On the eve of the Utah bucks, bulls, and once-in-a-lifetime (OIAL) application period opening… here are a few things that you need to know going into the 2017 application period:
The biggest change this year is in regards to how the general buck deer drawing will be carried out. In previous years applicants who had the highest number of preference points had their applications considered in entirety before moving on to applicants who had fewer preference points. This caused some concern among sportsmen as an applicant with 2 preference points was drawing a permit as a second or third choice before an applicant with fewer points but listed it as a first choice. A movement was initiated to alter the system to consider all applicants first choice selections before considering second, third, and fourth choices. Beginning this year, all applicant’s first choice selections will be considered before moving on to second choices.
Additionally, in an effort to reduce the phenomenon often referred to as “point creep” the DWR also decided to make an additional change to the general buck deer preference point draw. In the past, an applicant who did not receive a permit for a first choice selection received a preference point for next year. This allowed fortunate hunters who drew on their second, third, fourth, or fifth choices to obtain a permit AND a preference point. It didn’t take long for a “loophole” to be discovered and a handful of applicants took advantage of this to hunt sought after units while also accumulating preference points. Take care this year… be smart with your general buck deer application and know that this year if you draw ANY general buck deer permit your preference points will be reset to zero.
The 2017 Big Game Application Guidebook has an article that clearly describes these changes (https://wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks/2017_pdfs/2017_biggameapp.pdf).
There are a number of new limited entry and OIAL hunts available, study the hunt tables in the Application Guidebook to see if any of these new options would be viable for you.
Completely up to date spreadsheets are linked at the left of the page, just click the images. Best of luck to everyone and happy hunting!