Several Ways to Obtain a Cougar Harvest Objective Hunting Permit This Year

Buying a permit to hunt cougars on Utah's harvest objective units will be easier this year. In addition to Division of Wildlife Resources offices, permits will be available from more than 200 online hunting license agents and the DWR's Web site ( ).

Permits go on sale Nov. 7.

"There are three main differences between harvest objective units and limited entry units," says Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR. "There is no limit to the number of harvest objective permits that may be sold, and hunters may purchase them over-the-counter," she said. "Also, the hunt on a harvest objective unit may close before its season is scheduled to end if the number of cougars to be taken on the unit is met."

For example, if the objective is to take 10 cougars on a unit, the hunt on the unit closes when 10 cougars are taken, even if the date the season was scheduled to end hasn't arrived yet.

In addition to having new places to buy permits, another change awaits harvest objective hunters this year. They will not be limited to hunting only three units, as they have been in the past. Beginning this season, those who buy harvest objective permits can hunt any harvest
objective unit in the state that's still open to hunting.

The 2005 - 2006 cougar season begins Nov. 23 on 18 of Utah's 38 harvest objective units. On the remaining units, the season starts Feb. 18, 2006 if limited entry hunters on the unit haven't already taken the number of cougars biologists want taken on the unit.

Information about which units open to harvest objective hunting on Nov. 23, and which units open Feb. 18, is available on page 14 of the 2005 - 2006 Utah Cougar Proclamation. Hunters may obtain a proclamation from hunting and fishing license agents statewide and at DWR offices and the DWR's Web site.

Before each hunting trip, hunters must visit the DWR's Web site or call toll-free, 1-888-668-LION (5466), to verify which harvest objective units are still open to hunting. The Web site and phone line are updated by 8 p.m. daily, letting hunters know which units are open to
hunting the following day.

Hunters are reminded that harvest objective permits purchased after the season has started are not valid until seven days after the date of purchase. Hunters are also reminded that they may not purchase a harvest objective permit if they've already obtained a limited entry cougar permit for this season.

Following the lead of other Western states, Utah established harvest objective units in 1996 to help speed the recovery of deer herds in areas where predation by cougars is one of the factors that's limiting the growth of deer populations. Selling an unlimited number of permits,
and setting a large desired harvest, increases cougar hunting pressure on these units. That increased pressure and large harvest objective reduces the number of cougars and their predation on deer.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

Monte Cristo Snowmobile Parking Passes available

Season parking passes for the Monte Cristo Snowmobile Trailhead are now available for $50. However, customers receive $10 off if they purchase passes prior to November 30.

To purchase by mail, please send a cashier's check or money order to Willard Bay State Park at 900 West 650 North, Willard, UT 84340. To purchase by phone with a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, please call (435) 734-9494. Passes may also be purchased at Willard Bay State Park and at the trailhead when grooming begins.

Funds derived from the sale of these passes are used at the trailhead for maintenance of the parking lot and restroom facilities. This year, funds were used to place and grade 900 tons of rocks and road base.

Seasonal Fees at Deer Creek State Park

Seasonal day-use fees at Deer Creek State Park are $5 per vehicle. Primitive camping with vault toilets is available for $8 per night; hook-ups and running water are not available. Both boat ramps are open, however, a courtesy boat dock is available only in the main park area near the dam. For more information, please call (435) 654-0171.
Iron Mission Days

Iron Mission State Park Museum hosts Iron Mission Days Monday, November 7 to Saturday, November 12. Iron Mission Days celebrates the history and founding of Iron County.

Monday, November 7 is family night at the museum. Join park staff for pioneer crafts and skills. Admission is only $2 per family.

On Wednesday, November 9, join Museum Curator Ryan Paul at 7 p.m., for a presentation on the sheep industry in Iron County, sponsored by Iron County Historical Society.

Thursday, November 10 and Friday, November 11 are pioneer school days. Demonstrations and hands-on activities include pioneer dancing, blacksmithing, and candle making.

Saturday, November 12 ends Iron Mission Days with a historic Cedar City walk at 11 a.m. Join Museum Curator Ryan Paul for a guided tour of the early buildings and businesses along Cedar City's Main Street.

Iron Mission State Park Museum tells the story of development in Iron County when in the 1850s, Brigham Young sent Mormon missionaries there to mine and process iron. Museum displays include horse-drawn vehicles used from 1850 to 1920 and a collection of pioneer artifacts. An iron industry exhibit features the only known remaining artifact from the original foundry - the town bell.

Iron Mission State Park Museum is located at 635 North Main Street. Fees are $2 per person or $6 per vehicle, with no charge for children under six. For more information, please call (435) 586-9290.
Upcoming State Park Events scheduled

November 5 Snow Canyon State Park - Ivins- Simple Campfire Desserts: Join us around a toasty campfire from 7 to 8 p.m., to bake and sample some simple campfire desserts. Leave with recipes for your next camping trip. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information, please call (435) 628-2255.

November 12 Snow Canyon State Park - Ivins- Extracting Nature's Colors: Dyeing with plant material is easy and fun. Learn methods of dyeing and the range of colors that can be revealed from native plants from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Registration is required. For more information, please call (435) 628-2255.
Need a Place to Hunt? Find it at

A new Web site gives hunters "a place to hunt for bird hunting places," and offers visitors a chance to win one of nine giveaway hunts valued together at more than $34,000. The services and sweepstakes are free.

