Brett Roper

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Local outdoors columnist

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When it comes to outdoor activities there are few things you can plan on other than things change. Those changes can come quickly in the form of an afternoon thunderstorm or a blizzard. Or they can come slowly. Visiting the shoreline of Bear Lake during summers in the early 1980s found few people on the beach: this is no longer true. Hunters and anglers will always face unexpected obstacles and often must forge new paths to continue to be successful.

One principal change I have seen over my lifetime has been the quantity and quality of big game hunting opportunities. In the 1980s, 220,000 Utah hunters harvested 65,000 Mule Deer bucks and 15,000 does a year. By the decade starting in 2010 the average harvest had dropped to 25,000 bucks and 3,000 does shot by 85,000 hunters.


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