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DWR Proposes Turkey Change

More hunters could be hunting wild turkeys in Utah next spring.

The Division of Wildlife Resources will present two turkey hunting proposals at a series of upcoming public meetings.

The first proposal would increase the number of turkey permits in Utah by 30 percent for the spring 2008 hunts.

The second proposal would more than double the number of permits. It would also create a third hunting season and would allow hunters in two regions -- and a part of a third -- to hunt across those regions during the third season.

The meetings provide an opportunity to learn more about the proposals and to provide biologists with your input and suggestions.

The meeting for the southeastern region will be on Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the John Wesley Powell Museum at 885 East Main Street in Green River.

"Interest in turkey hunting is growing in Utah, and we want to give

as many hunters a chance to hunt them as we can," says Dennis Southerland, upland game coordinator for the DWR. "There are enough turkeys in Utah that we believe we can do that without affecting the turkey populations."

When it comes to reproducing, Southerland says upland game are different from big game and many other wildlife species.

"Turkeys and other upland game reproduce at a high rate," he says. "It's not unusual for a single male turkey to breed as many as 10 females. And female turkeys are very productive. They usually lay a clutch of between 10 to 12 eggs. Only male turkeys are hunted in Utah. We think an increase in permits - even as big as the one we're proposing - would not have an impact on the state's turkey populations. And it would give more hunters a chance to get out and enjoy turkey hunting."

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