Young Hunters can Hunt All Three General Buck Deer Seasons with a Rifle or Muzzleloader Permit

Young hunters who obtain a 2006 Utah general buck deer rifle or muzzleloader permit can hunt all three general deer seasons this fall.

That opportunity won't be available to young hunters who obtain a general archery permit, however.

Young hunters also are reminded that they may take only one buck deer in Utah each season, so the chance to hunt all three seasons ends as soon as they take a deer. Hunters must be 18 years old or younger on Aug. 19, 2006 (the beginning of the state's 2006 general archery buck deer season) to qualify for the youth hunting opportunity.

"General archery buck deer permits are statewide permits, and rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting is restricted to specific regions," explains Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

"If a young hunter obtains a statewide archery permit, we have no way of knowing which region they should be hunting in during the rifle and muzzleloader seasons," she said. "That's why young hunters who obtain a general archery permit aren't allowed to hunt during the rifle and muzzleloader seasons."

Tutorow encourages youths interested in hunting all three seasons to apply for either a general rifle or general muzzleloader permit during the 2006 Utah Big Game application period. The application period ends at 5 p.m. on Feb. 17 for hunters applying with a mail-in application, and at 11 p.m. on Feb. 17 for hunters applying online at the DWR's Web site

( http://www.wildlife.utah.gov ).

Young hunters who obtain a 2006 general rifle or general muzzleloader buck deer permit may hunt in any of the state's five general season regions during the general archery hunt. During the muzzleloader and rifle hunts, youth hunters must hunt in the region they obtained a permit for.

Young hunters afield during the statewide general archery hunt are reminded that they may not hunt on limited entry units. Limited entry units are open only to those who obtain a limited entry permit.

Giving young hunters a chance to hunt all three seasons was started in 2000 as a way to get more of Utah's young people interested in big game hunting.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

Apply for Black Bear Permits Beginning Feb. 1

Applications will be available by Feb. 1 to hunt black bears during Utah's 2006 spring and fall hunts.

Hunters who have applied for a black bear permit at the Division of Wildlife Resource's Web site in past years will receive a postcard by Feb. 1, encouraging them to apply on the Internet again. Hunters may apply at the Web site beginning Feb. 1 ( http://www.wildlife.utah.gov ).

Hunters who have applied with a mail-in application should receive a preprinted application in the mail by Feb. 1. Beginning Feb. 1, hunters also may obtain applications from hunting and fishing license agents statewide, Division of Wildlife Resources offices and the DWR Web site.

To be included in the draw for permits, mail-in applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 28. Applications submitted through the DWR Web site must be received no later than 11 p.m. on Feb. 28.

Draw results will be posted by March 29.

Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR, says an instruction sheet to help hunters complete their application correctly will be included with the preprinted applications hunters receive in the mail. "Read through it completely before filling out your application," she advises.

Hunters who don't apply on the Internet are encouraged to mail their application early. "It will take a few days for your application to arrive in the mail, so you need to mail it early enough to give it plenty of time to arrive before the 5 p.m., Feb. 28 due date," Tutorow said.

She reminds hunters that they must specify whether they want a limited entry bear permit, or a limited entry bear archery permit, by checking the correct box on their application. Applications will not be accepted if a box isn't checked.

Tutorow also encourages hunters to obtain written permission from landowners before applying for a hunt that occurs on private land. "Written permission is required to hunt private property, and we encourage hunters to obtain that permission before applying," she says. "We don't want hunters to draw a permit and then find they can't use it because landowners won't give them permission to hunt the area."

The DWR doesn't have a list of people who own land where black bear hunts occur, so hunters need to take time to locate the landowners.

Less than 25 percent of Utah's black bear hunts occur on private property. Hunts that do occur on private property are indicated by an asterisk in the 2006 Utah Black Bear Proclamation, which will be available by Feb. 1.

