Season reopens June 16, 2011
Starting April 1, 2011 you can’t hunt prairie dogs on public
land in Utah.
You can start hunting them again, however, starting June 16,
There are two exceptions to this rule-Utah prairie dogs in
southwestern Utah, and the white-tailed prairie dog population in
Coyote Basin in northeastern Utah, may not be hunted, no matter
what time of year it is.
Protecting prairie dogs
Just like game animals, Utah has a hunting season for Gunnison
and white-tailed prairie dogs:
From April 1 to June 15, all prairie dog hunting is prohibited
on public land across the state. The closure does not apply to
private property, however.
On private property, a landowner and those to whom the landowner
has give permission can hunt prairie dogs year-round.
Tony Wright, a sensitive species biologist with the Division of
Wildlife Resources, says the shooting closure is designed to help
Gunnison and white-tailed prairie dogs, which are considered
sensitive species in Utah.
“Protecting prairie dogs during their spring breeding season
helps ensure the prairie dogs are able to give birth to and raise
their young,” Wright says.
Wright says many wildlife species depend on prairie dogs for
food. “Black-footed ferrets, birds of prey and ground predators
feed on prairie dogs,” he says.
Some areas closed year round
In some areas of Utah, prairie dogs may not be hunted, no matter
what time of year it is:
Utah prairie dogs in southwestern Utah are protected by the
Endangered Species Act. You may not hunt them.
The white-tailed prairie dog population in Coyote Basin in
northeastern Utah is the primary prey species of black-footed
ferrets, a federally protected species in the area.
White-tailed prairie dogs in Coyote Basin may not be hunted.
Finding Gunnison and white-tailed prairie dogs
After June 15, hunting is allowed only for white-tailed and
Gunnison prairie dogs.
In Utah, you’ll find Gunnison prairie dogs east of the Colorado
River. White-tailed prairie dogs are found elsewhere in eastern
A license isn’t required to hunt prairie dogs in Utah. And there
isn’t a bag limit.
For more information, call the DWR’s Southeastern Region office
at 435-613-3700 or the agency’s Northeastern Region office at