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HUNT GOOD FOR FEW WHO STUCK IT OUT

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It seems that those few who weathered the storm did well. And those who didn't either left before hunting got going, took shelter in tents and trucks, or never left the warmth of their beds to begin with, and did poorly.

With no firm figures yet on the 1996 Utah deer hunt, indications are that the Saturday opener was poor, in more ways than one, while the Sunday hunt was very good.Whether this will translate into slightly better or slightly worse results, won't be known until after the hunt.

"Initial indications are we may have harvested more deer this year than we did last year. Our reports this summer showed we have more deer, statewide. Most every hunter we talked with, especially on the second day, at least saw deer," said Mike Welch, big game coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

"If we get any break in the weather, hunters should do well on the second weekend."

In the Northern Region, there was a continued increase in the number of deer checked as daylight waned on Sunday. Officers reported checking more 31/2-year-old or older deer this year.

In the Northeastern Region, officers said there was a noticeable difference in deer checked from the eastern and western slopes of the Uintas. Eastern deer were fatter, a result of a wetter summer, while western deer showed less body fat, a result of a dry summer. About 60 to 70 percent of the deer checked were spike or yearlings.

In the Central Region, about 40 percent of the deer checked were 21/2 or older.

In the Southeastern Region, were weather was better, officers said most camps checked had at least one deer and many had three or four. Success was good on the North Manti, but poor on the South Manti.

Some of the best hunting was in the Southern Region where weather was not a factor. Some of the larger deer taken on opening weekend were also from this area.