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Deer Hunting Regulations


Are you planning to hunt big game in Utah this year? Before you apply for or obtain a permit, make sure you meet Utah’s age, hunter education, license and permit requirements.

Are you old enough?

Utah Code § 23-19-22

To hunt big game in Utah, you must be at least 12 years old.

If you are least 11 years old, you can apply for or obtain any big game permits for which you are eligible, including limited-entry and once-in-a-lifetime permits. Any 11-year-olds who apply must be 12 by Dec. 31, 2023.

Remember: You cannot hunt until you are 12 years old.

If you’re younger than 18, you can apply to participate in the Utah Hunter Mentoring Program. For details on the program, see the box on page 36 or visit mentoring.

If you’re 12 years old or older, you can also participate in the Trial Hunting Program. For details, see the box below.

Adults must accompany young hunters

Utah Code § 23-20-20

While hunting big game, a person under 16 years old must be accompanied by his or her parent, legal guardian or other responsible person who is 21 years of age or older and who has been approved by the parent or guardian.

The Division encourages adults to be familiar with hunter education guidelines or to complete the hunter education course before accompanying youth into the field.

While in the field, the youth and the adult must remain close enough for the adult to see and provide verbal assistance to the young hunter. Using electronic devices, such as walkie-talkies or cell phones, does not meet this requirement.

Have you passed hunter education?

Utah Code § 23-19-11 & Utah Admin. Rule R657-23

If you were born after Dec. 31, 1965, you must provide proof that you’ve passed a hunter education course approved by the Division before you can apply for or obtain a hunting license or a big game permit.

The only exception to this law is for indi- viduals who are participating in the Division’s Trial Hunting Program. You can find details about the program in the information box to the left or by visiting

Proof of hunter education

You can prove that you’ve completed hunter education by obtaining a hunter educa- tion card (called a “blue card” in Utah) or if you have a verified hunter education number on file with the Division. The number is assigned when you complete hunter education and your blue card is issued.

How to take hunter education

To get started, you should visit wildlife. You’ll see links to various traditional and online hunter educa- tion courses. Follow the instructions on the website to obtain a hunter education registra- tion certificate (required) and to register for a course online.

If you need assistance, please contact your local Division office or call 801-538-4727.

When you finish the course, your instructor will verify your course completion in the online hunter education system. At that point, you will be able to apply for or obtain permits in the Division’s hunt drawing, and your hunter education registration certificate will become your hunting license.

Approximately four to six weeks after you complete the course, you will receive your blue card by mail.

You should also keep the following in mind:

  • Hunters who are age 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult while hunting.
  • All hunting regulations, including season dates and bag limits, will apply.
  • Hunters who are planning to hunt out of state should allow enough time for their hunter education card to arrive in the mail.

New to Utah?

If you become a Utah resident, and you’ve completed a hunter education course in another state, province or country, you must obtain a Utah blue card before you can buy a resident hunting license. You can obtain a Utah blue card at any Division office by providing proof that you’ve completed a hunter educa- tion course approved by the Division.

Do you have a license?

Utah Code §§§ 23-19-1, 23-19-22 and 23-20-3

You must have a current Utah hunting or combination (hunting and fishing) license before you can apply for any big game permits, bonus points or preference points. Licenses are available at and from license agents and Division offices.

Be sure to take a look at the date on your license before you apply for any permits or points. As long as your license is valid on the date you submit your application, you don’t have to purchase a new license for the actual hunt.

For example, assume that your license expires on June 21, 2023. If you apply before that date, you do not have to purchase a new license for your hunt in the fall. All hunting and combination licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.

Do you have a permit?

Utah Admin. Rule R657-62-18

To participate in any of Utah’s big game hunts, you need to obtain a hunting permit.

Utah issues most of its big game permits through the big game hunt drawing. To apply for this drawing, visit between March 23 and April 27, 2023.

Carry your permit

Utah Admin. Rule R657-62-18

If you are successful in obtaining a big game permit, you must have it on your person while hunting. You cannot alter your license or permit, nor can you sell, transfer or loan either of them to another person.


Utah offers several different big game hunts each year. Depending on the permit you ob- tain, you could hunt deer, elk, pronghorn, bison, bighorn sheep, moose or mountain goat. The following section describes the species you can hunt, the weapons you can use and the types of permits that are available.

Buck deer hunting

Buck Deer

The following regulations apply to all of Utah’s buck deer hunts.

Hunter orange

Utah Code § 23-20-31

You are required to obey Utah’s hunter orange laws, unless your hunt is among
the exceptions. For example, archery and muzzleloader general-season deer hunters
are not required to wear hunter orange unless the other hunts occurring in the area are for general-season any legal weapon buck deer or bull elk. For additional details, see page 42.

Special restrictions

If you participate in Utah’s buck deer hunt, please keep in mind that some areas are closed to hunting or have special restrictions. For a list of those areas, see page 46.

Obtaining other deer permits

If you obtained a buck deer permit of any kind, the only other deer permit you can obtain is an antlerless deer permit. Please see page
34 for more information on antlerless deer hunts.

General-season buck deer hunts

Utah has four general-season buck deer hunts:

• Archery hunt
• Muzzleloader hunt
• Early any legal weapon (rifle) hunt • Any legal weapon (rifle) hunt

Please see for all hunt boundaries.

Extended archery deer hunts

If you haven’t taken a deer by the time your archery buck hunt ends, you can continue your archery hunting in the state’s extended archery areas.

