The 1988 elk hunt opened at dawn on Wednesday. Early reports are that the hunt is going as expected, that is, about one in five hunters will have elk dinners this winter.
About 30,000 are expected to participate in this year's hunt. If the hunt does go as big-game biologists expect, slightly less than one in five hunters will fill their takes.Last year, success ran about 15 percent. This year, it is expected to go up to 17 to 18 percent.
Game officials did report that general conditions in the mountains were warm and dry for the opener. This could, they report, cut down on the overall success. Elk will tend to stay more in the heavily timbered areas under these conditions.
Early reports from the Northern Region was that opening-day pressure was up slightly. It was also up in areas of the Central and Northeastern regions.
In the past 20 years, Utah's elk population has gone from an estimated 6,000 to 40,000 elk.
The general deer hunt is scheduled to open Oct. 22. As with the elk hunt, hunting pressure is also expected to increase.
Reports from big-game managers indicate that Utah's deer population is high in most areas of the state.
The DWR also reports that there are still control deer permits available in many areas of the state, primarily in the Northern Region. Hunters can call a recorded hunting message - 530-1297 - for information on those hunts where permits are available, or the Salt Lake office, 533-9333.
Most of the available permits are for postseason hunts.
Plans are being finalized to chemically treat Navajo Lake on Wednesday. The project will be conducted by the DWR to remove chubs from the lake.
The project was made possible by drought conditions in northern Utah. The project was under consideration for 1989 or 1990, but low reservoir levels made it possible to treat the reservoir now.
The lake will be restocked in the spring with catchable-size rainbow and will open to fishing then. In addition, brook trout fingerlings will be stocked on a regular basis.