Based on past years, as many as 230,000 people will consider applying for a permit to hunt big game in Utah next fall.

The application period started Wednesday.

Those applying need to be aware of two changes:

Those applying must have a hunting or combination license before they can apply for a permit.

Applications will be accepted only through the Division of Wildlife Resources' Web site, Applications must be received no later than 11 p.m. on Jan. 31 to be entered in the drawing for permits.

A second option is to apply over the phone by calling 801-538-4700 by Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.

Results of the 2008 Big Game Draw will be available by April 30.

Starting with the 2008 hunts, hunters must have a current Utah hunting or combination license before they can apply for a big-game hunting permit.

Hunters have the option of buying a hunting license, which costs $26 for residents, or the combination license, which costs $30.

The combination license, which costs $4 more than the hunting, allows sportsmen to hunt and fish.

Hunting and combination licenses are available at or from DWR offices or from more than 350 hunting license agents across Utah.

Along with the license this year, hunters will also need to purchase a big-game permit for whatever species they plan to hunt. Some of those permits will cost less in 2008. For example, Utah residents will pay $20 less for a general elk permit, and the general deer permits will cost $5 less.

Resident general elk permits will be $45 and resident general deer permits will cost $35.

Hunters can apply for a permit on the Internet this year. The address is also

"If you've never applied for a permit online before, and you have questions about how to do it, please drop by a DWR office," said Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR. "We have computers you can use and staff members who can help you through the process."

Hunters can also apply for a permit over the phone by calling 801-538-4700.

Those applying by phone must do so by 5 p.m. on Jan. 31.

Those applying for a bonus point or a preference point by phone must call no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 29.

For more information call the nearest DWR office or the main office at 801-538-4700.