Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
SPANISH FORK CANYON — It was a big day for deer hunters across the state as it's officially open season.
Open season means any legal weapon can be used for those with a license from Oct. 22–30. Archery hunters can go out in part of August and early September; Muzzle loaders late September and early October. But now, it's open season.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is clocking lots of hours.
DWR's Lt. Matt Briggs said most if not all conservation officers at DWR love the outdoors, so the work is made well worth it. Clocking in 30-plus years with the DWR, even still, Briggs said he loves what he does.
"Every day is different," Briggs said. Pair the day with the great outdoors, and that's his happy place.
"That is the best part," Briggs said.
KSL took a ride along with Briggs on Saturday. Throughout the day, he encouraged others outdoors.
"Don't quit. Keep having fun, all right?" he said.
Despite dropping temperatures, rain and mountain snow — and the kind of weather that will keep many curling up under a blanket inside — that's not the case for many deer hunters across the state as they take on this year's deer hunting opening season.
Some hunters were unsuccessful, but nonetheless said they were having fun. Briggs said this is the time of year that lends itself to big, busy days at DWR.
"Check licenses, the hunting licenses of the sportsmen that are out there," Briggs said.
Their goal at DWR is to see those spending time outdoors enjoy themselves while keeping tabs that they're doing what they're supposed to do safely. That means they're also keeping their eyes out for poachers.
"We also have those who want to cheat. Do whatever they can to cheat, whether that's hunt at night, go on private property without permission. We deal with that every year."
Sometimes, Briggs said hunters commit violations on accident, like getting the wrong permit or shooting the wrong sex. On making a mistake and realizing it, he said the best thing one can do is own up to it.
Mostly, though, he says those outdoors he and his team meet across six counties are doing things how they should be.
"Trying hard and teaching your kids how to do it right," Briggs said.
As the wind and rain picked up, some hunters turned in early for the day.
"There's always tomorrow right?" said Lt. Briggs.
Briggs said the cooler weather and some of the weather makers expected over the weekend will likely make Monday a great deer hunting day as they move from higher elevations down a little lower.
He is sending a reminder for those spending time outdoors to be prepared with the right gear as he said that matters and can also make a difference on a hunt.