Good idea. I am affraid we will have to start from scratch on a lot of things. I copied and pasted a lot of things for the backbone of the plan, all gone now so everything must be re-typed off of the top of our heads.
)In 1989 Utah began issuing spike tags to increase the number of mature bulls on many of the elk units in Utah. The idea was to allow a certain percentage of the yearling bull elk population to be harvested while restricting the harvest of mature bulls. This also enabled the DWR to issue several thousand spike tags with very low harvest numbers, allowing for many people the opportunity to hunt yearly with reduced harvest of the bull population compared to the OTC any-bull tag policy that preceded the spike/limited entry policy. We believe the spike tag still has it’s place in the management of both elk and elk hunters. We propose eliminating the issuing of spike tags on the following five units(1): North Cache, Wasatch, Nebo, Fish Lake, and LaSal. We propose introducing spike tags to the following five units(2): San Juan, Monroe, Pahvant, Pansagaunt, and SW Desert. This will allow more bulls to reach maturity on the (1) units increasing the number of mature bulls that can be harvested yearly. These units will also have season date changes that will be addressed in the next paragraph. It will also reduce the bull:cow ratios on the (2) units which currently have an excess of mature bulls. Issuing spike tags for a determined time will reduce the number of bulls being recruited into the mature bull population without affecting quality. This also allows the displaced spike hunters from the (1) units a place to hunt spikes in addition to the increase in mature bull tags in the (1) units as well as an increase in cow tags as the bull:cow ratios come more in line with the current Elk Management Plan. This will minimize the loss of yearly spike tags by redeploying where the spike tags will be issued based on bull:cow ratios and average harvest ages determined by the DWR biologists. As bull:cow ratios become more balanced, more cows will be available for harvest and too increase the recruitment of calves into the herds each year.
2)We propose changing the season dates on the (1) units to the following:
September 1-21 Limited Archery, any-bull
September 26-October 4 Limited Muzzleloader, any-bull
October 6-14 Limited Rifle any-bull on the North Cache, Wasatch, and Nebo units
November 10-16 Limited Rifle any-bull on the Fish Lake and LaSal units
All three seasons Premium Limited any-bull
3)We propose changing tag allotments for the (1) units from 60/25/15 to 50/30/20, meaning changing rifle tags from 60% of the total tags to 50%, archery from 25% of the total tags to 30%, and muzzy from 15% of the tags to 20%.. Giving more tags tp primitive weapons combined with the season date changes will decrease harvest success rates, allowing for more mature tags to be issued for all weapon choices.
4)We propose the (a) unit tags be issued thru a preference point system, while keeping the remaining(23) limited entry elk units be under the current bonus point system. We propose hunters a one time option of which point system to deploy their current elk points, meaning someone with 10 LE elk points can choose one time, which pool to apply for; the (1) units or the remaining 23 limited entry units. Once that hunter has chosen which pool he/she prefers, his/her points are no longer transferable. Those who opt for the preference point pool, when they draw a (1) unit tag, they will have no waiting period for (1) unit permits, but will still be required a five year waiting period for the bonus point units. This will allow hunters to chose between the two systems, which will reduce the number of applicants for both pools, this will increase the odds for drawing a limited entry tag for all applicants.
5)Make reporting mandatory, including tooth submitting with the DWR aging all teeth submitted, instead of just a sample of the teeth submitted. The reporting will be done online.
We believe that by the changes in season dates, elimination of spike tags on the (1) units, getting bull to cow ratios in check with the Elk Management Plan, mandatory reporting, tag allotment changes on the (1) units, more tags can be issued while maintaining quality. In addition, by redeploying the spike tags from the (1) units to the (2) units on a scaled down tag number the bull to cow ratios on the (2) units will become more inline with the desired ratios per the Elk Management Plan. This proposal will allow more hunters the opportunity to hunt mature quality animals in Utah while minimizing lost yearly opportunities for OTC tags.
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