Two Duck Hunting Zones in Utah This Fall

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Splitting Utah into two duck hunting zones should improve hunting in southern Utah and provide those who are willing to travel with an extra week of hunting.

DWR Press Release

Reduction in daily pintail duck limit also approved

Salt Lake City — If you’re willing to travel, you can enjoy an extra week of duck hunting in Utah this fall.

At their Jan. 3 meeting, members of the Utah Wildlife Board—a panel of seven citizens appointed by the governor—approved the creation of two duck hunting zones in Utah. They also approved a reduction in the number of pintail ducks hunters can take each day. And they approved the creation of a new rest area for waterfowl.

All of the rules the board approved will be available in the 2017 – 2018 Utah Waterfowl Guidebook. The free guidebook should be available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks by mid-June.

Two duck hunting zones

Splitting Utah into two duck hunting zones should be a win-win for hunters in the southern part of the state. And, if you don’t live in southern Utah, but you’re willing to travel, you can benefit too.

During the 2017 – 2018 season, the hunt in the North Zone will run from Oct. 7 to Jan. 20. The hunt in the South Zone runs Oct. 14 – Jan. 27.

Blair Stringham, migratory game bird coordinator for the DWR, says having two zones will benefit hunters several ways. They include the following:

·        Over the past few years, warm weather in northern Utah has kept birds from migrating to southern Utah during the early part of the season. Waiting until mid-October to start the duck hunt in the South Zone, and then not ending it until the end of January, should provide hunters in southern Utah with better hunting.

·        Hunters who live outside of southern Utah can benefit too. If you’re willing to travel, you can enjoy an extra week of duck hunting by traveling to the South Zone after the hunt in the North Zone closes.

·        Having two duck zones will allow the DWR to offer two Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days, one in each zone. The youth hunt in the North Zone happens Sept. 23. In the South Zone, the hunt happens Sept. 30.

Reduced pintail limit

During surveys flown over North American breeding and nesting areas this past spring, biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service saw 14 percent fewer pintail ducks than they did during surveys in spring 2015. To give pintails more protection, hunters across the country, including hunters in Utah, will be allowed to take only one pintail a day. Over the past few years, Utah hunters have been allowed to take two pintails a day.

Rest area at Ogden Bay

A new waterfowl rest area should make waterfowl hunting better at the Ogden Bay Waterfowl Management Area west of Hooper. The area, which is closed to hunting, is just west of the headquarters building. It’s about 250 acres in size.

Stringham says rest areas make hunting better by keeping birds in an area longer.

“Rest areas are great for hunting,” he says. “After congregating on a rest area, the birds will fly from the rest area to other areas on the WMA. Rest areas keep birds on WMAs longer, providing hunters with chances to take birds that would have normally left the area because of hunting pressure.”

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