Utah's spring bear season runs April 8 - May 31. The state's fall hunt runs Aug. 26 - Sept. 30 and Nov. 1 - 26.

For more information, call Utah Wildlife Administrative Services at 1-800-221-0659, the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

View Bald Eagles Feb. 4 and Feb. 11

Two chances are available to join with professional wildlife biologists and view bald eagles this year.

Utah's annual Bald Eagle Day will be held Feb. 4 at sites in central, northeastern and southwestern Utah. The following Saturday, Feb. 11, viewing will be offered at two northern Utah viewing sites.

"The Canada goose hunting season runs until the end of January this year, and we're not sure if that will keep some of the eagles from visiting our two northern Utah viewing sites," says Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "We want to do everything we can to ensure plenty of eagles are available to view, so we moved the date at the two northern Utah locations back one week."

Admission to Bald Eagle Day is free. Viewing times are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area site, where viewing will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Feb. 4, you can view eagles at the following locations:

Feb. 4

Fountain Green State Fish Hatchery, located east of Nephi. If coming from the north, take I-15 and exit the freeway at the second Nephi exit (Exit 225). After exiting the freeway, turn east on SR-132 and travel about 10 miles. About 1 mile before the city of Fountain Green, a Bald Eagle Day sign will point to an access road that leads to the hatchery.

Split Mountain/Green River, located north of Jensen and below the Dinosaur Quarry in Dinosaur National Monument (DNM). To reach the site, drive north from Highway 40 in Jensen on the road (SR149) to the Dinosaur Quarry. First stop should be at the staging area located just inside the DNM boundary where displays, spotting scopes and possibly bald eagles and other raptors await. From the staging area biologists will direct viewers to other sites where they may have better views of eagles and other wildlife of interest. In past years, visitors have seen bald and golden eagles hunting and feeding, as well as prairie falcons, hawks, mule deer, river otters, pheasants, turkeys, sandhill cranes, porcupines, mergansers, Canada geese and other wildlife. Also, check out the dinosaur bones and other fossils located in the Dinosaur Quarry, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cedar Valley, located on the northwest side of Cedar City. To reach the site, exit I-15 at Exit 59 and travel west on SR-56 to 3900 W. Turn right on 3900 W. and travel north to 2800 N. The viewing site is located at 3900 W. and 2800 N.

On Feb. 11, viewing will take place at the following locations:

Feb. 11

Compton's Knoll at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area, located about 10 miles northwest of Corinne. To reach the WMA, take Exit 365 off of I-15 and travel west on SR-83 through Corinne. Stay on SR-83 until you get to 6800 W. (Iowa String). Travel north to 6800 N. Travel west on 6800 N. until you reach the Salt Creek WMA/Compton's Knoll Watchable Wildlife site.

Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, located on the west side of Farmington. If you're traveling north on I-15, you can reach the WMA by exiting at Exit 319. Turn right off the off-ramp, then turn left on the frontage road and travel north to Glover Lane. Turn west on Glover Lane and drive two miles to the WMA's north entrance (1325 W.). If you're traveling south on I-15, exit at Exit 325 and travel south to Clark Lane. Turn left on Clark Lane and travel east to 650 W. Turn right on 650 W. and travel south to Glover Lane. Turn right on Glover Lane and travel west to 1325 W., which is the WMA's north entrance.

"Spotting scopes will be set up at each viewing site, and DWR biologists and volunteers will be available to help viewers spot eagles and to answer any questions they may have," Walters said.

Displays also will be set up at each location and pamphlets and other materials about bald eagles will be available for free, or for a small cost.

The best time to view on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11 depends on the individual, Walters said.

The most comfortable times are late morning or early afternoon, when the warmest temperatures and the best visibility are available. The warmer temperatures are especially important if you're bringing young children.

Viewers can expect to see eagles during the late morning and early afternoon but not as many as just before sundown, when eagles "go to roost" for the evening. At most of the sites, the best time to see the greatest number of eagles is usually from 2 to 4 p.m., Walters said.

