top of page


A Comprehensive Guide

% Public Land
Species Available
# of Hunters

2024 Utah Big Game

Utah offers big game hunting opportunities for both residents and nonresidents. Boasting as substantial amount of public land, Utah has good mule deer and elk populations and offers some opportunity to hunt pronghorn, bison, sheep, goat and moose. Black bear and mountain lion seasons offer predator hunts and over the counter opportunities.

Try our FREE mobile hunt planner

Download BaseMap on your favorite app store

Species to Hunt



Black Bear



Mountain Goat

Mountain Lion

Mule Deer

Desert Bighorn

Rocky Mtn Bighorn

Whitetail Deer


Black Bear                                                         Feb 20
Big Game                                                          April 25
Antlerless and Points Only                                June 19

Quick Links

Over the Counter Hunts

Utah offers several over the counter elk hunting opportunities for both residents and nonresidents. Hunters can choose between bull elk and spike elk hunts. Archery, muzzleloader and firearm hunts are all available but some seasons have a cap on how many licenses can be issued. Licenses sell out fast so be sure to consult the regulations in June and be prepared to make your puchase in early July.

Black bear and mountain lion can also be hunted by purchasing an over the counter license. Spring and Fall hunting opportunities exist for both species depending on the unit.

Limited Entry Hunts

All deer, pronghorn, mountian goat, desert bighorn and rocky mountain bighorn sheep, moose and bison hunts are issued through a limited drawing. Applications open in late March and close in late April. There are several different draw schemes used and both residents and nonresidents can apply. Cooperative wildlife management hunts are not open to nonresidents in the drawing, although nonresidents can purchase a license directly from the landowner (typically for a substantial fee).

Applicants can only draw one permit across all species in Utah. This is an important point to consider and can factor into an application strategy. Deciding which species to apply for, how the draw is conducted and what your relative odds are all factor into optimizing your application. 

The Draw

Utah's draw is conducted in the following order:

  1. limited entry, cooperative wildlife management unit and management buck deer

  2. limited entry, cooperative wildlife management unit and management bull elk

  3. limited entry and cooperative wildlife management unit buck pronghorn

  4. once-in-a-lifetime

  5. general buck deer – lifetime license

  6. general buck deer – dedicated hunter

  7. general buck deer - youth

  8. general buck deer

  9. youth general any bull elk

If an applicant draws a limited entry license for buck deer, bull elk or buck pronghorn they will not be considered for a once-in-a-lifetime hunt. So keep this in mind when applying. Utah also has a system of waiting periods which prevent hunters from being eligible to apply for a hunt after they were successful. Buck deer and bull elk limited entry waiting periods are 5 years while buck pronghorn is 2 years.

Utah uses two types of draw systems to allocate licenses. There is a hybrid preference/bonus system for limited entry hunts and a pure preference point system for general deer tags and female deer, antelope and elk tags. The hybrid system allocates 50% of a hunts quota to applicants with the greatest number of bonus points. This portion of the quota acts like a preference point system. The remaining 50% of the quota is allocated to via a random draw where applicants get one entry for each bonus point they hold. 

In the preference point system, licenses are awarded to those applicants holding the greatest number of points. When there are more applicants at a point level than licenses left, the remaining licenses are awarded randomly to applicants at the point level. Any applicants with fewer points will not draw.


Every hunt code has a quota assigned to it. The quota is the maximum number of licenses that can be awarded. Nonresidents are limited to a maximum of 10% of the quota and for many hunts with fewer than 10 nonresidents are allocated 1 license. Youth hunters can draw up to 20% of General Deer licenses.

Although applicants can choose up to 5 hunts, the quota for most hunts in Utah are fully allocated after the 1st choice. Some general deer hunts and a handful of elk and pronghorn hunts can be drawn in later rounds but in general, an applicants first choice is the only one considered. So make it count!

Current Weather

Fire Risk Index

bottom of page