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Utah Bison Hunting

 

Utah Bison Hunting

Utah is one of the only states to have truly wild bison populations within its state boundaries. The Book Cliffs and Henry Mountains bison populations are completely self-sustaining herds that live most, if not all, of their lives within public land open to hunting. This is vastly different than most other states that rely on National and State Parks and Indian Reservation lands that house bison for most of the year. This creates a much more sought-after hunting experience of matching wits and skill against an animal on his home turf instead of waiting for that animal to jump a fence or cross an imaginary line that allows the hunter to harvest it.

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Utah has been fairly aggressive with their bison permits to the point that now there are only 2 out of 14 hunts available that are off limits to non-residents. Trophy quality is good in most units, but it looks like the Book Cliffs is pulling away from the Henry Mountains for trophy quality. UDNR is getting pulled from different directions on the Henry Mountains herd between hunt quality and local ranchers concerned about grazing competition on BLM grazing allotments. Local ranchers are constantly proposing reducing bison numbers during these drought years so their cattle have less competition from bison for food and water. Consequently, the permit numbers have taken wild swings in the last five to six years and we really don't know what the permit numbers will look like until they publish the draw.

In 2020, Utah added a new over-the-­counter bison hunt along the Green River in Desolation Canyon. This was an outstanding success in the first year with 123 bison harvested out of 248 permits sold.

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Almost all of these bison lived all summer and most of their fall on the Ute Indian reservation until late fall and winter when they would come across the Green River onto non-native public and private land. This last year with additional improvements made to road access throughout the reservation along the Green River to deter these bison from leaving, better forage conditions, and likely smarter bison, the total number of bison harvested was a mere 8 out of 163 permits sold. This will most likely be the norm from here on out for this short-lived opportunity bison hunt.

Bison are doing well on the whole in Utah, and these hunts are truly free-range. Utah is one of the only states in the West that can boast this. If you are applying for other species as a non-resident, it just makes sense to throw your name in the hat for bison.

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Self Guided DIY Utah Bison Hunts

For access to all of our research and data we've collected over the last 20+ years, then join today and access the best research tools for hunting Bison in Utah including 3D Maps, Draw Odds, Consultations and much more. Go on more hunts with better information!

 

Application Dates for Bison in Utah

The Utah big game application period deadline 15 11 :00 p.m. mst on March 3, 2022. the deadline to apply for bonus/preference points or to withdraw your application 15 March 17, 2022.

Our online/print magazine has everything in one location: Application info, draw details and odds, fees, hunter requirements, point structure, age restrictions, youth information, weapon restrictions, other tag opportunities, hunt planning and much more. If you would like access to all of our research join today!

Utah Non-Resident Bison Hunting Fees

2022 UTAH NON-RESIDENT FEES
Up-Front Fees
Non-Resident Hunting License $72
Youth (17 and younger) Non-Resident Hunting License $29
Application Fee per Species $15
Post Draw Fees (if successful)
Desert Bighorn Sheep $2,200
Rocky Bighorn Sheep $2,200
Moose $2,200
Rocky Mountain Goat $2,200
Bison $2,200
Limited-Entry Elk $1,000
Multi-Season Limited-Entry Elk $1,805
Youth Any Bull Elk $593
Premium Limited-Entry Buck Deer $768
Multi-Season Premium Limited-Entry Buck Deer $1,330
Limited-Entry and Limited-Entry Management Buck Deer $650
Multi-Season Limited-Entry Buck Deer $1,100
General Deer (archery, muzzleloader, rifle)
Dedicated Hunter Deer Program $1,047
Antelope $337

 

Utah Bison Hunting Articles from Huntin' Fool Magazine