Photo by Phil Douglass, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Salt Lake City -- Hunters in five counties will get a 30-minute head start when Utah’s duck and goose hunt opens Oct. 2. On Aug. 19, members of the Utah Wildlife Board approved a 7:30 a.m. start time in Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Salt Lake and Weber counties. Over the past 16 years, the hunt in the counties has started at 8 a.m.
Across the rest of the state, the Oct. 2 opener will start even sooner—at 6:55 a.m. Tom Aldrich, migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says starting the hunt sooner should make opening day better for those in the marsh.
“You should have more chances to take ducks coming into your decoys,” Aldrich says. “By the time 8 a.m. arrives, some of your best chances have past.” For years, the hunt opened at noon. Then, the start time was moved to 8 a.m. “Now the board has approved our recommendation to move it to 7:30 a.m.,” Aldrich says.
Aldrich says the DWR is comfortable starting the hunt 30 minutes earlier. “There’s plenty of daylight at 7:30 a.m.,” he says. “And, after 16 years of opening the hunt at 8 a.m., we’re comfortable allowing hunters to start 30 minutes earlier.”
Same season, same bag limits
Except for a slightly shorter light goose hunt next spring, Utah’s seasons and bag limits will be identical to last season—the season will run for 107 days, and the duck, goose and swan limits will be the same.
Except for the North Goose Zone, the light goose hunt will be slightly shorter this season, however. Outside of the North Goose Zone, the spring hunt will run March 5 – 10.
The board shortened the hunt by six days so it wouldn’t conflict with the popular Snow Goose Festival viewing event that’s held in Delta each spring.
All of the rules the board approved will be available in the 2010 – 2011 Utah Waterfowl Guidebook.
The guidebook should be available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks starting the week of Sept. 6.