The site, , is from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a nonprofit trade association working to keep sportsmen safe and active. Anchoring the site is an easy-to-use search tool for daily-fee bird hunting preserves. The leader in listings for hunting and shooting destinations, Black's Wing & Clay, Waterfowl, in print for the past 12 years, provided data on over 1,000 preserves nationwide. By clicking on a U.S. map, visitors can find a bird hunting spot close to home or across the country.

That today's hunting preserves are convenient and numerous is a message reinforced by Wingshooting USA's Dream Hunts Sweepstakes. Nine hunts will be given away. Each will give two people a totally unique bird hunting experience in a different part of the country. The North American Gamebird Association, an organization that promotes quality standards for hunting preserves, arranged the hunts. A winner could land a quail hunting adventure at a Southern plantation, or a high-plains excursion for pheasant and chukar.

See complete sweepstakes prize descriptions, official rules and entry form at . (No purchase necessary. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia age 21 or older. Ends Feb. 28, 2006.)

"With Wingshooting USA, we're reaching out with a message that highlights the wide range of benefits offered by today's hunting preserves. Whether it's a group of hunting buddies looking for an action-packed day afield, or someone searching for an ideal place to introduce a newcomer, that 'best hunt of the year' is really only a phone call away," said Doug Painter, president of NSSF.

Painter explained that modern preserves offer knowledgeable guides, good cover, great dog work, strong-flying birds, and a wide range of services and accommodations. In a national survey, hunters identified their top five issues as 1.) Not enough access to places to hunt, 2.) Not having enough places to hunt, 3.) Work obligations, 4.) Poor behavior of other hunters, and 5.) Too many hunters in the field.

"Aside from work obligations, all of these problems disappear when you book a customized hunt with today's hunting preserves. And with many facilities within an hour or so from big cities, a quality hunting experience can be enjoyed on a weekend morning or afternoon," said Painter.

Bob Bledsoe, a bird hunter and outdoor writer from Oklahoma, agrees, predicting that preserve hunting is, "the wave of the future for most of us."

"With wild quail populations seriously declined in much of the country, and with lease fees rising and access getting more and more difficult to obtain, preserves are a great way to get in a day or two of shooting. I know of several nearby preserves priced within reach of a working guy. It costs far less to go shoot a half-dozen pheasants or a dozen quail at a preserve than it does to drive to western Kansas on $2.75 gasoline, rent a motel room for a couple of nights, buy a $70 hunting license, and walk 15 miles for less shooting," explained Bledsoe.

The Web site is basically a toolbox to help hunters overcome these obstacles, said Painter.

Many preserves also offer a wide variety of outdoor activities including sporting clays, 3D archery, fishing, youth hunter safety classes, family events, dog training, handicap business meeting areas, lodging, dining, and camping. In 2003, the gamebird farming and hunting preserve industries injected over $1.6 billion into the nation's economy, stimulating nearly $5 billion in total commerce.

The conservation impact is significant, too. Hunting preserves protect wildlife and habitat in otherwise shrinking landscapes. In 2005, hunting preserves maintained over 16 million acres, protecting them from development, safeguarding landscapes, and keeping the land in the hands of families who have worked it for generations.

November Activities at Ogden Nature Center

Hunting Equipment and Supplies Class-

Saturday, November 5, 2005 1 - 2 p.m.

Cost: FREE

Hunting enthusiasts are invited to come to the Nature Center to learn about the latest in equipment and supplies. Presented by Sportsman's Warehouse. No registration required.

Art Class: Painting the Native American Medicine Wheel

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Morning session: 9 a.m. - noon

Afternoon session: 1 - 4 p.m.

Cost: $40

Each person will create a painting of a Medicine Wheel using watercolors and colored pencils. We will learn the symbolism of the sacred circle as represented by the directions of the compass, colors and animals. This is a wonderful project for families. Ages 8-adult welcome. All supplies will be provided. Instructor: Annette Orrock. Please call 801-621-7595 to pre-register.

Native American Thanksgiving Stories ~ Music ~ History

Saturday, November 12, 2005 1 p.m.

Cost: $7 members, $8 nonmembers, $5 all children

Learn about the first Thanksgiving. What were Native Americans really doing? Learn about the Shoshone people who lived on the Nature Center grounds and what they did to celebrate being thankful. A fun event for all ages. Taught by Rob "Little Owl" Martin. Please call 801-621-7595 to pre-register.

Hogle Zoo offers "Keeper for a Day" Program

Have you always wondered what it is like to work with giraffes? Have you wanted to work with snakes since you were a little kid? What about working with zebras, camels, or monkeys? Now's your chance!

Utah's Hogle Zoo and the Utah Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers are excited to provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with as a "Keeper for a Day".

You can work with a variety of animals including giraffes, small primates, hoofstock, small mammals, birds, small cats, and reptiles. You will work side by side with the keepers providing fun enrichment toys for the animals, observing training sessions, as well as animal behavior. You will be given one-on-one opportunities to touch a penguin, feed a giraffe, and see some of our wildlife ambassador animals up close and personal.

For $200 (non-Zoo members) and $175 (Zoo members) you can be a zookeeper for a day! This special pricing is valid for packages purchased before December 31, 2005. You can purchase this package for you or as a gift for a friend or relative. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate in the Keeper for a Day program.

Remember, zookeeping can be a rewarding but strenuous and dirty job- be sure to come prepared. Lunch is provided, along with photo opportunities with the animals, keeper for a day T-shirt, and an experience you will not forget! For more information call (801) 584-1784 or visit . All proceeds from this program go toward Hogle Zoo's conservation fund.