SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As a way to avoid overloading its permit system, the Utah DWR is proposing to add general-season elk permits to the big game drawing for one year.

In the past three years, these permits have been sold online and over the counter, but due to increased public interest in elk hunting, the DWR says this “has led to slower processing times and a frustrating customer experience.”

In an effort to resolve these frustrations, the DWR is recommending to include the general-season any bull elk and spike elk permits in the big game drawing for a one-year trial period.

“During this one-year trial period, we will assess the pros and cons of the current system compared to including the permits in the big game drawing,” DWR Wildlife Licensing Coordinator Lindy Varney said. “We will also work with the statewide elk committee to improve the permit process. Then, we will recommend a long-term solution in 2022 that we hope will alleviate the issues our customers have experienced in recent years.”

A few other minor changes are being recommended for the 2022 big game season:

  • A new late season, limited-entry muzzleloader deer hunt in the South Slope, Myton Unit from Nov. 12-27. This hunt would help control the prevalence of chronic wasting disease in this area by targeting mature bucks, which are twice as likely to contract and spread chronic wasting disease.
  • An extended archery deer hunt in the Box Elder, West Bear River Unit from Sept. 17 to Nov. 30.
  • A pronghorn muzzleloader hunt in the South Slope, Vernal Unit from Sept. 28 to Oct. 6

The DWR is requesting the public’s feedback on these recommendations.

According to the DWR website, over the next month, each of Utah’s five Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) will meet to discuss these proposals and submit recommendations to the Utah Wildlife Board. The Utah Wildlife Board will then vote on the proposals.

The public will be able to share their feedback on the DWR website or attend the board meeting in person.