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R657-54 – Taking Wild Turkey

KEY: wildlife, wild turkey, game laws

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: September 12, 2011

Notice of Continuation: November 30, 2009

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 23-14-18; 23-14-1

R657-54-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) Under authority of Sections 23-14-18 and 23-14-19 and in accordance with 50 CFR 20, 2003 edition, which is incorporated by reference, the Wildlife Board has established this rule for taking wild turkey.

(2) Specific season dates, bag and possession limits, areas open, number of permits and other administrative details that may change annually are published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.

R657-54-2. Definitions.

(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-13-2.

(2) In addition:

(a) "Bait" means shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed that lures, attracts or entices birds.

(b) "CFR" means the Code of Federal Regulations.

(c) "Cleared and planted land" means private land or privately leased state or federal land used to produce a cultivated crop for commercial gain and the cultivated crop is routinely irrigated or routinely mechanically or manually harvested, or is crop residue that has forage value for livestock.

(d) "Commercial gain" means intent to profit from cultivated crops through an enterprise in support of the crop owner's livelihood.

(e) "Essential habitat" means areas where wild turkeys regularly and consistently roost, feed, loaf, nest or winter.

(f) "Immediate family" means the landowner's lessee, or landowner's or lessee's spouse, children, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepchildren, and grandchildren.

(g) "Landowner" means any individual, family or corporation who owns property in Utah and whose name appears on the deed as the owner of eligible property or whose name appears as the purchaser on a contract for sale of eligible property.

(h) "Livestock Forage" means any forage, excluding cultivated crops and crop residues, meant for consumption by livestock, not routinely irrigated or routinely mechanically or manually harvested.

(i) "Open season" means the days when upland game may lawfully be taken. Each period prescribed as an open season shall include the first and last days thereof.

(j) "Private land" means land in private fee ownership and in agricultural use as provided in Section 59-2-502 and eligible for agricultural use valuation as provided in Section 59-2-503 and 59-2-504. Private land does not include tribal trust lands.

R657-54-3. Application Procedure for Wild Turkey.

(1) Permits for wild turkey will be issued pursuant to R657-62-26.

R657-54-4. Landowner Permits.

(1)(a) Up to an additional 20 percent of the limited entry permits authorized for taking Merriam's and Rio Grande turkeys are available to private landowners through a drawing.

(2) Landowners interested in obtaining landowner permits must:

(a) contact the regional Division office in their area on the dates published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey;

(b) obtain and complete a landowner application;

(c) obtain a Division representative's signature on the landowner application; and

(d) submit the landowner application in accordance with Section R657-62-26.

(4)(a) Landowner permit applications that are not signed by the local Division representative will be rejected.

(5)(a) Only one eligible landowner may submit an application for the same parcel of land within the respective regional hunt boundary area.

(b) In cases where more than one application is received for the same parcel of land, all applications will be rejected.

(6) Applications must include:

(a) description of total acres owned within the respective regional hunt boundary;

(b) evidence of property ownership, including a copy of a title, deed, or tax notice indicating the applicant is the owner of the property; and

(c) the signature of the landowner.

(i) The signature on the application will serve as an affidavit certifying land ownership.

(7)(a) A landowner is eligible to participate in the drawing for available landowner turkey permits provided the landowner owns:

(i) at least 640 acres of essential habitat, or 40 acres of essential habitat that is cleared and planted land, in an open unit designated as a Merriam's unit that supports wild turkeys; or

(ii) at least 20 acres of essential habitat in an open unit designated as a Rio Grande unit that supports wild turkeys.

(b) Land qualifying as essential habitat, or cleared and planted land, and owned by more than one landowner may qualify for a landowner permit. However, the landowners who own the qualifying land must determine the landowner who will be participating in the drawing.

(8)(a) A landowner who applies for a landowner permit may:

(i) be issued the permit; or

(ii) designate a member of the landowner's immediate family or landowner's regular full-time employee to receive the permit.

