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SALT LAKE CITY — The Division of Wildlife Resources released a survey and wants feedback on what hunting equipment should and shouldn't be allowed in Utah.
In August, the surveys were emailed to more than 77,000 general season deer and elk permit holders in Utah, and more than 19,000 responses were received, according to DWR.
"This is an extremely high response rate as compared to previous surveys the division has sent out," DWR said. "This seems to indicate a high level of interest among Utah's hunters regarding these topics."
According to survey information released at the Regional Advisory Council Member and Wildlife Board meeting on Aug. 21, 60 percent of hunters were opposed to allowing crossbows during the general season archery deer and elk hunts, as well as the limited-entry archery hunts for elk, deer and pronghorn.
In 2013, the Utah Wildlife Board approved the use of crossbows during Utah's any-weapon big game hunts, and during the 2015 Legislative session, it was proposed to allow the use of a crossbow in addition to standard archery equipment during the dedicated archery season. The survey showed that 69 percent of Utah hunters were opposed to allowing magnified scopes on crossbows, if they are allowed during regular archery hunts.
Fifty-nine percent of hunters supported using rangefinders attached to regular bows during archery seasons and 57 percent supported the use of magnifying scopes on muzzleloaders during deer and elk seasons.
Most of the hunters who responded to the survey were in favor of the current restrictions in place and would also like to see more restrictions, DWR said. Around 71 percent think extremely large-caliber firearms — .50 caliber center-fire rifles or larger — should not be allowed for hunting in Utah. Eighty-four percent were opposed to the use of computer-assisted aiming firearms ("smart guns") during hunting.
DWR officials would like to receive additional feedback on what equipment should and shouldn't be used in Utah. Feedback can be given at upcoming Regional Advisory Council Meetings or by emailing the Regional Advisory Council member in your area.
Any proposed changes will be presented to the public at another round of meetings in November.