Hey there everyone, I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year! I again apologize for the lack of posts as my family took a couple of weeks away from all of our normal routine to visit family and friends from one end of Utah to the other. Good news is I have some great new outdoor toys to share here soon, as well as some video to put together to share with you soon as well!
Well, 2013 is in the books! It was a great year for many of us, but for others there's still dreams left unfilled (and tags!), hunts that take years to draw that are edging closer now, and I'm sure most of us look forward with hope and optimism to the melting of snow and return of spring/summer so we can get ourselves and families back into the outdoors. Me, well, I love winter! I get more outdoor time then with my family and friends than I do in the summer. But hey, ice fishing isn't for everyone! But don't get me wrong, I look for summers return anxiously.
However as summer's warmth still looms at least 3-4 months (if not 6 months) away for us, we have to do what we can now to prepare and plan for when it's here. As we enter January I have already been getting questions about hunting application periods. Yep, it's that time! For some folks planning the upcoming hunting season is a very big deal, and it is a type of excitement looked forward to that builds up all year until the hunt itself. I'm becoming a big fan of planning out my hunting season, not only now, but for years to come. My buddy Steve Barker wrote an article a couple of years ago for us on that very subject and it has sold me! Before we get into the specifics of Utah and a few surrounding states, take a second to read his thoughts on planning your hunt: "You'll Run Out of Time Before You Run Out of Money".
Let's face it, non-resident big game hunting costs a good deal of money. Not just for the pricey tags, licenses, and investments into bonus points, but also in the time, travel, and gear associated with the hunt. Those are great reasons why it is good to take Steve's advice, do your research, and plan it out for years to come. I'm trying to get myself setup for 1 out-of-state hunt a year. I'll admit, I've lived in fear of drawing 2-3 all in the same year. Hopefully I'm on a good path with my plan now.
Now, here's a short breakdown of when to look to apply for Utah big game hunts, as well as a few surrounding states. Keep in mind these do not include antlerless dates for the most part, although (as in the case of Arizona) those application dates are the same.
The application period is pushed back again this year. I'm sure this will cause a little bit of panic again as folks look to apply in January and can't figure out why they can't. The application period runs January 30th through March 6th. You have until March 20th to purchase a bonus point. http://wildlife.utah.gov/hunting-in-utah/hunting-information/big-game.html
Arizona will be opening up any day now for elk and pronghorn. Their website says "early to mid January" and the application period will close on February 11th at 7 PM.
No dates have yet to be released for the fall hunts (Deer, sheep, buffalo, etc.). If you are interested, Arizona does have a lot of leftover tags for spring Javelina hunts! http://www.azgfd.gov/eservices/draw.shtml
Wyoming is another state you need to jump on ASAP if you wish to apply for a tag! The application period opened January 1st and will close January 31st (for deer and elk).
Antelope application period is January 1st through March 15th.
Moose, sheep, goats, and bison runs January 1st through February 28th.
Keep in mind these dates are for non-resident applications. Wyoming has separate (longer) application periods for residents.
However, if you are seeking to build your bonus points, those can be purchased July 1st through September 31st. http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/home.aspx
Nevada has not released any information as of yet. Look for their application period mid March to mid April. http://www.ndow.org/hunt/
Colorado also has not released any application information yet. This should be available very soon, and look for the application dates March to April. https://wildlife.state.co.us/HUNTING/BIGGAME/Pages/BigGame.aspx
Idaho has also not released any information yet. http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/rules/?getPage=63
That's all I have for you at this time, but don't forget to check out great states like Montana and New Mexico that kicked out some great bucks and bulls during 2013. Good luck to you all, and here's to 2014 being even better than 2014!