Updated: February 8, 2016, 12:21 pm
Completing hunter education, obtaining the proper hunting license and registering for a Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) number are the first steps to hunting swan in Utah. Depending on your age, you may also need a federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp.
This section provides information about each of these items and how to:
1 Meet Utah's age requirements
2 Meet Utah's hunter education requirements
3 Determine if you are a resident or nonresident
4 Obtain a current hunting or combination license
5 Obtain a current federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp if you’re 16 years old or older
6 Obtain a current HIP number
7 Take the swan hunting orientation course
Are you old enough?
Utah Code § 23-19-11
Anyone who has passed a Division-approved hunter education course can hunt waterfowl in Utah, regardless of age. However, young hunters must be accompanied by an adult while in the field.
Adults must accompany young hunters
Utah Code § 23-20-20
While hunting with any weapon, a person under 14 years old must be accompanied by his or her parent, legal guardian or other responsible person who is 21 years of age or older and who has been approved by the parent or guardian.
A person at least 14 years old and under 16 years old must be accompanied by a person 21 years of age or older while hunting with any weapon.
The Division encourages adults to be familiar with hunter education guidelines or to complete the hunter education course before accompanying youth into the field.
While in the field, the youth and the adult must remain close enough for the adult to see and provide verbal assistance to the young hunter. Using electronic devices, such as walkie-talkies or cell phones, does not meet this requirement.
Have you passed hunter education?
Utah Code § 23-19-11 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-23
If you were born after Dec. 31, 1965, you must provide proof that you’ve passed a hunter education course approved by the Division before you can apply for or obtain a hunting license or a swan permit.
The only exception to this law is for individuals who are participating in the Division’s new Trial Hunting Program.
Proof of hunter education
You can prove that you’ve completed hunter education by obtaining a hunter education card (called a “blue card” in Utah) or by using a hunting license from a previous year with your hunter education number noted on the license.
How to take hunter education
To get started, you should visit Utah's Hunter Education website, where you will find a complete list of traditional or online hunter education courses. Follow the instructions to sign up for a course.
If you need assistance, please contact your local Division office or call 801-538-4727.
When you complete the course, your instructor will sign your course certificate, which will then become your hunting license. With a valid hunting license, you can also apply for or obtain permits in the Division’s hunt drawings.
Approximately four to six weeks after you complete the course, you will receive your blue card by mail.
You should also keep the following in mind:
New to Utah?
If you become a Utah resident, and you’ve completed a hunter education course in another state, province or country, you must obtain a Utah blue card before you can buy a resident hunting license. You can obtain a Utah blue card at any Division office by providing proof that you’ve completed a hunter education course approved by the Division.
Are you a resident?
Utah Code § 23-13-2(37)
Before you apply for a swan permit, it’s important to know whether you are a legal resident of the state of Utah.
You are a resident if you have had a fixed permanent home and principal establishment in Utah for six consecutive months immediately preceding the purchase of a license or permit, and you do not claim residency for hunting, fishing or trapping in any other state or country.
If you purchase a resident license for hunting, fishing or trapping in any other state or country, then your Utah resident license or permit is invalid.
What if I leave Utah temporarily?
You retain your Utah residency if you leave Utah to serve in the armed forces of the United States—or for religious or educational purposes—and you do not claim residency for hunting, fishing or trapping in any other state or country.
What if I serve in the armed forces?
Members of the armed forces of the United States and their dependents are residents as of the date the member reports for duty under assigned orders in Utah, if:
What if I’m a student?
A nonresident attending an institution of higher learning in Utah as a full-time student may qualify as a resident if the student has been present in Utah for 60 consecutive days immediately preceding the purchase of the license or permit and does not claim residency for hunting, fishing or trapping in any other state or country.
What if I own property in Utah?
You do not qualify as a resident if you are an absentee landowner paying property tax on land in Utah.
Do you have a license?
Utah Code § 23-19-1
You must purchase either a hunting license or a combination license to hunt swan in Utah. Here’s the difference between the two licenses:
To purchase a license, visit wildlife.utah.gov or call 1-800-221-0659. You can also visit a license agent or any Division office.
You must carry your license with you while you’re hunting, and you cannot alter your license, or transfer or lend it to another person.
If you want to hunt a swan in Utah, you will also need to apply for and obtain a swan permit.
Do you need a federal stamp?
Utah Admin. Rule R657-9-3
In addition to your hunting license, if you’re 16 years old or older, you must obtain a federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp. This stamp is commonly referred to as a "duck stamp."
You can purchase a duck stamp from your local post office or by phone. The phone number is 1-800-782-6724. You can also call this number to order additional duck stamps. Duck stamps are not available at Division offices.
After you buy your stamp, you must validate it by signing your name in ink across the face of the stamp. You must also carry your stamp with you while you’re hunting (most hunters place their stamp on the back of their hunting license).
If you’re 15 years of age or younger, you do not need a federal duck stamp to hunt swan, but if you turn 16 during the season, you must buy a stamp to hunt the remainder of the season.
Do you have a HIP number?
50 CFR 20.20 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-9-33
In addition to your license (and your duck stamp, if required), you must obtain a Migratory Game Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration number every season.
The number you obtained last season is not valid for this season.
HIP numbers for the 2015–2016 season are valid from March 11, 2015 through March 10, 2016.
It’s easy to register
You can obtain your Utah HIP number in one of two ways:
You’ll need your hunting license to register, so make sure you have it with you before you log onto the website or call. It only takes about 10 minutes to register.
If your 365-day license expires during the season, and you buy a new license, simply write your 2015–2016 HIP registration number—and its expiration date—in the space provided on the front of your new license. You do not need to get a second HIP number for the 2015–2016 season.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started the HIP in the mid-1990s. The program provides biologists with valuable information that helps them manage the nation’s migratory game bird populations.
Did you take the orientation course?
Before you can apply for either a swan permit or a preference point, you must first complete a one-time swan hunting orientation course.
The swan orientation course provides information about swans, including information that will help you identify tundra swans and trumpeter swans in flight. Both are legal to take, but the Division discourages you from shooting trumpeter swans. The course is available online and takes about 30 minutes to complete.