Walters advises those attending to dress warmly, and if there's snow on the ground, to wear waterproof boots.

For those interested in photographing the eagles a telephoto lens is a must, as the eagles will be some distance from the viewing areas. Photographers who don't bring the proper equipment and try to get close to the eagles for a better shot will most likely scare them away, losing their chance to photograph them and ruining the viewing experience for all those who attend, Walters said.

Walters started Bald Eagle Day in 1990 as a way to introduce people to Utah's wildlife. "It was started as a way of arousing people's interest, whetting their appetite and making them aware of the wildlife around them," Walters said.

Since it began Bald Eagle Day has grown into Utah's most well attended, and one of its most enjoyed, wildlife-viewing events.

For more information about Bald Eagle Day, call Walters at (801) 538-4771 or Division of Wildlife Resources offices in Ogden, Springville, Vernal or Cedar City.


UTAH STATE PARKS SNOWMOBILE GROOMING REPORT
Below are current grooming conditions as of Tuesday, January 17. Utah State Parks staff encourages all riders to carry appropriate avalanche gear and get an avalanche advisory at 1-800-OHV-RIDE or http://www.avalanche.org .

Logan Canyon
January 11 - Amazon
January 11 - Beaver Creek
January 11 - Franklin Basin
January 11 - Tony Grove
January 12 - Cottonwood
January 12 - Garden City
January 12 - Temple Canyon
January 13 - Sinks Trail
January 13 - Swan Flat

Hardware Ranch
January 12 - Strawberry, Hodges, Mill Hollow, Elk Valley, the Gorge, Saddle Creek, and Danish Dugway. Over one foot of new snow in the Sinks and Strawberry, and six inches packed snow at the trailhead.

January 13 - Strawberry to Hodges Canyon turnaround. Plenty of excellent snow in the higher elevations.

Monte Cristo
58 inches of snow at Dry Bread Pond and 71 inches at Monte Cristo.

January 13 - Highway 39
January 14 - Highway 39, Arbs Basin
January 15 - Highway 39, Ant Flat to Hardware Ranch
January 16 - Curtis Creek Loop

Wasatch Mountain
January 3 - Cascade Springs Road at Soldier Hollow
January 3 - Cummings Parkway to Cascade Springs
January 4 - Snake Creek Canyon
January 4 - Pole Line Pass in American Fork Canyon
January 4 - Pine Canyon
January 4 - American Fork Canyon -stopped at Round Mountain due to too much snow. The cat broke down and is under repair.

Mirror Lake / Mill Hollow
Trails are in excellent condition. Six to 10 inches of new snow.

Bear River Service to Whitney
Riders please observe the posted speed limit signs in the parking lot and on Highway 150.

Two feet of new snow accompanied with strong winds above 9,000 feet. Despite some mechanical problems with the snow cat, grooming is scheduled into the Whitney warming hut and along Highway 150.

Uintah Basin
Snow conditions are between one and 15 inches of snow.

Scofield/ Joe's Valley/ Skyline Drive
Be advised that Pondtown has some marked dangerous hazards about three miles from the trailhead.

January 12 - White River has 18 inches of snow at the trailhead and 48 inches on top.
January 13 - North Skyline has 48 inches of snow at the Fairview Top Trailhead.
January 13 - Fish Creek Ridge has 48 inches of snow.
January 13 - Tucker/Starvation/Pondtown has six to 18 inches at the trailheads and 48 inches on top.
January 14 - Miller's Flat has 44 inches. Be advised that the road has been plowed for the first half-mile due to a logging operation.
January 14 - Joe's Valley has four to 12 inches of snow at the lower trailhead and 38 inches at middle mountain.

Mt. Nebo

January 11 - Nephi side gate to the big switch back that has two signs: Bennie Creek and Grotto Trail on the Payson Canyon side. Payson Canyon needs more snow.

