Deer, Big Game Hunting License Application Deadlines Draw Near

D&DH Editor-in-Chief Dan Schmidt has traveled far and wide in pursuit of whitetails and loves experiencing new places to hunt.

D&DH Editor-in-Chief Dan Schmidt has traveled far and wide in pursuit of whitetails and loves experiencing new places to hunt.

If you’re planning to travel this year for a deer hunting trip in some of the western states, it’s high time to get on the stick and get in your applications.

Hunting season application deadlines are drawing near in some states. In the past couple of weeks I’ve noticed, for example, that Utah’s application deadline is March 5. The outlook is favorable this season, too, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in this press release:

After the hunts were over last fall, biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources visited areas in Utah where deer congregate in the winter. What they found is promising news for the state’s deer hunters. On general-season units that are comprised mostly of public land, biologists saw an average of 21 bucks for every 100 does. Twenty years ago, the average buck-to-doe ratio was eight bucks per 100 does.

“If hunting deer is something you enjoy,” says Justin Shannon, big game coordinator for the DWR, “you have plenty of reasons to be excited about this fall’s hunt.”

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SEE ALSO: Secrets to Scout, Hunt and Kill Big Bucks

Shannon says the higher buck-to-doe ratio is good news for hunters — it means more bucks, and older bucks, will be available this fall. In addition to bucks comprising a higher percentage of the total population, the total number of deer in Utah is also increasing.

Over the past five years, biologists have placed radio collars on hundreds of deer across Utah. Placing the collars allows biologists to track the deer and know when one of them dies. Based on data gathered through the survey, biologists estimate 84 percent of the doe deer in Utah, and 82 percent of the fawns, made it through 2014.

“Those are great survival rates,” Shannon says. “There’s no question that mule deer populations are growing in Utah.”

Up in Montana, the application deadline is March 16 for deer and elk permits for resident and non-resident hunters. Iowa’s 2015 season application deadline doesn’t come for a few more months but it’s good to keep in mind.

Traveling to another state or up into Canada to hunt can be fun, exciting and is a great way to enjoy our country’s natural resources. You’ll see different parts of the country, meet new folks and likely have a super time provided you plan well and have realistic expectations.

I’m from Alabama and haven’t ventured to too many states for deer, but last season I was fortunate enough to head to Illinois and also Saskatchewan for two great hunts. How great? One was so enjoyable thanks to good hunting buds, a great location and just a cool experience that not killing a deer wasn’t too much of a disappointment.

Deer & Deer Hunting Editor-in-Chief Dan Schmidt has traveled far and wide. Last season that “gain a new experience” hit home when he found this on his great hunt in Oregon. He even got some tips on how to be a better long-range shooter and also about how to score deer antlers. Check out his video about the latter and learn to measure your antlers:

We’ll have some new stories soon, too, about some other trips from last season so stay tuned. Until then, get your license applications filed before the deadline and start thinking about that trip you’ve always wanted to take.

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Don’t Miss Your Best Deer Hunting Dates This Season!
The Whitetails 2015 Daily Calendar provides intriguing insight into whitetail deer with full-color photos and interesting factoids on deer traits, behavior, and more. This desktop whitetail calendar is great for any enthusiast looking for compelling information and captivating images of your number one deer, the whitetail. Enjoy a fun factoid per day on topics like:

  • What causes bucks to grow non-typical antlers
  • How deer adapt to deep snow and cold weather
  • The types of cover doe groups prefer for bedding areas
  • Mature buck behavior throughout the year
  • Survival traits and tricks of young fawns