Entry||Sep 20 – Sep 24||Any Legal Weapon|
|Limited-Entry||Sep 25 – Oct 06||Muzzleloader|
Antelope are renowned for their lightning-fast speed and agility, making them an exciting yet difficult quarry. The best time to hunt these creatures in Utah is during the fall season when they’re in peak condition. Look out for antelope grazing in open grasslands and sagebrush areas – but be warned; these animals have keen eyesight and a sharp nose, so it’s important to stay hidden.
As hunters, you must always remember your responsibility to obtain all necessary permits before setting off. Fortunately, Utah has stringent regulations that help protect this majestic species from overhunting.
Stalking is one of the most popular hunting techniques used on antelopes: slowly move toward your prey while staying low with natural cover aiding you in remaining undetected – it takes patience and skill but can pay dividends if done correctly.
|Sportsman Archery||Aug 19 – Aug 31|
|CWMU Archery||Aug 19 – Oct 31|
|Sportsman Any Legal Weapon||Sep 01 – Nov 15|
|CWMU Any Legal Weapon||Sep 01 – Oct 31|
The Black Bear population in Utah is thriving and is estimated at around 4,000 strong. With their unique black fur that may have hints of brown or cinnamon, these bears can weigh anywhere from 200 to 600 pounds and stand up to six feet tall when standing on their hind legs. Hunters across the state take advantage of Utah’s well-managed bear population for hunting seasons.
Spot-and-stalk is a popular method among hunters as it involves locating the bear from afar and then slowly approaching it with stealth. Another approach is baiting where bait stations are set in areas known to be frequented by bears.
Nevertheless, safety should always come first so make sure you review all regulations and obtain necessary permits before embarking on your hunt, not forgetting to carry bear spray just in case.
Black Bear Season Utah
|Limited Spring||Apr 01 – May 29|
|Limited Fall||Nov 02 – Nov 12|
|Limited Summer||Jul 05 – Aug 04|
Utah is home to two distinct herds of bison – the Henry Mountains herd and the Book Cliffs herd. These majestic beasts are among the last genetically pure populations in North America, making them a highly sought-after hunting destination for avid hunters. Weighing up to 2,000 pounds and standing over six feet tall at their shoulders, these massive animals require skillful patience when hunting.
The best time to go after these powerful creatures is during late fall or early winter when they’re thickly coated with fur; this period also marks their mating season so bulls become more active and vocal then as well! This unique experience will stay with you forever as you track through rugged terrain before finally landing your prize.
|Bison||Aug 01 – Jan 31|
The Beehive State is home to one of the largest populations of moose in the US, with an estimated 4-5000 individuals. From its high mountain peaks to lush valleys, these majestic creatures can be seen all throughout the state. Their sheer size and impressive antlers are a spectacle like no other!
Before you hunt for these animals in Utah, make sure you have all required licenses and permits from the Division of Wildlife Resources. This ensures that sustainable hunting practices are being followed while preserving this species for future generations.
Moose season typically runs from September through November; however, due to limited entry permits (awarded via a lottery system), only a certain number of hunters may pursue them each year – thus promoting healthy population growth.
When it comes down to tactics for capturing these elusive critters; stealth and silence is key as they possess heightened senses such as smell and hearing so don’t forget your camo gear! Utilizing calls such as cow or bull grunts might also bring them closer if done correctly. Just remember how hard it was to find your way around your last camping trip? The same applies here: Stay downwind & stay quiet!
|Moose||Sep 01 – Nov 15|
The Bighorn Sheep is an embodiment of power, grace, and tenacity. Their iconic curved horns paired with their muscular frames make them a captivating sight to behold. Found mainly in Utah’s Rocky Mountains, Wasatch Range, and Uinta Mountains, these majestic creatures are a delight to spot for any hunter lucky enough to do so.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to hunt down one of these stunning animals, then Zion National Park should be your go-to destination! It boasts a healthy population due to its unique terrain featuring steep cliffs and rocky canyons – making it an ideal habitat for this agile species.
However, hunting Bighorn Sheep requires not only patience but skill as they have incredible senses that allow them to detect danger from afar; it takes someone truly talented at tracking game in order to get close enough without being detected by one of these attentive creatures. If you manage this feat though, the reward is priceless: nothing compares to the thrill that comes when stalking a sheep!
Due to their popularity among hunters, there are strict regulations placed on harvesting bighorns each year ensuring that future generations will still enjoy spotting these amazing animals roaming around freely in Utah’s beautiful landscapes.