Ephraim/ Manti/ 12-Mile
January 13 - Trail conditions are great.

Fish Lake
Two to six feet of good snow exists above 8,500 feet on Beaver, Fishlake and Monroe mountains. Below 8,500 feet, marginal snow with emerging bare spots exist. Many snowmobilers are staying on established roads to avoid potential hazards in traditional play areas.

January 16 - Monroe Mountain from Koosharem to the Koosharem Guard Station to Monroe Peak to Monrovian Park. Cove Mountain from the Koosharem Guard Station to Big Lake.

January 13 - Fishlake to the Mount Terrill Guard Station; Cold Springs and out the Gooseberry Drainage (east of Salina).

January 12 - Beaver Mountain; best access from Puffer Lake above Elk Meadows Ski Resort. Marginal snow with emerging bare spots exist from City Creek (above Junction) to Grindstone Flat and below Kent's Lake.

Cedar Mountain/ East Fork
Six inches of new snow in the Duck Creek and Strawberry Valley areas, with a total of one foot or more. There is about a foot of new snow in the Midway and Sage Valley areas, with a total of approximately two feet.

Cedar Breaks, Duck Creek and Strawberry Valley as conditions permit.

Strawberry Valley
Three inches of snow at the UDOT snow cat shed off Highway 40, 64 inches at Lake Creek Summit, and 65 inches at the Clyde Creek Ridge Line.

January 14 - Co-op Creek to Lake Creek Summit and down Strawberry River
January 16 - Clyde Creek/ Mud Creek into the Strawberry Marina

Notice: Beginning January 16 Clyde Creek/Mud Creek will now be groomed on Monday afternoon.

Report: Hunting Gear Sales Surge Largest increase of all sports categories

NEWTOWN, Conn.--Hunting-related equipment sales saw the highest percentage increase of all athletic and sports equipment, according to new data from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA).

NSGA's report "The Sporting Goods Market in 2005" estimates sales of hunting-related equipment totaled $2.8 billion in 2004, up 8 percent from the previous year.

The next-highest category was tennis-related equipment sales, which rose 5 percent. Archery increased 4 percent, camping 3 percent, golf 3 percent, bowling 3 percent, fishing 2 percent, and baseball/softball 2 percent.

It's welcome news for the hunting industry and for conservationists, said Doug Painter, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the hunting and shooting sports industry. NSSF administers a variety of programs to keep hunters active by increasing opportunities for them to go afield.

"These figures show that our industry is out front in innovating new and better gear, and that hunters are willing to spend their hard-earned dollars for further enjoyment of their favorite outdoor pastime," Painter said, adding, "It's all working together to make hunting a growing segment of the sporting goods world."

Painter continued, "In addition, wildlife and habitat programs are the sole beneficiaries of special excise taxes collected from hunting products, so robust sales should be welcome news to everyone who appreciates a healthy outdoors."

Within the hunting-related equipment category, firearms saw a 9.5 percent sales increase in 2004 to $1.9 billion, according to the report. Rifle sales ($722 million) showed a 16.5 percent increase, handgun sales ($524 million) increased 10.4 percent, shotgun sales ($534 million) were up 1.9 percent and air gun sales ($120 million) rose 3 percent.

Particularly strong sales were seen in hunting-related footwear, the NSGA report shows. Sales in 2004 increased 21 percent, an increase unmatched in any other category of athletic footwear.

At $2.8 billion in total sales, hunting-related equipment ranked third among all athletic and sports equipment categories in 2004, with only golf ($3.1 billion) and exercise equipment ($5 billion) ranking higher, according to the report.

NSGA findings are based on surveys and interviews with 100,000 households in America.

Learn more about the National Shooting Sports Foundation at http://www.nssf.org .


