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Archery hunt should be good this year

Susan Erickson takes her sons John, Teagan and Donte hunting during the archery season.

Archery hunters will find more bucks in southeastern Utah this year, says Bill Bates, Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) wildlife manager.

"Moderately good fawn production and winter survival in the past few years have strengthened herds across the region," reports Bates. "Most units show both short and long term upward trends with respect to the total number of deer in all general season deer units."

While the number of deer is up in the region, all herd units remain below management objective for total numbers of deer.

Wildlife habitat in southeastern Utah faces a long road to recovery after many years of drought, which continues to the present.

"If the weather returns to a normal pattern, the vegetation in the region will rebound and deer herds should continue to grow," said Bates.

Recounting the buck-to-doe ratio for each unit, Bates indicates that Range Creek sits at 31:100. Along the Central Mountains-Manti unit in Carbon and Emery counties, the deer population is gradually rising with a buck: doe ratio of 17:100. Further south in the LaSal Mountains by Moab, the deer population is on the upswing with a buck: doe ratio of 15:100.

The Abajo Mountains in San Juan County supports a growing herd with a buck: doe ratio of 22:100.

While deer populations continue to increase, Bates warns against over confidence. Hunting conditions may be hot and dry, unless there's a long-term change in the weather pattern. Bates recommends that hunters look for deer in the vicinity of permanent water sources.

This is a good year to do pre-season scouting. Take time to watch the deer in your prospective hunting area. Find out where they bed down, feed and water. Then develop a hunting strategy, based on those observations.

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