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Utah's rifle deer hunt shorter this fall

From the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

-- Hunters  might see a few more young bucks when Utah's general rifle buck deer hunt starts Oct. 23. But, hunters will also have fewer days to take a deer.

Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says if you're hunting in northern Utah where the winter was mild this past winter, you could see more young bucks. If you're hunting in southwestern Utah, where deep snow covered the deer's winter range, you might see fewer young bucks.

Aoude says the number of mule deer in Utah is holding steady at just over 300,000 deer. The number of bucks wildlife biologists saw after last fall's hunting seasons averaged about 16 bucks per 100 does on the state's general-season units.

When you can hunt this fall depends on two things: your age and the area you choose to hunt.

On most of the state's units, those over 18 years of age can hunt for five days, from Oct. 23 to Oct. 28. Those who are 18 years of age or younger can hunt for nine days, from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31.

There are five units where all hunters regardless of age may hunt Oct. 23 to Oct. 25 only.  These include Northern Region--Cache unit and Ogden unit; Central Region--Oquirrh-Stansbury unit; Northeastern Region--South Slope, Vernal unit; and Southern Region--Monroe unit.

While approving rules for Utah's 2010 hunts, members of the Utah Wildlife Board shortened the season on the units after learning about the number of bucks per 100 does on the five units.

Utah's statewide deer management plan says action must be taken to increase the number of bucks per 100 does on units that fall below an average of 15 bucks per 100 does for three straight years. A map and boundary description for each of the five units is available at http://go.usa.gov/xLQ.

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