FREE USDA FARM BILL Grant and Loan WORKSHOPS February 8th, 9th, & 10th, 2006

The Utah Wind Working Group is hosting a series of renewable energy workshops around the state in early February to help Utahns harness wind power and other renewable energy resources. Energy efficiency experts will also be on hand to help Utahns learn how they can save energy and money.

The workshop schedule is:

February 8th: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in St. George at the Comfort Suites
February 9th: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Provo at the USDA Service Center
February 10th: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Logan at Utah State University

Participants will learn about grants and loans from section 9006 of the 2002 Farm Bill created specifically to assist rural small businesses and agricultural producers develop wind power, geothermal, solar and biomass projects. Utahns interested in developing wind and other alternative energy projects will receive training to successfully organize, write, and submit an application for funding assistance under the Farm Bill. Information on the Section 9006 program can be found at

http://rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/farmbill

The State Energy Program will open the first workshop in St. George on February 8th. The workshop includes presentations from the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America Program experts on wind power technology and its uses. Utah Clean Energy, in conjunction with Utah Power, will explain how to leverage their energy efficiency incentives with USDA grant money to fund energy efficiency projects that can save money for years to come. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who manages the grant and loan application and review processes, will be presenting an overview of the funding process.

No fee or advance registration is required for these workshops, which are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America and Geopowering the West Programs, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Utah Geological Survey's State Energy Program, Utah Clean Energy, and the USDA Utah Rural Business-Cooperative Services.

To find out more about these workshops or if you have any questions, contact Nykole Littleboy at the Utah Geological Survey at 801-538-5413, nykolelittleboy@utah.gov or Richard Carrig at the Utah USDA at 801-524-4328, richard.carrig@ut.usda.gov .

For more about the funding opportunities through the USDA Farm Bill visit

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/farmbill/2005NOFA/nofa05navigate.html


The Utah Geological Survey is an applied scientific agency that creates, interprets, and provides information about Utah's geologic environment, resources, and hazards to promote safe, beneficial, and wise use of land.



FISHING REPORT FOR SOUTHEASTERN UTAH

GENERAL Your 2006 fishing license is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. You now have a full year of angling regardless of when you bought your license.

ABAJO MOUNTAINS San Juan County waters are unsafe for ice fishing. Some low elevation reservoirs may be fished from the shoreline.

BOULGER RESERVOIR The reservoir is inaccessible, except by snowshoe or snow machine.

CLEVELAND RESERVOIR Ice fishing pressure has been virtually nil all winter. Kay Jensen of the Huntington-Cleveland Irrigation Company indicated that water would not be released this winter, facilitating safer recreational use.



ELECTRIC LAKE The lake is frozen, except on the north end in the vicinity of the mine water discharge pipe. Ice conditions are probably unsafe. The Huntington-Cleveland Irrigation Company is releasing water throughout the winter, which adds to the hazard.

GIGLIOTTI POND (in Helper, Utah) Beginning in 2006, largemouth bass and bluegill may be kept, as long as no more than four fish are taken.

GOOSEBERRY RESERVOIR The reservoir is inaccessible.

HUNTINGTON NORTH RESERVOIR Ice conditions are hazardous. Use extreme caution.

HUNTINGTON RESERVOIR (on the Wasatch Plateau in Sanpete County) Fishing pressure has been very low consequent to poor fishing success. Tiger trout have averaged 15 inches. No water will be released this winter, per Kay Jensen of Huntington-Cleveland Irrigation Company.

JOES VALLEY RESERVOIR Some open water still remains around the dam. Ice conditions are hazardous. Special regulations apply. Please refer to the proclamation.

LAKE POWELL The Lake Powell fishing report home page is: http://www.wayneswords.com .

LASAL MOUNTAINS Conservation Officer Joe Nicholson reports that all LaSal Mountain lakes remain frozen. Only Kens Lake is open. Pressure is low. A few rainbow trout are being caught.

MILLSITE RESERVOIR Open water occurs. Existing ice is unstable. Please fish elsewhere.

