Tags: Gun Control | hunting | utah | animals | year-round

Hunting in Utah: 4 Animals to Hunt Year-round

By    |   Monday, 01 February 2016 05:26 PM

While Utah offers an enormous list of species that can legally be taken during seasonal hunts, the list of animals that can be harvested year-round is limited.

In Utah, each category of animal offered is featured in its own state-issued guidebook that can be downloaded for free from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website. There are guidebooks for big game, big game field regulations, fishing, antlerless hunting, upland game and turkey hunting, waterfowl, black bear, and cougar. Also offered are guidebooks for furbearers, falconry, amphibians and reptiles, and the rules impacting collection and transportation of animals.

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The trick to navigating these books is knowing what you want to hunt and under which category it falls. Here are four animals that can legally be taken year-round.

1. Muskrats
Muskrat hunting is open statewide and requires no license, but it does require a special permit if you are trapping it in a waterfowl management area. Muskrats are large rodents with thick brown fur and scaly tails. They can grow to about 2 feet long, including the tail, and have webbed rear feet. They are most active at night.

2. Red foxes
Red foxes are much the same as muskrats in that these animals also have year-round and statewide status, one that also comes with no bag limits. No license is needed to hunt red foxes in Utah. The red fox is an opportunist when it comes to eating. It will eat small animals and fruit, amphibians, and whatever careless humans leave within reach. They look a lot like the gray fox, but the gray fox has a black tip to the tail.

3. Striped skunks
The harvesting of striped skunk can be done statewide and year-round. There is no limit to the number of animals a single hunter can take. A license is not needed. These feisty animals can be found almost anywhere in North America. You can find them in open areas within a mix of habitats such as woods or grasslands or meadows. They usually do not venture more than 2 miles from a water source. Like the fox, they are omnivorous and will consume anything they find; meat, plant, nuts, fruit, or crustaceans.

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4. Coyotes
Hunters are encouraged to take coyote statewide whenever they can through Utah's predator control program. Each coyote taken that meets state guidelines qualifies the hunter to receive $50. The Utah legislature created the program in 2012 to benefit mule deer, a favorite prey of the coyote. The coyote kills must be properly documented to qualify for the bounty. Controversy has erupted about this program following a Utah hunter shooting a rare gray wolf thinking it was a coyote. Some feel better training is needed on field recognition of the differences between coyote and wolves.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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While Utah offers an enormous list of species that can legally be taken during seasonal hunts, the list of animals that can be harvested year-round is limited.
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Monday, 01 February 2016 05:26 PM
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