First descendants of Southern Ute tribal members are now eligible to apply to hunt in the January Cow Elk hunt on the East Side of the reservation – a new regulation that was recently approved by Tribal Council.
Several Wildlife Division surveys showed that the tribal membership is open to first descendant hunting on the reservation. The Tribal Member Wildlife Advisory Board considered these survey results and recommended that first descendants be given preference for the 2017 January hunt. Tribal Council approved the recommendation in a July 26th meeting.
“The annual January Cow Elk Hunt has historically been available to “other” Native Americans,” stated Steve Whiteman, Wildlife Division Head. “This is the first time descendants of Southern Utes have been approved to hunt on the reservation. In order to apply for a permit, first descendants of enrolled Southern Ute tribal members must get the proper paperwork from Tribal Information Services. They will be required to show a birth certificate that shows that at least one parent is/was an enrolled Southern Ute tribal member. In addition to their birth certificate they will need to show one other form of identification. The proper TIS paperwork will be the only acceptable proof of first descendant status for this hunt. First descendants can then come into the Wildlife office and fill out an application for a permit. First descendants have “preference” over other Natives for this hunt. That means that they will not need to draw for the hunt if there are fewer applicants than permits available. By extending permitting preference to first descendants, the draw odds for other Natives will be lowered. For example, there are 60 permits available for the Archuleta hunt unit; if 20 first descendants are interested then only the remaining 40 permits will be available for other Natives to draw. However if 80 first descendants are interested in permits for the Archuleta unit then there will be a draw process to choose 60 first descendant hunters, and no permits would be available for other Natives. We simply don’t know yet what the level of interest will be from first descendants, but we believe it will be a small number.”
“There are 120 permits total available to first descendants and other Natives; 60 in the Sandoval hunt unit and 60 in the Archuleta hunt unit. Also, it’s important to remember that Southern Ute tribal members have always been welcome to participate in the January Cow Elk Hunt, and this new development with first descendants does not change that” commented Aran Johnson, Wildlife Biologist. “Tribal members may pick up permits for the January Cow Elk Hunt at any point prior to the hunt free of charge. For first descendants and other Natives there is a $25 application fee, due when handing in the application, as well as a $125 permit fee due prior to the hunt starting. First descendants and other Natives participating in the hunt are required to attend a pre-hunt orientation meeting to go over rules and regulations and other expectations of the hunt.”
When applying for a hunting permit, it has been noted that the applicant must have a clean record, which will be checked for any hunting and/or fishing violations.
The annual January Cow Elk Hunt will be entering its fourteenth year, and will have a mandatory orientation on January 6 at the Sky Ute Casino, with the official hunt following from January 7 through January 15. Please contact the Wildlife Division with questions about the application process or the hunt.