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Sam Penrod ReportingThousands of hunters are coming down with a bad case of Buck Fever tonight as they prepare for the opening of the deer hunt.
95,000 deer tags were sold statewide this year, but of course many more people will be out on the hunt as they join family and friends in what is still one of Utah's most popular traditions--the deer hunt.
Hunters are attracted to the scenic areas of Utah's great outdoors and a chance to hunt for deer. And the weather is perfect this year, not too hot and no rain, snow or mud to deal with. And this year, the Division of Wildlife Resources says there will be more deer statewide, although there are fewer mature bucks, so hunters should expect to see younger bucks.
Overall there are an estimated 289-thousand deer in Utah up 21-thousand from last year. Utah's buck to doe ratio is 15 bucks for every one hundred deer. Because this was a good water year, there are more water sources available for deer, but that also means they may be harder to find.
Craig McLaughlin, D.W. R. Big Game Coordinator: "Because of the additional moisture we have had over the year, we are going to see deer more scattered than you have in the past. Hunters are going to have to work harder, but those hunters who are willing to work should find plentiful number of bucks, particularly the younger bucks.”
Hunters were already setting up camp this morning, getting ready for the hunt tomorrow. And of course it is the annual get together that most people look forward to all year long.