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Utah rifle buck deer hunt starts Oct. 20

SHARE Utah rifle buck deer hunt starts Oct. 20

SALT LAKE CITY — The general rifle buck deer hunt starts Oct. 20. More than 52,000 hunters, along with their family and friends, are expected to be in Utah's backcountry that day, according to the Division of Wildlife Resources.

DWR officials recommend hunting early in the morning or late in the day if the weather stays warm.

Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR, said with the exception of southern Utah, dry conditions have prevailed across the state this year.

"If it stays hot," Aoude says, "the deer will feed during the night. Then they'll move into heavy cover early in the morning. They won't come into the open again until evening nears.

"If you hunt during the middle of the day," Aoude says, "you'll have to bust through heavy cover to find the deer."

Because this past winter was so mild, most of the deer — including the fawns that were born in spring 2011 — made it through the winter. And that means more young bucks should be available to hunt this fall, according to the DWR.

Hunters who plan on riding an all-terrain vehicle during the hunt need to stay on designated roads and trails. Hunters who violate this rule could lose the privilege to use ATVs on public lands in Utah.

A 2012 deer hunt preview as well as deer hunting tips can be found at wildlife.utah.gov. The deer hunts end Oct. 28.