Bighorn Sheep Season
|Bighorn Sheep (Desert & Rocky Mountian)||Sep 01 – Dec 31|
Hunting wild turkeys in Utah can be a thrilling experience for any hunter. During the spring season, males are more vocal and easier to spot, making it an ideal time to head out into the field. In northern and central areas of the state, you’ll find Merriam’s turkeys; while Rio Grande subspecies reside in southern Utah.
Spot-and-stalk is a popular hunting method here, requiring stealthy movements as they have sharp eyesight that will spook them easily. Decoys also work well when trying to lure curious males looking for mates within range. Limited draw hunts are available too if you’re after a more exclusive experience with higher success rates.
Wild Turkey Season in Utah
|Fall Turkey (Northern, Central, South-Eastern & Southern regions)||Oct 01 – Feb 28|
|Spring General||May 01 – May 31|
|Spring Youth||Apr 28 – Apr 30|
|Spring Limited-entry||Apr 08 – Apr 27|
Mountain Goat Season
|Mountain Goat (Statewide)||Sep 01 – Dec 31|
Mountain Lion Season
|Mountain Lion (dogs not allowed)||Mar 31 – Nov 02||LaSal, San Juan Mountains, Book Cliffs, East units|
|Mountain Lion||May 03 – Dec 31||——-|
|Bobcat||Nov 18 – Mar 01|
|Beaver||Sep 17 – Apr 01|
|Badger||Sep 17 – Mar 01|
|Mink (Statewide)||Sep 17 – Apr 01|
|Muskrat||Jan 01 -Dec 31|
|Marten (Daggett, Duchesne, Summit, Uintah counties)||Sep 17 – Mar 01|
Fox Season Season
|Gray Fox||Sep 18 – Mar 01|
|Red Fox||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
|Kit Fox||Sep 18 – Mar 01|
|Coyote (Statewide)||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
|Jackrabbit||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
|Cottontail||Sep 01 – Feb 28|
|Snowshoe Hare||Sep 01 – Mar 15|
|California & Gambel’s Quail||Nov 04 – Dec 31|
|Youth Season||Oct 28 – Oct 30|
|General||Nov 04 – Dec 03|
|Youth||Oct 28 – Nov 02|
|Dusky & Ruffed Grouse (Statewide)||Sep 01 – Dec 31|
|Greater Sage Grouse (Specific Counties)||Sep 30 – Oct 22|
|Sharp-tailed Grouse (Specific Counties)||Sep 30 – Oct 22|
White-tailed Ptarmigan Season
|White-tailed Ptarmigan||Sep 01 – Oct 31|
|General||Sep 30 – Feb 15|
|Youth||Sep 23 – Sep 25|
|General||Sep 30 – Feb 15|
|Youth||Sep 23 – Sep 25|
|North Zone||Oct 07 – Jan 20|
|South Zone||Oct 14 – Jan 27|
Coot & Merganser Season
|North Zone||Oct 07 – Jan 20|
|South Zone||Oct 14 – Jan 27|
|Dark & White-fonted Goose||Oct 07 – Jan 20||Eastern Box Elder Goose area|
|Dark & White-fonted Goose||Oct 07 – Oct 14, Oct 26 – Jan 31||Northern Goose area|
|Dark & White-fonted Goose||Oct 14 – Jan 27||Southern Goose area|
|Dark & White-fonted Goose||Oct 07 – Oct 14, Nov 10 – Feb 15||Wasatch Front Goose area|
|Light Goose||Oct 16 – Dec 22, Feb 01 – Mar 10||Eastern Box Elder, Northern and Wasatch Front goose areas|
|Light Goose||Oct 25 – Dec 15, Jan 16 – Mar 10||Southern Goose area|
Tundra Swan Season
|Tundra Swan||Oct 07 – Dec 09|
|North Zone||Oct 07 – Dec 31|
|South Zone||Nov 03 – Jan 27|
|North Zone||Oct 07 – Jan 20|
|South Zone||Oct 14 – Jan 27|
Youth Waterfowl Season
|North Zone||Sep 23|
|South Zone||Sep 30|
|Mourning & White-winged Dove||Sep 01 – Oct 30|
|Collared Dove||Jan 01 – Dec 31|
Sandhill Crane Season
|Early Season (Uintah County)||Oct 07 – Oct 26|
|Middle Season (Uintah County)||Oct 27 – Nov 15|
|Late Season (Uintah County)||Nov 16 – Dec 05|
|Cache and Rich Counties||Sep 02 – Sep 10|
|East Box Elder County||Sep 02 – Oct 31|
|General (10 birds per day bag limit)||Sep (01 – Sep 30)|
|Late Crow Season||Dec 01 – Feb 28|
Utah Hunting License Information
Hunting is an age-old pastime that’s still popular today, and if you plan on hunting in Utah, it’s important to have a valid license. Luckily for hunters of all ages, obtaining one isn’t difficult – just head over to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website or any authorized agent and you’ll be ready to go.
