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Two changes for Youth Hunting Day

If you're 15 years of age or younger—and you're looking forward to hunting ducks and geese on Utah's special Youth Hunting Day—you need to be aware of two changes:

Light geese

Snow, blue and Ross' geese may not be taken on Youth Hunting Day. The special hunting day — for hunters 15 years of age or younger — happens Sept. 17, 2011.

Photo by Lynn Chamberlain

  • You may not take light geese on Sept. 17.

    You can still take Canada geese, but snow, blue and Ross' geese may not be taken that day.

    Utah's light goose hunting season can't run for more than 107 days. But a 108-day season was inadvertently approved for this fall. Not allowing youth to take light geese on the youth day will cut the season back to 107 days and bring Utah into compliance with federal law.

    Light geese usually don't migrate into Utah until later in the season, so not allowing youth to take light geese shouldn't diminish the fun young hunters have on youth day.
  • The main pond at the Salt Creek Waterfowl Management Area won't have any water in it.

Sept. 17 is the day Utah will hold its special Youth Hunting Day. Hunters who are 15 years of age or younger on Sept. 17 can hunt ducks and geese that day. That's two full weeks before the general waterfowl hunt opens on Oct. 1.

Sept. 17 should be a fun day for young hunters. But if Salt Creek is the place you planned to hunt, you might want to look for another spot.

Plenty of options

Justin Dolling, migratory game bird and upland game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the remaining ponds at the WMA will have water in them, so there's still a chance to hunt at Salt Creek on Sept. 17.

"But with so many other WMAs in northern Utah to hunt," Dolling says, "I'd recommend going to another spot. Water conditions at the remaining WMAs are the best we've seen in years. And the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge also has plenty of water."

Why is it dry?

In conjunction with Ducks Unlimited, DWR personnel have been removing sediment from the main lake at Salt Creek. Removing the sediment should allow the WMA's managers to better manage the area's water. It should also result in better sediment consolidation and a better gradient along the lake's shoreline.

The sediment is also being used to create nesting and loafing islands for ducks and geese in the main lake.

"In the long run," Dolling says, "the project will improve duck and goose habitat and hunting at Salt Creek."

Dolling says the main pond at the WMA should have some water in it when the general waterfowl hunt opens on Oct. 1. "Then, as the season moves along," he says, "the water conditions at Salt Creek will get better and better."

The Salt Creek WMA is about 15 miles northwest of Corinne. For more information, call (435) 854-3610.

More information

More information about Youth Hunting Day is available on page 23 of the 2011–2012 Utah Waterfowl Guidebook.

A draft copy of the free guidebook is available at wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.

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