(b) At the time of application, the landowner must identify the designee who will receive the permit.

(c) The landowner permit may be used only on the open limited entry area in which the landowner's property is located during the open season established for hunting wild turkeys.

(d) A person may not apply for or obtain a landowner permit without possessing a Utah hunting or combination license.

(9) Applicants will be notified by mail or e-mail of the drawing results for landowner permits by the date published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.

(10)(a) Any landowner permits remaining after the landowner drawing shall be converted to public limited entry permits for that specific unit.

(b) These permits shall be issued through the limited entry drawing. Therefore, the number of public permits listed in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey, may increase.

(11)(a) A waiting period does not apply to landowners applying for landowner permits.

(b) A landowner may apply once annually for a landowner permit and a limited entry permit, but may only draw or obtain one permit.

R657-54-5. Firearms and Archery Tackle.

Wild turkey may be taken only with a bow and broadhead tipped arrows or a shotgun no larger than 10 gauge and no smaller than 20 gauge, firing shot sizes ranging between BB and no. 8.

R657-54-6. Shooting Hours.

(1) Wild turkey may be taken only between one-half hour before official sunrise through one-half hour after official sunset.

(b) A person must add to or subtract from the official sunrise and sunset depending on the geographic location of the state. Specific times are provided in a time zone map in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.

R657-54-7. State Parks.

(1) Hunting of any wildlife is prohibited within the boundaries of all state park areas, except those areas designated open to hunting by the Division of Parks and Recreation in Rule R651-614-4.

(2) Hunting with rifles and handguns in park areas designated open is prohibited within one mile of all park facilities including buildings, camp or picnic sites, overlooks, golf courses, boat ramps, and developed beaches.

(3) Hunting with shotguns or archery tackle is prohibited within one quarter mile of the above stated areas.

R657-54-8. Falconry.

Falconers may not release a raptor on wild turkey.

R657-54-9. Live Decoys and Electronic Calls.

A person may not take a wild turkey by the use or aid of live decoys, records or tapes of turkey calls or sounds, or electronically amplified imitations of turkey calls.

R657-54-10. Baiting.

A person may not hunt turkey using bait, or on or over any baited area where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited. An area is considered baited for 10 days after bait is removed, or 10 days after bait in an area is eaten.

R657-54-11. Sitting or Roosting Turkeys.

A person may not take or attempt to take any turkey sitting or roosting in a tree.

R657-54-12. Tagging Requirements.

(1) The carcass of a turkey must be tagged before the carcass is moved from, or the hunter leaves, the site of kill.

(2) To tag a carcass, a person shall:

(a) completely detach the tag from the license or permit;

(b) completely remove the appropriate notches to correspond with:

(i) the date the animal was taken;

(ii) the sex of the animal; and

(c) attach the tag to the carcass so that the tag remains securely fastened and visible.

(3) A person may not:

(a) remove more than one notch indicating date or sex; or

(b) tag more than one carcass using the same tag.

(4) A person may not hunt or pursue turkey after any of the notches have been removed from the tag or the tag has been detached from the permit.

R657-54-13. Identification of Species and Sex.

The head and beard must remain attached to the carcass of wild turkey while being transported.

R657-54-14. Use of Dogs.

(1) Dogs may be used to locate and retrieve wild turkey during open hunting seasons.

(2) Dogs are not allowed on state wildlife management or waterfowl management areas, except during open hunting seasons or as posted by the Division.

R657-54-15. Closed Areas.

A person may not hunt wild turkey in any area posted closed by the Division or any of the following areas:

(1) Salt Lake Airport boundaries as posted.

(2) Incorporated municipalities: Most of the incorporated areas of Alta, a portion of Davis County, Garland City, Layton, Logan, Pleasant View City, South Ogden City, West Jordan, and West Valley City are closed to the discharge of firearms. Check with the respective city officials for specific boundaries. Other municipalities may have additional firearm restrictions.

