3 New Hunting Laws in Utah

Utah has some of the best hunting opportunities in the country. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is responsible for managing, sustaining, and enhancing the state’s wildlife populations and conserving wildlife habitats. They also oversee hunting and fishing opportunities throughout the state.

The efforts of DWR ensure the survival of the various species of animals available for hunting and fishing, so those future generations will also have the opportunity to enjoy hunting activities. At the same time, the laws imposed provide important procedures to ensure hunter safety.

You can go here for the best Utah hunting gear and advice to ensure you have a safe and successful hunting season this year, and for many more years to come.

Three new laws have recently been introduced to help DWR continue to service hunters in the State and manage the wildlife.

Donating wild game meat

H.B. 142 – for hunters who wish to donate wild game meat to either local food banks or other non-profit organizations, there are some restrictions. 

  • The hunters must be licensed,
  • The hunters cannot sell the meat,
  • The meat must have been harvested from animals that were in good health,
  • the animal must have been field-dressed immediately after harvest, and
  • the animal must be processed by a custom meat processor as soon as possible after harvest.
  • Road-kill animals cannot be donated to local organizations.

The DWR said that H.B. 142 enables people to donate money to those who process the meat so that they can be compensated for their time and services.

Hunting with an air bow in Utah

S.B. 205 – currently, an air bow can only be used to hunt big game species in Utah. This new law allows wildlife officials to begin the process of determining which other wildlife species can be hunted with an air bow in the state. 

It clarifies what kind of air bow can be used, specifically:

  • the bow must be a pre-charged pneumatic air bow that uses compressed air released from a chamber built into the bow,
  • 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.

The DWR will review the funding currently available for regulating hunting with air bows and will report back to lawmakers by November 2024.

H.B. 62, big game amendments

This law provides guidelines to landowners about what actions they can take if they discover wildlife damaging crops, consuming forage that is meant for livestock or damaging their fences or irrigation equipment. These guidelines provide specific details about whether landowners can kill big game animals that caused the damage.

The law also provides limits on how big game hunters in Utah can use hunting guides and outfitters.

Animals commonly hunted in Utah include:

  • Mule 
  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Antelope
  • Pheasant
  • Ducks
  • Geese
  • Rabbits
  • Sage grouse
  • Forest grouse
  • Chukar partridge
  • Mourning dove, and 
  • Wild turkeys. 

Hunting of Big Game, Black Bears, Cougars, and coyotes is also allowed.

You can hunt in most public areas of the state, except in national parks, monuments, and state parks.

By applying these and all other hunting laws, you can be sure that hunting remains a safe sport and pastime.

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