EAST CANYON, Utah -- Sunday marked the end of the rifle deer hunt in Utah.
Those who were out on the last day set their sights on big bucks, but those who settled on something smaller fared better this year.
Biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources said it seems there's a good mix of does and bucks and old and young deer, which wildlife managers said indicates the population is large and healthy.
“This year there were still a lot of younger deer taken, but there seemed to be a little higher percentage of older deer, 2-or-3-year-old deer and even older deer than that taken over the weekend,” said Mark Hadley, who is a Spokesman for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Many hunters out on the last day said they're picky and want even bigger trophies.
“We've seen a lot of doe, plenty of doe, but not enough big bucks,” Hunter Marty Anderson said.
Wildlife officers saw more bucks at check stations this year than last, which they attribute to better habitat, mild winters, predator control projects, and fencing along Utah’s highways and freeways.
“There were more people for the opener than this weekend, which says a lot for the opener, a lot more people probably filled their tags,” Hunter Issac Avalez said.
For more information about hunting seasons in Utah and the applicable laws, visit the DWR's website.