SCOFIELD RESERVOIR Dedicated Hunter, Tyrell Irons reported fair to good fishing success last weekend. Anglers were doing well with PowerBait or worms, fished near the bottom. Kastmaster lures were the most popular attractants. Aquatics Biologist, Justin Hart indicated that anglers on the south end of the reservoir had done well with small jigs tipped with wax worms in 10 feet of water. Numerous 14-15 inch rainbow trout were creeled.

Mike Milburn caught and released 14 trout on the 10th. Some of his catch were 8-inchers. Others ranged from 15-18 inches. He fished in 10-25 feet of water with an attractant over a jig, tipped with bait. Ice is about 24 inches thick with a covering of slush and snow.



UPCOMING UTAH STATE PARKS EVENTS
January 28 Antelope Island State Park - Syracuse
Hike with a Naturalist: Join the park naturalist at 3 p.m., and learn how animals adapt to harsh winter conditions. Participants should dress for the weather conditions, bring plenty of water, and sturdy shoes. For more information, please call (801) 773-2941.

January 28 Great Salt Lake State Marina - Salt Lake
SLC Track Club 5K Race- To register, visit http://www.slctrackclub.org

January 28 Rock Cliff Nature Center/ Jordanelle State Park Francis
Track Me If You Can! Join the park naturalist from 10 a.m. to noon and learn basic tracking skills necessary to understanding local wildlife. Bring snowshoes or borrow a pair from the park. Pre registration is required. Day use fee is $7 per vehicle with up to eight people or free to Utah State Park pass holders. For more information call (435) 782 3030 or (435) 649 9540.



January 28 Snow Canyon State Park - Ivins
Winter Birding Hike: Join park staff beginning at 10 a.m., for the St. George Winter Bird Festival and bird among lava flows and towering sandstone cliffs as we search out red-naped sapsuckers, crissal thrashers, and other wintering residents on a three-mile round-trip hike. Binoculars recommended. Registration is required. For more information, please call (435) 628-2255.

January 28 Wasatch Mountain State Park - Midway
Snowshoe with a Naturalist: Winter is a great time to explore the environment, and snowshoes are a great way to do it. Join the naturalist for a two-hour snowshoe hike along Donkey Ridge in Dutch Hollow to get moving and get connected to your winter surroundings. Meet at the visitor center at 10 a.m. Snowshoe rentals available. For more information, please call (435) 654-1791.

January - February Off-Highway Vehicle Education Class - Statewide
Utah State Parks off-highway vehicle, snowmobile and off-highway motorcycle classes are available in most counties statewide. Children age eight to 16 must register one week prior to class. For registration materials, please call 1-800-OHV-RIDE.



SIA Announces Winter Fashion makeover contest

If you're stuck in the 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's -- SIA wants your look


McLean, Virginia (January 19, 2006) - SnowSports Industries America (SIA) is looking for the worst looks on the slopes, with plans to provide someone with an "extreme make-over." Holes in the elbows, neon jumpsuits, shape-less skis, mismatched poles, groovy patterns that have lost their groove - you know who you are and now you have a chance to update your look.

To enter, contestants simply submit a photo to SIA's consumer website at http://www.snowlink.com and look for the Winter Fashion Makeover Contest icon at the bottom of the page. SIA will open up the voting to the general public and announce the winner on February 28, 2006. The contest ends after President's Day weekend. The lucky winner will receive a FREE jacket and pant provided by Helly Hansen ( http://www.hellyhansen.com ). One winner will be chosen by judges based on criteria as outlined in the rules and regulations.

Snowlink.com is a consumer-targeted website developed by SIA to educate, inform, and help enhance the snow sports experience for participants both new and old. The site also includes the only national resort, supplier and retail searchable database for users to find specific snow sports products and where to purchase. In addition, the site serves as a hub for daily news about the industry and event happenings at resorts around the U.S.