Starting this season, hunters will have more chances to spot and stalk bears in Utah. At their meeting on Jan. 10, members of the Utah Wildlife Board—a panel of seven citizens appointed by the governor—approved changes that will guide black bear hunting in Utah for the next three years. Darren DeBloois, game mammals coordinator for the DWR, says the additional spot-and-stalk hunts the board approved will give more hunters a chance to hunt bears while increasing the number of bears taken only slightly. “The success rate on spot-and-stalk hunts is similar to archery hunting for deer,” DeBloois says. “We can offer more opportunities to spot-and-stalk because the number of bears taken with spot-and-stalk is lower than other types of hunting.” DeBloois was also pleased with the board’s decision to keep black bear hunting rules consistent for the next three years. “The number of bears doesn’t fluctuate much from year to year,” he says, “so it makes sense to keep the rules consistent and not change them every year. Keeping the rules in place for the next three years will give us a better, long-term picture of how the state’s bear population is responding to the hunting rules.” You can see all of the black bear rules the board approved in the 2019 Black Bear Guidebook. The free guidebook should be available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks by Feb. 1.