In the Herriman South Valley; Ogden; Southwest Desert, Cedar Valley; Uintah Basin; Utah Lake; Wasatch Front and West Cache extended archery areas, you may use archery equipment to take a deer of either sex (hunter’s choice) from Sept. 16–Nov. 30, 2023.

In the Nine Mile, Green River Valley; Pine Valley, New Harmony; Sanpete Valley and South Wasatch extended archery areas, you may use archery equipment to take a deer of either sex (hunter’s choice) from Sept. 16–Oct. 15, 2023.

Before hunting any of the extended archery areas, you must complete the Division’s archery ethics course.

General-season muzzleloader buck deer hunt

Utah Admin. Rule R657-5-25

Utah’s general-season muzzleloader buck deer hunt runs from Sept. 27–Oct. 5, 2023.

If you obtained a general-season muzzle- loader buck permit, you may use a muzzle- loader to take one buck deer in the hunting unit listed on your permit.

Early general-season buck deer hunts

For 2021, the Utah Wildlife Board approved early general-season any weapon buck deer hunts on the following general-season buck deer units:

  • Chalk Creek/East Canyon/Morgan-South Rich
  • Fillmore
  • Kamas
  • Nine Mile
  • North Slope (new) • Panguitch Lake
  • Pine Valley
  • Plateau, Fishlake
  • Zion

These hunts will run from Oct. 11–15, 2023. The goal of these hunts is to reduce crowding and give hunters the opportunity to hunt deer and general-season elk at the same time.

General-season any legal weapon (rifle) buck deer hunt

Utah Admin. Rule R657-5-24

The general-season any legal weapon (rifle) buck deer hunt runs from Oct. 21–29, 2023.

If you obtained a general-season any legal weapon buck permit, you may use any legal weapon to take one buck deer in the hunting unit listed on your permit. You may also choose to use a crossbow, an airgun, a draw lock or a muzzleloader.

Mandatory reporting

Reporting your hunt information is important—and required—even if you didn’t harvest an animal. You must report your hunt information for any type of limited-entry or once-in-a-lifetime hunt within 30 days of the end of the hunt.

If you don’t meet this requirement, you won’t be allowed to apply the following year for once-in-a-lifetime, multi-season premium limited-entry, premium limited-entry, multi-season limited-entry, limited-entry, management, cactus, CWMU or handgun-archery-muzzleloader-shotgun-only permits, or for bonus points.

If you didn’t submit your 2023 harvest survey questionnaire by the deadline, you can restore your eligibility to apply for a 2023 permit by paying a $50 late fee. For more information, call 1-800-221-0659.

Late-season muzzleloader deer hunts

For 2023, the Utah Wildlife Board approved late-season, limited-entry muzzleloader deer hunts on all general-season buck deer units.

These hunts will occur at the same time as the general muzzleloader elk hunt, running from Nov. 1–9, 2023.

Important: If you are successful in obtaining a permit for one of these hunts, you will lose your bonus points and incur a waiting period of five years.

Multi-season hunts

Multi-season hunts allow the permit holder to hunt buck deer during all three seasons (archery, muzzleloader and any legal weapon) on select limited-entry or premium limited-entry units.

If you have obtained a permit for one of these hunts, you must use the appropriate weapon type for the season.

Handgun-archery- muzzleloader-shotgun- only (HAMS) buck deer hunts

Utah Admin. Rule R657-5-48

For 2023, the Utah Wildlife Board approved three handgun-archery-muzzleloader-shot-gun-only (HAMS) hunts for buck deer. These hunts occur November and are considered limited-entry hunts. The hunts will take place in the following units:

  • Book Cliffs, Floy Canyon
  • Kaiparowits HAMS
  • Morgan-South Rich

Note: These are primitive-weapon hunts—no optics allowed. The complete weapon specifications for these hunts are currently listed online in Utah Admin. Rule R657-5-48 and will also be included in the 2023 Big Game Field Regulations Guidebook, available in June 2023.

Important: If you are successful in obtaining a permit for one of these hunts, you will lose your bonus points and incur a waiting period of five years.


Utah Admin. Rule R657-5-9 & R657-5-48

The handgun you use must be legal for buck deer, with no attached scope. (See the Firearms and archery equipment section that begins on page 42.) The handgun must also:

  • Have no more than a single barrel 15 inches or less in length, including the chamber
  • Have a single rear handgrip without any form of any of the following:
  • A fixed, detachable or collapsible buttstock
  • An apparatus or extension behind the rear grip that’s capable of being used to steady the handgun against the body while firing
  • A vertical foregrip

Finally, the handgun can be no more than 24 inches in overall length.

Archery equipment

Utah Admin. Rule R657-5-11

The archery equipment you use must be le- gal for buck deer. (See the Firearms and archery equipment section that begins on page 42.)


Utah Admin. Rule R657-5-10

The muzzleloader you use must be legal for buck deer, with no attached scope.


Utah Admin. Rule R657-5-8

The shotgun you use must be legal for buck deer, with no attached scope.

More opportunity for archers

Limited-entry archery deer hunters who don’t harvest during the limited-entry season will be allowed to hunt the extended archery areas after completing the online extended archery course. For details, see page 7 or visit

And don’t forget: You must submit your harvest survey within 30 days of the final day of your limited-entry season. You do not need to submit a survey for the extended archery season

CWMU buck deer hunts

Utah Admin. Rule R657-37

Cooperative Wildlife Management Units (CWMUs) are private lands that the landowners have opened to a limited number of public and private hunters. You may not hunt buck deer on a CWMU unless you obtain a buck deer permit for that CWMU.

To learn more about hunting buck deer on CWMUs, visit

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