Utah lawmakers pass three new laws affecting local hunters, explained by Utah DWR

by: Viviane Chow

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UTAH (ABC4) – During the 2022 legislative session, Governor Spencer Cox signed three bills that will impact hunters and outdoor recreation in Utah.

Wild game meat donation – HB142

  • Hunters harvesting meat can now donate the meat to local food banks or non-profit charities.
  • The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) says meat must be harvested legally by a licensed hunter and can only be donated for profit. Officials say the meat must come from healthy animals and the animal must be prepared in the field immediately after harvest and processed by a custom meat processor as soon as possible.
  • The new bill also created a DWR account where people can donate money to meat processors.

Air Rifle Hunting Modifications – SB205

  • This law determines which wildlife species can be hunted with an air rifle as well as the type of rifle that can be used.
  • “The rifle should be a pre-charged air rifle that uses compressed air released from a chamber built into the rifle,” DWR explains. “It must be pressurized to a minimum of 2,000 pounds per square inch from an external high-compression source, such as a hand pump, compressor, or scuba tank.”

Big Game Changes – HB62

  • This law clarifies the actions a landowner and the DWR can take when wildlife causes damage to cultivated crops, livestock fodder, fences or irrigation equipment.
  • The law clarifies the circumstances under which a landowner can kill big game that causes damage. The law also specifies compensation available for such damages as well as limits on compensation for persons, including hunt guides and outfitters, to locate big game during Utah hunts.
  • Specifically, licensed hunters may not use more than one outfitter or hunting guide in the context of harvesting big game. DWR says the guide cannot use more than one compensated person to locate or monitor the location of big game on public lands.

“We are confident that these and other bills will help us in our mission to effectively manage Utah wildlife and provide additional opportunities for Utah hunters,” said DWR Director J Shirley. .

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