UTAH (ABC4) – During the 2022 legislative session, Gov. Spencer Cox signed three bills into law that will be impacting hunters and outdoor recreation in Utah.

Donation of Wild Game Meat – HB142

  • Hunters harvesting meat can now donate the meat to local food banks or nonprofit charitable organizations.
  • The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) says the meat must be harvested legally by a licensed hunter and can only be donated, not sold for profit. Officials say the meat must come from animals in good health and the animal must be field-dressed immediately after harvest and processed by a custom meat processor as soon as possible.
  • The new bill also established a DWR account where people can donate money to those processing the meat.

Air Rifle Hunting Amendments – SB205

  • This law determines which wildlife species can be hunted with an air rifle along with the type of rifle that can be used.
  • “The rifle must be a pre-charged pneumatic air rifle that uses compressed air released from a chamber built into the rifle,” says DWR. “It should be pressurized at a minimum of 2,000 pounds per square inch from an external high-compression source, such as a hand pump, compressor or scuba tank.”

Big Game Amendments – HB62

  • This law clarifies the actions that a landowner and the DWR can take when wildlife causes damage to cultivated crops, livestock forage, fences or irrigation equipment.
  • The law clarifies the circumstances under which a landowner may kill big game animals that are causing the damage. The law also specifies the compensation available for such damage along with limitations on compensating people, including hunting guides and outfitters, to locate big game animals during Utah hunts.
  • Specifically, licensed hunters cannot use more than one outfitter or hunting guide in connection with harvesting a big game animal. DWR says that guide cannot use more than one compensated individual to locate or monitor the location of a big game animal on public land.

“We are confident that these bills, among others, will help us in our mission to effectively manage Utah’s wildlife and will provide Utah hunters with some additional opportunities,” says DWR Director J Shirley.