The Utah chapter was recently invited by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to sit on the Elk Management Plan Committee. Every seven years, the Division rewrites this plan to provide guidance on each specific unit plan, which is drafted after the statewide plan is finalized. Chapter Chair Perry Hall is representing the BHA constituency, with Board Member William Peterson as his alternate. The committee is running from late April through Mid-September, and is comprised of stakeholders from NGO’s, USFS, BLM, private landowners, agriculture, guides and outfitters, elected officials, hunting industry professionals, academia, and more. The first meeting was used to establish what is currently working well and what needs improvement with the current management plan in Utah and establishing guidelines for the committee.
The most impactful meeting so far being a four-hour presentation of data regarding elk with some fascinating information presented regarding neonatal studies, antler growth, age class objectives, what makes a healthy elk herd, and areas of concern around the state. The committee is tasked to have difficult conversations on topics such as limited entry draw odds, over the counter opportunity, age class management objectives, season dates, and overall herd health.
The Utah chapter surveyed its membership to help provide insight on the thoughts of the constituency on the topic of elk management in Utah. We received a healthy number of responses and as expected, the BHA membership provided useful feedback which we will consider when the committee begins discussing these issues.
BHA is grateful to have a seat at the table with the likes of RMEF, Utah Archery Association, Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, Utah DWR, BYU, USFS, and BLM, and looks forward to providing its constituency with outcomes they will be happy with, continuing Utah’s hunting heritage and providing elk hunting opportunities for all into the future. Meetings are held at the Central Region office for the DWR, in Springville Utah from 5-9 PM on either Wednesdays or Thursdays on a (roughly) bi-weekly schedule. These meetings are open to the public, but public comments are not taken during the meetings.
For additional information please reach out to Perry Hall ([email protected]).