Utah Big Game Hunting Overview
Utah offers a variety of hunting opportunities for both residents and non-residents, including big game, upland game, waterfowl, and turkey hunting. The state is known for its abundant elk and mule deer populations, with limited-entry and general season tags available through a lottery system and over-the-counter permits. Other big game species available to hunt in Utah include bison, moose, pronghorn antelope, rocky mountain bighorn sheep, and mountain goat. Upland game hunting in Utah includes species such as chukar, gray partridge, and pheasant, while waterfowl hunters can pursue species like ducks and geese. Turkey hunting is also popular in Utah, with both limited-entry and over-the-counter tags available. To obtain hunting tags in Utah, applicants must apply for limited-entry tags through a lottery system or purchase over-the-counter permits for certain species. All hunters must obtain a hunting license and a conservation permit before applying the hunt. Utah uses a points system for its limited-entry hunting tags.
Big Game Species
Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk, Bison, Moose, Mountain Goat, Sheep
Draw and OTC Sales and Dates
The Utah big game draw is the primary opportunity to draw tags for most big game species. For additional details on the draw and how it works, you can read more here.
|Black Bear and Cougar Draw
||Black Bear, Mountain Lion
||February 7th, 2023
||February 21st, 2023
|Big Game Draw
||Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk, Bison, Moose, Mountain Goat, Sheep
||March 23rd, 2023
||April 27th, 2023
|Antlerless Draw and Point Purchase
||Elk, Mule Deer, Point-only purchase for all species
||June 22nd, 2023
Utah has both bonus and preference points, which apply to different species and hunts. Details on how these points apply in the draw are provided on each draws detail pages.
Bonus points are earned when a permit application is unsuccessful in the drawing for limited-entry, CWMU or once-in-a-lifetime hunts. Bonus points can be earned for specific species and are not transferable. If an applicant obtains a limited-entry or once-in-a-lifetime permit for a species for which they have bonus points, they will forfeit those points.
Utah’s preference point system is designed to increase the chances of drawing a general-season buck deer, antlerless deer, antlerless elk, or doe pronghorn permit. Each time an applicant applies for one of these permits and is unsuccessful in the drawing, or by choosing to apply for a preference point only, they earn a preference point. Preference points are not transferable. Preference points are good for any general-season deer hunt choice, and an applicant forfeits their preference points if they draw a permit for that species.
For both bonus and preference points, group applications with members who have points will have their preference points averaged and rounded down to the nearest whole number.
Utah Points Types
|Elk - Limited Entry||Elk||Bonus Point||Both
|Antelope||Pronghorn Antelope||Bonus Point||Both
|Desert Bighorn Sheep||Desert Bighorn Sheep||Bonus Point||Both
|Rocky Montain Bighorn Sheep||Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep||Bonus Point||Both
|Deer - Limited Entry||Deer (Combined)||Bonus Point||Both
|Mountain Goat||Mountain Goat||Bonus Point||Both
|Spring Turkey||Turkey||Bonus Point||Both
|Mountain Lion||Mountain Lion||Bonus Point||Both
|Deer - General||Mule Deer||Preference Point||Both
|Black Bear||Black Bear||Preference Point||Both
|Deer - Antlerless||Deer (Combined)||Preference Point||Both
|Elk - Antlerless||Elk||Preference Point||Both
|Antelope - Doe||Pronghorn Antelope||Preference Point||Both
|Moose - Antlerless||Moose||Preference Point||Both
|Rocky Montain Bighorn Sheep - Ewe||Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep||Preference Point||Both
|Swan Permit||Swan||Preference Point||Both
|Sandhill Crane||Sandhill Crane||Preference Point||Both
|Sage Grouse||Sage Grouse||Preference Point||Both
|Sharp-tailed Grouse||Sharp-tailed Grouse||Preference Point||Both
|Dedicated Hunter||Preference Point||Both
How to build points
There are three methods that hunters can get bonus and preference points points.
- Apply for hunts during the big game draw, and be awarded a point for each unsuccessful application
- Directly purchase points-only during the big game draw
- Purchase points during the antlerless draw
Tags, Licenses, and Pricing
A valid hunting license is required to apply for the draw, including for purchasing points only. There is an application fee paid per species applied for. Fees for residents and non-residents licenses and permits are in the table below.
Key Regulations and Requirements
- Hunters Education is required for individuals born after Dec. 31, 1965. Proof that you’ve passed a hunter education course approved by the Division is required before applying for or obtain a hunting license or a big game permit.
- Hunters must be at least 12 years old.
- Individuals who are 11 years old may apply for or obtain any big game permits for which they are eligible, but must turn 12 before the end of the year in which they are applying (e.g. before Dec. 31, 2023 if applying for a 2023 permit). They still must be 12 years old before hunting.
- Individuals under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian while hunting big game, or by a responsible person who is 21 years of age or older and has been approved by the parent or legal guardian.
- Trail cameras (or non-handheld device) are prohibited in the take of big game from July 31–Dec. 31.
- Drones use to scout or hunt big game is prohibited from 48 hours before any big game hunt begins through 48 hours after any big game hunting season ends.
- Bow mounted rangerfinders are allowed for use.
- Mechanical broadheads and lighted nocks are allowed in Utah.
- A minimum 30 pound draw weight is required.
- Draw lock devices are prohibited.
- Hunters must carry their hunting permits on your person while hunting.
Utah allows group applications of up to four hunters. Group applications can be submitted for limited-entry and general season deer, elk, and antelope hunts. Group applications are not permitted for management buck or once-in-a-lifetime species.
Residents and non-residents can apply together in a group. It’s important to check there are a sufficient number of tags available in a unit before submitting a group application, as some units may not have sufficient non-resident tags available.
In group applications, points are totaled and averaged, and the number is rounded down. All members of a group must be entered in the same application session, and individuals cannot be added after submission. Once the group application is drawn, either everyone in the group will receive a permit or no one will.
Utah Hunting FAQ