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Wildlife officials, hunters out and about for Utah’s deer hunt

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Posted at 4:08 PM, Oct 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-20 10:55:16-04

RICH COUNTY, Utah  -- Hunters packed up their RVs and put on their orange to head out for the first weekend of the rifle deer hunt.

About 95,000 deer permits went out this year, but only about a quarter of those will be harvested.

Officials with the Division of Wildlife Resources said they have been out on patrol this weekend.

"Today we are just checking for compliance with the deer hunters,” said Sgt. Dave Beveridge. “Just seeing how people are doing, checking success and making sure they are in the right area for their permit.”

This next week will be a busy one for the Division of Wildlife Resources officers who are making sure hunters are following the rules.

"For the most part, 90 percent or even more is in compliance," he said "People are pretty good, and they try to respect the laws. There are always one or two people who choose to disobey the laws for whatever reason. But for the most part, hunters respect the resource."

The DWR officer said most hunters are excited to be out for the hunt and are eager to share information.

He said the face-to-face information helps them get an idea of how the herds move and how the hunting season is going.

"Up here in the north we've had some good winters, so the fawn survival has been great and it should be a good year if you aren't too picky on how big your buck is," Beveridge said.

"There were a few that brought out a lot of smaller two points, there was one other four point that came out that were fairly decent," Hunter Adam Neerings said.

Biologists have been waiting at check stations at key points on the roadside to gauge the dynamics of the deer population this year, including the age of the deer, the size, and whether they're carrying disease.

"At the check station we check for a few things, probably the most important is the fat on a deer, we want to see how healthy the deer are going into the winter," Beveridge said.

The 2014 Utah rifle deer hunting season ends Sunday, October 26th.