A unique program created by the Utah Division of Wildlife provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for coyote hunters to help increase Utah’s Mule deer populations. An added benefit to the program is that successful hunters can also get paid handsomely for having fun in the field.
Utah initiated a unique predator-control program provides a cash incentive for any qualified hunter who wants to take coyotes. Participants in this program can receive $50 for each properly documented coyote that they kill in Utah. However, hunters hoping to cash in on the coyote bounty must pre-register for the program and follow through on a few simple rules.
Sen. Ralph Okerlund, a Republican from Monroe, Utah, sponsored the Mule Deer Preservation Act during the 2012 Legislative Session. The new law allocated the $50 bounty that is projected to help significantly reduce coyote populations, and thereby preventing the predation of potentially thousands of Mule deer annually.
“Our members have been behind Utah’s coyote bounty program since its beginning, and we’re excited to see the bounty has grown to fifty dollars per dog,” said SFW Coyote Specialist Bryce Pilling of Delta, Utah. “Some SFW members throughout the state spend more days hunting coyotes than they do hunting big game.”
The program’s popularity can also be measured by the number of people registered for the program, which continues to rise year after year, according to the DWR. The program is responsible for removing nearly 25,000 of the predators throughout the state.
“Coyotes occur in every corner of the state and are responsible for a large number of deer kills,” Pilling added. “Coyotes take deer year-round, but especially in the spring and early summer months. That’s why we encourage our members to hunt these predators all year long.”
SFW is greatly encouraged by the fact that Utah’s deer herds are on the rebound. Leadership at SFW meets regularly with the DWR to discuss the program and its effectiveness. SFW agrees with wildlife biologists and game managers that the state’s coyote bounty program is a key component to the long-term health and growth of deer populations state wide.
How does Utah’s Predator Control Program benefit mule deer?
Several key factors can affect mule deer survival and limit deer numbers, including the severity of weather and the amount of forage available during wintering months. In years with mild weather and high quality and quantity habitat is available, then removing predators is likely to increase fawn survival rates.
Register for the program.
If you are interested in participating, you must first complete an online training course. Registration is easy, and before you know it you can be making money while you simultaneously help save Utah’s deer.
Below is a list of required steps:
1) Complete the online training and registration course
2) Find coyote check-in locations and times
3) Download the Coyote Compensation Form
4) Review the statewide map (382 KB PDF)
5) Read the program report for 2015 online
6) Apply for the Targeted Predator Control Program
Learn how to register for the program, where to check your coyotes, and other details about Utah’s coyote bounty program here.