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Approved upland game hunt changes

SALT LAKE CITY — You'll have to wait until Sept. 2 to hunt doves and pigeons in Utah this fall. But when the hunt starts, you can hunt band-tailed pigeons across the state. And you can have more mourning and white-winged doves in your possession.

A mourning dove in Utah.

Starting this fall, you can have 30 mourning doves in your possession. The daily bag limit is still 10 doves.

Photo by Brent Stettler

Members of the Utah Wildlife Board approved rules for Utah's 2013–2014 upland game hunting seasons at a meeting on June 4. The changes they approved include the following:

Hunts start Sept. 2

Utah's dove and pigeon hunts, and the state's forest grouse, cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare and sandhill crane hunts, usually start on Sept. 1.

Blair Stringham, migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says Utah law doesn't allow a hunt to start on a Sunday. "That's why this year's hunts will start on Monday, Sept. 2," he says.

Pigeon changes

In the past, you could hunt band-tailed pigeons in 13 of Utah's 29 counties. Those 13 counties are the counties pigeons are usually found in.

Starting this season, the Wildlife Board has made the regulations easier to understand: You can now take band-tailed pigeons anywhere in Utah.

The board also voted to decrease the daily band-tailed pigeon bag limit from five pigeons a day to two birds a day.

Stringham says band-tailed pigeons have declined in number since the 1960s. "With the reduced limit," he says, "we're comfortable allowing pigeon hunting across Utah."

More doves

Starting this season, you can possess more mourning and white-winged doves.

You still may not take more than 10 doves a day. But the possession limit has been increased from 20 doves to 30 doves.

Keeping the daily dove bag limit at 10 doves, but allowing hunters to have 30 doves in their possession, will help those who travel a long distance to hunt.

"Instead of having to pack up and head home after two days of hunting," Stringham says, "you can extend your hunting trip an extra day because you can have 10 additional doves in your possession."

2013-2014 Upland Game Guidebook

You can see all of the upland game hunting rules the board approved in the 2013–2014 Upland Game and Turkey Guidebook.

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