(3) All State Waterfowl Management Areas except Brown's Park and Stewart Lake

(4) All National Wildlife Refuges unless declared open by the managing authority.

(5) Military installations, including Camp Williams, are closed to hunting and trespassing unless otherwise authorized.

R657-54-16. Possession of Live Protected Wildlife.

It is unlawful for any person to hold in captivity at any time any protected wildlife, except as provided by Title 23, Wildlife Resources Code or any rules and regulations of the Wildlife Board. Protected wildlife that is wounded must be immediately killed and shall be included in the hunter's bag limit.

R657-54-17. Spotlighting.

(1) Except as provided in Section 23-13-17:

(a) a person may not use or cast the rays of any spotlight, headlight or other artificial light to locate protected wildlife while having in possession a firearm or other weapon or device that could be used to take or injure protected wildlife; and

(b) the use of a spotlight or other artificial light in a field, woodland or forest where protected wildlife are generally found is prima facie evidence of attempting to locate protected wildlife.

(2) The provisions of this section do not apply to:

(a) the use of the headlights of a motor vehicle or other artificial light in a usual manner where there is no attempt or intent to locate protected wildlife; or

(b) a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon in accordance with Title 53, Chapter 5, Part 7 of the Utah Code, provided the person is not utilizing the concealed firearm to hunt or take wildlife.

R657-54-18. Exporting Wild Turkey from Utah.

A person may export wild turkey or their parts from Utah only if:

(1) the person who harvested the turkey accompanies it and possess a valid permit corresponding to the tag; or

(2) the person exporting the turkey or its parts, if it is not the person who harvested the turkey, has obtained a shipping permit from the Division.

R657-54-19. Waste of Game.

(1) A person may not waste or permit to be wasted or spoiled any protected wildlife or their parts.

(2) A person shall not kill or cripple any wild turkey without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the turkey.

R657-54-20. Wild Turkey Poaching Reported Reward Permits.

(1) Any person who provides information leading to another person's arrest and successful prosecution for wanton destruction of a wild turkey under Section 23-20-4, within any limited entry area may receive a permit from the Division to hunt wild turkey in the following year on the same limited entry area where the violation occurred, except as provided in Subsection (2).

(2)(a) In the event that issuance of a Poaching-Reported Reward Permit would exceed 5 percent of the total number of limited entry permits issued in the following year for the respective area, a permit shall not be issued for that respective area. As an alternative, the Division may issue a permit as outlined in Subsection (b).

(b) A permit for a wild turkey, on an alternative limited entry area that has been allocated more than 20 permits, may be issued.

(3)(a) The Division may issue only one Poaching-Reported Reward Permit for any one wild turkey illegally taken.

(b) No more than one Poaching-Reported Reward Permit shall be issued to any one person per successful prosecution.

(c) No more than one Poaching-Reported Reward Permit shall be issued to any one person in any one calendar year.

(d) A person must possess a Utah hunting or combination license to receive a Poaching-Reported Reward Permit.

(4)(a) Poaching-Reported Reward permits may only be issued to the person who provides the most pertinent information leading to a successful prosecution. Permits are not transferrable.

(b) If information is received from more than one person, the director of the Division shall make a determination based on the facts of the case, as to which person provided the most pertinent information leading to the successful prosecution in the case.

(c) The person providing the most pertinent information shall qualify for the Poaching-Reported Reward Permit.

(5) Any person who receives a Poaching-Reported Reward Permit must be eligible to hunt and obtain wild turkey permits as provided in all rules and regulations of the Wildlife Board and the Wildlife Resources Code.

(6) For purposes of this section, "successful prosecution" means the screening, filing of charges and subsequent adjudication for the poaching incident.

R657-54-21. Season Dates, Bag and Possession Limits, and Areas Open.

Season dates, bag and possession limits, areas open, and number of permits for taking wild turkey are provided in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.

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