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Wildlife board OKs more chances to hunt big game in 2017

More chances to hunt mountain goats will be available in Utah next year.  Members of the Utah Wildlife Board recently approved a new mountain goat hunt on Mount Dutton. They also approved an archery-only mountain goat hunt on a portion of the Uinta Mounta
More chances to hunt mountain goats will be available in Utah next year. Members of the Utah Wildlife Board recently approved a new mountain goat hunt on Mount Dutton. They also approved an archery-only mountain goat hunt on a portion of the Uinta Mountains.
Tom Becker, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the Utah Wildlife Board, a panel of seven Utahns appointed by the governor, approved new opportunities for big game hunters in 2017.

At its Dec. 9 meeting, the board approved additional buck deer hunts on the Henry Mountains in southeastern Utah; the first-ever mountain goat hunt on Mount Dutton in south-central Utah; more chances to hunt deer with muzzleloaders after the general rifle hunt; and special archery-only mountain goat and bison hunts.

According to Justin Shannon, big game coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, a hunt in the Henry Mountains is needed to reduce the buck-to-doe ratio. The hunt will be open to archery and muzzleloader hunters. The only bucks hunters can take are those that have three or fewer points on at least one of their antlers.

Shannon also said the mountain goat population on Mount Dutton can sustain having hunters take a few animals from it.

In addition, the board approved a recommendation for three additional muzzleloader late-season, limited-entry buck deer hunts. The hunts will occur at the beginning of November on three general season deer units — Ogden in northern Utah, and Mount Dutton and Plateau, Fishlake, in south-central Utah.

The board also approved two new archery hunts for mountain goats and bison in eastern Utah.

The mountain goat hunt on the north and south slopes of the High Uintas central unit will take place Aug. 19-Sept. 10. Billy or nanny goats can be taken. Archery hunters will also be able to take a bull or a cow bison on the Henry Mountains from Oct. 6-20.

For those who draw a permit for one of the hunts, it will be the only opportunity they’ll have in their lifetime to hunt that species in the state.

Applications for the 2017 big game hunts will be accepted at www.wildlife.utah.gov starting Jan. 26. For more information, call 801-538-4700.