Despite shutdown, Deer Hunt begins with anti-lead ammunition pilot program

ST GEORGE – The rifle buck deer hunt, one of Utah’s most popular hunts begins Saturday, Oct. 19 and goes through Oct. 27. However, this year includes a few unique alterations that will affect Southern Utah hunters.

Most hunting in Utah occurs on federal land such as Bureau of Land Management or National Forrest Land. Because of the federal government shut down, none of the bathroom or camping facilities will be available, said  Lynn Chamberlain, conservation outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

However, hunters will be happy to hear that because the deer hunt is organized by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the federal government shutdown won’t affect any of the usual deer hunt processes.

“All access to federal land will not change and the deer hunt will go on as usual,” Chamberland said.

There will be roughly, 16,000 hunters wandering around in the Southern Utah wilderness areas this hunting season, Chamberlain said. Other outdoor enthusiasts and public-land users need to be aware that the activity level will increase significantly on National Forest and BLM land.

Conservation-minded hunters on one particular area of public land in Southern Utah will be rewarded this year. Those hunting in the “Zion Unit” – which includes most of the non-park land around Zion National Park – can be involved in a new program called The Non-Lead Ammunition Program. This program operated by the DWR in partnership with the Peregrine Fund, aims to help save the 20-40, endangered California Condors who inhabit the Zion Unit of the Southern Utah deer hunt, Chamberlain said.

All Zion Unit hunters with tags who don’t use Condor-poisoning lead bullets, or who clean up their deer’s entrails – which are typically left behind after a kill – could win a fourwheeler or one of five high powered hunting rifles that have been donated to the cause, Chamberlain said. Those Hunters can bring the the entrails – which can contain remnants of lead after a kill – to one of seven DWR check stations during the hunt to be entered into the drawing for prizes.

Two of the check stations will be at the respective DWR offices in Cedar City and Hurricane, near Quail Creek. The five other check stations will be in various locations around the Zion Unit. To find out check station times and locations call the Cedar City DWR office at 435-865-6100.

The DWR urges hunters and non-hunters alike to be courteous, ethical and follow safety rules.

All hunters are required to wear orange, and to not carry loaded firearms in their vehicle at any time, Chamberlain said. Officers patrolling these area’s will be writing citations for anyone not following these laws.

After the rifle-buck portion of the deer hunt ends on Oct. 27, the less trafficked, elk muzzle loader portion begins.

To report suspicious hunting activities including poaching, call the DWR office at 801-538-4700.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.


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  • Curly October 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Correction: The muzzleloader hunt has already ended. It has been 8 or 10 years since the muzzleloader hunt followed the rifle hunt.

    This year the buck deer muzzleloader hunt ended on Oct. 3.

    • Drew Allred October 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Thank you, Curly – you are right, we stand corrected. The elk muzzleloader hunt begins on October 30th. Report corrected.

  • Droid October 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    “who don’t use Condor-poisoning lead bullets”
    most Condors killed by drinking anti-freeze in parking lots. sorry. bulltets don’t break into “dozens anddozens” of little pieces, boys and girls.
    another enviro-disinformation factoid, being repeated everywhere by gullible reporters, these days.

    • Chappy October 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Have you ever actually weighed a bullet after it has been shot? I have, and I’ve seen as much as a 10% weight loss in copper jacketed hollow point ammunition. So this extra weight goes………into the target. (i.e., the buck you just shot.)

      While I agree that there is a lot of misinformation out there, this is not that far out. Yes, Condor’s are getting killed by drinking anti-freeze. But not a whole lot we can do about that. Now using a different type of ammunition while hunting? That is completely reasonable. As hunter’s, we also have a responsibility to be conservationists if we are going to continue our hunting traditions.

      Besides, its not like the state is telling us that we HAVE to use non-lead ammunition, like California has recently done. Utah is offering an incentive, and they are just asking people to participate.

      • DoubleTap October 16, 2013 at 10:25 am

        “its not like the state is telling us that we HAVE to use non-lead ammunition”…….YET!

  • L Scott Larsen October 15, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I hope that you, the readers are not buying into this malarkey about birds eating lead. They make us use steel shot to hunt ducks, but the sporting clay range has ponds all around with waterfowl swimming all over the place, and they are not going down and eating the lead off the bottom of to ponds, just as the condor is not eating the lead out of the guts of a dead deer.It’s all about control! If a condor dies from lead it’s because someone shot it. same with ducks. Wasn’t to long ago steel bullets were against the law, now they want us to use them.

    • DoubleTap October 16, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Most hunters know the real story about this. It IS about control.

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