The Pine Valley unit is a special place. Comprised of nearly all public land, Unit 30 boasts exceptional mule deer habitat throughout the entire unit. Because of how the unit's winter range rolls into the low desert country, harsh winters are a non-issue for the mule deer. There are no other competing big game species to speak of, and deer predation is limited to cougars and coyotes. Put it all together and you have a unique dynamic in which mule deer can flourish.
The units also provides a great hunting experience for all kinds of hunters. From trophy hunters wanting to backpack in the wilderness, to hunters after their first deer and an easy hunt - and everything in between - Pine Valley has great mule deer and great mule deer hunting, allowing around 4,000 permits each year.
Currently, Utah's General Season Management Plan offers two options in terms of buck-to-doe ratios (15-17 or 18-20), with Pine Valley being managed for 18-20. As of the 2018 post-season counts, the Pine Valley unit is sitting at 24 bucks per hundred does (3-year avg, update from our local biologist on 1/3/19).
If we leave things the way they are, we would need to increase permits significantly to eliminate many of our bucks, and manage down to the "objective" of 18-20. We feel that the majority of hunters do not want that. Because of this, the Southern Utah Deer Alliance will be proposing a change to how the unit is managed in the future, that will allow us maintain the buck-to-doe ration we have, and not be continually fighting against permit increases.
* This proposal can, and likely will, be modified in the coming months.*
• We will advocate for a buck-to-doe ratio objective range of 21-25 bucks per hundred does.
This will allow us to sustain our current ratio of bucks, with some room for growth. All other objectives and plans will be taken off the table until we can get this structural change made to the management policy.