Utah's swan hunt closes early after harvest limit for trumpeter swans met
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Utah's swan hunt closes early after harvest limit for trumpeter swans met

Salt Lake City — The swan hunting season was closed in Utah two days early after the federal quota of 20 trumpeter swans was met on Dec. 6.

Swan in the wild
Swan in the wild

Starting tomorrow — Saturday, December 7 — hunters are prohibited from killing any swan in Utah.

The 2019 swan hunting season opened on Oct. 5 and was scheduled to run until Dec. 8, but was closed after the 20th trumpeter swan was harvested. Previously, the limit for trumpeter swan harvest in Utah was set at 10 swans, but that number was increased to 20 this year.

"There was a higher number of trumpeter swans harvested this year because there were more migrating through Utah than in previous years," Utah Division of Wildlife Resources migratory game bird program coordinator Blair Stringham said. "We also increased the number of swan permits in Utah from 2,000 to 2,700 this year, which meant more hunters were targeting swans than in past years."

Utah's swan hunt requires a permit, which is only available through a hunt drawing. Hunters with a permit can legally take one trumpeter or tundra swan; however, hunters are discouraged from harvesting trumpeter swans. Utah is one of only nine states in the U.S. that allows hunting for swans. Due to the low population size of trumpeter swans in the Greater Yellowstone area, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sets an annual harvest quota for the number of trumpeter swans that can be harvested in Utah.

"There was a really high harvest of trumpeter swans this year, and while all the permit holders may not have harvested a swan, we appreciate their understanding in helping to protect the trumpeter swan population," Stringham said.

Hunters who harvested any species of swan are required to check in the bird at a DWR office or the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge office within 72 hours of harvest.

Hunters who didn't harvest a swan before the season was closed will not be refunded the permit fee or have their preference points reinstated.

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