Hunting is a component of wildlife management (link Wildlife Resource Management Section). Healthy lands mean productive wildlife populations. An over abundance of elk means sick and starving animals, and can reduce grasses and woody vegetation needed as food and cover for other species. While livestock can be herded, fenced or otherwise removed from areas periodically to provide rest, it can be difficult to change elk distribution. Crop depredation by overabundant elk herds can negatively affect neighboring lands; too many elk can even increase highway vehicle collisions. Keeping elk numbers in balance with habitat and other wildlife species helps maintain overall species diversity and abundance, and hunting helps keep the elk numbers at healthy population levels.

Hunting is the main tool used by Deseret Land & Livestock (DLL) to maintain big game herds at population levels in balance with the range resources. About 10% of elk, mule deer, pronghorn and moose populations are harvested annually (link to fee vs free hunt chart). Management goals include robust populations in good body condition, with good reproductive rates and a high percentage of males in the herd. Native predators are also managed on the ranch, and play a role in maintaining a healthy balance between foragers and healthy range.

DLL hunts are conducted to minimize stressed and wounded animals. Hunters are required to pass a shooting proficiency test, obey wildlife laws and conduct themselves safely and ethically.

Although hunting is a key means of generating ranch revenue, 70% of hunters on DLL each year are given free hunting access. For information about free access hunts on DLL, visit the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website and the Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit website.

For information about hunting at DLL go to:

DLL Hunting Rules

Link to Hunting History Section