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People heading to the hills for the deer hunt this weekend may find less room and less success finding that big buck.
A little more than 70,000 permitted hunters will be out there. That's about enough to clear out the cities of Bountiful, Centerville and Farmington. Add family and friends, and you could throw in a few more towns, especially with warm weather and the UEA weekend.
Unfortunately, that may not increase the odds for hunters.
"Usually when the weather is fair, like it is, and warm, success rates go down because the deer are not as active," said Anis Aude, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR).
He says deer numbers are about the same as they were last year except in parts of Northern Utah, where last year's snow brought down the population.
Also, the DWR is starting its annual survey of hunters across Utah.
Heather Bernales, a biometrician with the division, says participating in the phone survey helps with wildlife management to improve next year's hunt.
She says researchers want to know what hunters' experiences are like and encourages them not to hang up the phone if they get a call.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)