When it comes to big game hunting, there are two options: general season licenses (which let you hunt designated areas at specific times) or limited entry permits (where only a select few will make the cut). If small game like upland birds or waterfowl is more your style, then a single statewide license should cover everything. Ducks and geese however will require an additional federal duck stamp.
In terms of fees, they’re quite reasonable; prices depend on residency status but generally range from $34 for resident small game licenses up to $1,500 for non-resident elk tags – so take a look before buying anything.
But most importantly, don’t forget about regulations as these are in place to keep both wildlife populations safe as well as yourself while out hunting. All the information can be found online so make sure to familiarize yourself with them beforehand!
Where Can You Hunt in Utah?
For hunters looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure, the Beehive State is the perfect destination. The Uinta Mountains offer a variety of game from elk and deer to bighorn sheep while the Book Cliffs region provides trophy mule deer and pronghorn antelope hunts.
If you prefer waterfowl hunting, then head to the Great Salt Lake wetlands where ducks, geese, and swans abound. And let’s not forget about various state parks – pheasants, turkeys, and even bison can be found there.
Public Hunting Places in Utah
Wasatch–Cache National Forest
With over 1.6 million acres of diverse terrain, the Wasatch-Cache National Forest is absolutely perfect for hunters. From high alpine peaks to lush valleys and everything in between, you can find a variety of game species – from elk and moose to deer and bighorn sheep. Whether you’re into archery or rifle hunting, there are plenty of opportunities here with the season starting late August through November.
For those looking for a real challenge, the rugged mountains provide some of the best backcountry hunts around! Navigating steep slopes and thick forests takes skill & determination; however, if that’s not your style then fear not – several wildlife management areas offer easier access with higher success rates!
Before heading out on any hunt though, it’s important to get all necessary permits/licenses from Utah Division Wildlife Resources plus familiarize yourself with forest service rules & regulations so everyone stays safe and ethical throughout their experience.
Sawtooth National Forest
Welcome to Sawtooth National Forest, the perfect playground for any hunting enthusiast. Boasting over two million acres of diverse and stunning terrain, you can find a multitude of wildlife species ready to be explored.
From elk, deer, and moose to bighorn sheep and black bears – all are here in abundance for your enjoyment. With proper licensing and adherence to regulations, you can embark on the thrilling journey of tracking down these majestic creatures within their natural habitat!
Jordanelle State Park
Jordanelle State Park provides an incredible hunting experience for any hunter, from novice to professional. With its vast 3,000-acre landscape of mountains, valleys, and wetlands, it’s the perfect place to find game species like mule deer, elk, and even moose.
Deer hunting is particularly popular here. The park has a dense population of mule deer that roam freely throughout the area – making it ideal for tracking them in their natural habitat against the majestic backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains.
But if you’re after something more challenging – then why not try your luck at elk hunting? Jordanelle State Park offers plenty of rugged terrain and thick forests where these elusive creatures can be found with some skillful patience – trust us when we say that harvesting one here is an amazing reward!
Plus, there are also great opportunities for waterfowl hunters too; with many lakes and marshes available to explore home to ducks, geese, or swans – this really is a delight for hunters.
Fishlake National Forest
Fishlake National Forest is an ideal place for hunters of all levels. From mule deer to mountain lions, it’s teeming with wildlife and offers stunning scenery. Plus, there are robust populations of wild turkeys that make this a popular spot for turkey-hunting aficionados.
The forest service works hard to manage the game population while preserving their natural habitats – something we as responsible hunters must respect and practice ethical hunting methods. For those looking for more of a challenge, Fishlake provides backcountry hunts where you can truly push your skillset to the limit by trekking through rugged terrain in search of prey.
Private Hunting Places in Utah
Private hunting lands in Utah are off-limits to the public, owned and operated by individuals or organizations who have exclusive rights to hunt on their land. To gain access, you must obtain permission from the landowner before entering their property. Respect is always essential when visiting private grounds so it’s important to follow all of their rules and regulations while there.
The benefits of hunting on private lands far outweigh those found on public ones, competition is reduced as only a limited number of hunters are allowed onto any one property; plus, landowners will manage these properties specifically for game which means more abundant prey for you!
Before venturing out into the wilds, make sure you do your research first: look up websites that connect hunters with landowners offering access; join local hunting clubs; ask fellow outdoorsmen about quality spots they recommend. Also, remember to get all necessary permits and licenses squared away prior to your hunt!