Kirtland Air Force Base via Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press
This image provided by the Kirtland Air Force Base shows two velvet-antlered mule deer bucks were captured by one of the camouflaged, motion-activated cameras biologist use on Kirtland Air Force Base to estimate the numbers and health of wildlife on the sprawling base. The base includes 22,000 acres in the Manzano Mountains.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Wildlife Board last week approved a slight decrease in the number of general buck deer permits available for hunts in Utah this fall.

A total of 84,600 general deer permits will be available for 2013. In 2012, a total of 86,500 permits were offered.

Division of Wildlife Resources big game coordinator Anis Aoude said even though the total number of deer in Utah is going up, the number of bucks per 100 does is still below the management objective on some of the state’s hunting units.

“Based on the data we collected,” Aoude said, “we recommended 1,900 fewer permits for this fall’s hunts.”

Aoude said the number of bucks taken by hunters last fall was up about 34 percent from 2011. And the total number of deer in Utah, after the hunts were over, also increased.

“Two years ago, after the hunts in 2011,” he said, “Utah had about 286,000 deer. Despite hunters taking more bucks in 2012, about 318,000 deer were in the state after the hunts were over last fall. That’s encouraging. It shows the overall deer population is growing.”