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Take a young person duck hunting

Sept. 21 is Youth Hunting Day

Hunters 15 years of age and younger will have Utah's marshes — and the ducks and geese that go with them — all to themselves on Sept. 21.

A young Utah hunter during Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day.

Several states hold youth waterfowl hunts, including Utah.

Photo courtesy of Ducks Unlimited.

That's the day Utah hosts its annual Youth Waterfowl Hunt.

Blair Stringham, migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says taking young hunters into the marsh on Sept. 21 is the perfect way to get them interested in duck and goose hunting. He says the number of ducks in Utah peaks in mid-September.

"It's the perfect time to be in the marsh," he says. "The kids you take will see plenty of ducks. And they should get plenty of shots." And the young hunters should also get your undivided attention. "Adults can't hunt during the youth hunt," he says, "so the kids you take will get all of your attention."

Stringham says youth day might be the best day you spend in the marsh all season. "Youth day is the perfect way to pass the tradition of waterfowl hunting on to the next generation," he says. "The experiences the kids have that day are something they'll never forget."

Shooting on Sept. 21 starts at 6:44 a.m.

To participate in the hunt, hunters must be 15 years of age or younger on Sept. 21. They must also be a Hunter Education course graduate, have a current hunting license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, and be accompanied by an adult.

Unit 1 at Farmington Bay

One area you won't want to take your kids to on Sept. 21 is Unit 1 at the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area west of Farmington.

Personnel at the WMA have been rebuilding islands on the unit that have deteriorated over time. They're also building a new dike on the southeast side of the unit. The dike will allow personnel to flood the area with water, creating a brand new hunting area for hunters.

"To do the work," Stringham says, "personnel had to shut off the supply of water that was coming into the unit. We're hoping to complete the work, and refill the unit with water, before the general hunt opens on Oct. 5. The unit will have very little water in it on Sept. 21, though."

Learn more

More information about the Youth Waterfowl Hunt, including the number of ducks and geese kids can take, is available on page 25 of the 2013–2014 Utah Waterfowl Guidebook.

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