General archery elk permits will also go on sale July 17. General archery elk permits are not limited in number, though, so there's no rush to get one. General archery elk permits will be available throughout both the general and extended archery seasons. Permits may be purchased at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources' website (wildlife.utah.gov) and from DWR offices and more than 300 hunting license agents across Utah.
For a list of license agents and where they're located, go to wildlife.utah.gov/licenses/agent.
Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR, said the agency's website could be busy on the morning of July 17. "If the site reaches the maximum number of people it can serve," she said, "a message will pop up indicating the site has reached its full capacity.
"If that happens, stay on the site and be patient. You should be able to access the site again in a few minutes."
Before you buy a rifle or muzzleloader permit, you need to decide which units you want to hunt on: any-bull units, where you're allowed to take a bull of any size, or spike-only units, where only spike bulls may be taken.
If you buy an any-bull permit, you can hunt on all of the any-bull units in Utah. If you buy a spike-only permit, you can hunt on all of the spike-only units in the state.
If you're new to elk hunting, Anis Aoude, big game coordinator for the DWR, encourages you to buy a permit for the spike-only units.
"There are plenty of spike bulls in Utah," he said. "And there's a lot of public land to hunt them on."
If you decide to chase branch antlered bulls on an any-bull unit, Aoude says the two Uinta Mountains units—the North Slope unit and the South Slope unit—are your best bets.
If you look at the map on pages 46 and 47 of the 2012 Utah Big Game Field Regulations Guidebook, you'll see Utah has quite a few any-bull elk units.
"But there's a challenge to hunting these units," Aoude said. "With the exception of the North Slope and South Slope units, many of these units are covered by private land or they don't have the number of elk on them that the North Slope and South Slope units have."
Copies of the 2012 Utah Big Game Field Regulations Guidebook are available free at wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.