UTAH (ABC4) – Hunters purchasing elk permits over-the-counter can continue doing so after a new approval was passed on Thursday.

The Utah Wildlife Board will continue selling the permits online and over-the-counter at DWR offices and retail locations. The permits have seen an increase in popularity for the past three years.

This year, 17,500 permits sold out in about 10 hours. In 2020, 15,000 permits were only sold online due to COVID-19 concerns and sold out in eight hours. In 2019, all 15,000 permits sold out in 11 days.

“The increased demand for these permits has caused an overload to the license sales system for the past two years, which has led to slower processing times and a frustrating customer experience,” says Lindy Varney, DWR Wildlife Licensing Coordinator. “Our current contracted sales system does well during the rest of the year, but these ‘sales days’ for the elk permits cause a buying rush that overloads the system a few days a year.”

New hunting rules approved:

  • A five-day extension on the archery of any bull elk hunt will last until the 2022 season.
  • An additional two days have been added to the end of the youth any-bull elk hunting season.
  • A new late-season, limited-entry muzzleloader deer hunt in the South Slope, Myton Unit from Nov. 12-27.
  • An extended archery deer hunt in the Box Elder, West Bear River Unit from Sept. 17 to Nov. 30.
  • Board approved the DWR look into a two-to-three-year cycle for big game hunting season dates, rather than one year.
  • Board voted for DWR to evaluate requirements to wear orange while hunting, comparing Utah’s current requirements to those in other western states.

Waterfowl Hunting Season Changes

  • Utah’s swan hunting season closed early due to hunters reaching the federal quota of 20 trumpeter swans early. The wildlife board has approved an annual orientation course for anyone applying for a swan hunting permit.
  • A new rule also prohibits applying for a swan hunting permit for several years if they harvest a trumpeter swan.

For all new rules, permit changes, and proposals approved/introduced for this coming year, click here.