Administrative rule R657-6
Taking upland game
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KEY: wildlife, birds, rabbits, game laws
Date of Last Change: October 1, 2023
Notice of Continuation: May 18, 2020
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 23A-2-304; 23A-2-305
R657-6-1. Purpose and Authority.
(1) Under authority of Sections 23A-2-304 and 23A-2-305 and in accordance with 50 CFR 20, 2004 edition, which is incorporated by reference, the Wildlife Board has established this rule for taking upland game.
(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.
(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23A-1-101.
(2) In addition:
(a) "Bait" means shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grain, salt or other feed that lures, attracts or entices upland game.
(b) "Baiting" means the direct or indirect placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain, or other feed that could serve as a lure or attraction for upland game to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them.
(c) "CFR" means the Code of Federal Regulations.
(d) "Falconry" means the sport of taking quarry by a trained raptor.
(e) "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.
(f) "Migratory game bird" means, for the purposes of this rule, American crow, mourning dove, white-winged dove, band-tailed pigeon, and Sandhill crane.
(g) "Night vision device" means any device that enhances visible or non-visible light, including: night vision, thermal imaging, infrared imaging, or electronics that enhance the visible or non-visible light spectrum.
(h) "Pre-charged pneumatic air rifle" means a rifle that fires a single projectile with compressed air released from a chamber:
(i) built into the rifle; and
(ii) pressurized at a minimum of 2,000 pounds per square inch from an external high compression device or source, such as a hand pump, compressor, or scuba tank firing a single:
(A) broadhead tipped bolt or arrow; or
(B) pellet or slug during fall turkey season that:
(I) is .25 caliber or larger;
(II) weighs 18 grains or more; and
(III) is fired at a velocity to produce at least 30 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle.
(i) "Transport" means to ship, carry, export, import, receive or deliver for shipment, conveyance, carriage, exportation or importation.
(j) "Upland game" means pheasant, California quail, Gambel's Quail, chukar partridge, gray partridge, greater sage-grouse, ruffed grouse, dusky grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, white-tailed ptarmigan, American crow, mourning dove, white-winged dove, band-tailed pigeon, and Sandhill crane.
(j) "Youth group" means any organization in which youth are enrolled; FFA, Scouts, 4H.
R657-6-3. Migratory Game Bird Harvest Information Program.
(1) A person must obtain a Migratory Game Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration number to hunt migratory game birds.
(2)(a) A person may register online as published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey to obtain their HIP registration number.
(b) A person must write their HIP registration number on their current valid hunting license.
(3) Any person obtaining a HIP registration number will be required to provide their:
(a) hunting license number;
(b) hunting license type;
(e) phone number;
(f) birth date; and
(g) information about the previous year's migratory game bird hunts.
(4) Lifetime license holders will receive a sticker every three years from the Division to write their HIP number on and place on their lifetime license card.
(5) Any person hunting migratory game birds will be required, while in the field, to possess a hunting or combination license with the HIP registration number recorded on the license, demonstrating they have registered and provided information for the HIP program.
R657-6-4. Permits for Band-tailed Pigeon, Greater Sage-grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse and White-tailed Ptarmigan.
(1)(a) A person may not take or possess:
(i) Band-tailed pigeon without first obtaining a band-tailed pigeon permit;
(ii) Greater sage-grouse without first obtaining a greater sage-grouse permit;
(iii) Sharp-tailed grouse without first obtaining a sharp-tailed grouse permit; or
(iv) White-tailed ptarmigan without first obtaining a white-tailed ptarmigan permit.
(b) A person may obtain only one permit for each species listed in Subsection (1)(a), except a falconer with a valid Falconry Certificate of Registration may obtain one additional two-bird greater sage-grouse permit beginning on the date published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey, if any permits are remaining.
(2)(a) A limited number of two-bird greater sage-grouse permits are available in the areas published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
(b) A greater sage-grouse permit may only be used in one of the open areas as published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
(c) Greater sage-grouse permits will be issued pursuant to Section R657-62-21.
(3)(a) A limited number of two-bird, sharp-tailed grouse permits are available.
(b) A sharp-tailed grouse permit may only be used in one of the open areas as published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
(c) Sharp-tailed grouse permits will be issued pursuant to Section R657-62-21.
(4) Band-tailed pigeon and white-tailed ptarmigan permits are available from Division offices, through the mail, and through the Division's internet address by the first week in August, free of charge.
R657-6-5. Application Procedure for Sandhill Crane.
(1)(a) Sandhill crane permits will be issued pursuant to R657-62-21.
(b) Residents and nonresidents may apply.
(c) The application period for Sandhill crane is published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
(2) A person may obtain only one Sandhill crane permit each year.
R657-6-6. Authorized Weapons.
(1) A person may not use any weapon or device to take upland game except as provided in this section.
(2) Upland game may be taken with archery equipment, including a draw-lock, a crossbow, a shotgun no larger than 10 gauge, or a handgun. Loads for shotguns and handguns must be one-half ounce or more of shot size ranging between no. 2 and no. 9, except:
(a) migratory game birds may not be taken with a handgun, or a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells;
(b) cottontail rabbit and snowshoe hare may be taken with:
(i) any firearm not capable of being fired fully automatic; and
(ii) A pre-charged pneumatic air rifle.
(3) Sandhill crane may be taken with any size of nontoxic shot.
(4) A person may not use:
(a) a firearm capable of being fired fully automatic; or
(b) any light enhancement device or aiming device that casts a visible beam of light.
R657-6-7. Nontoxic Shot.
(1) Only nontoxic shot may be used to take Sandhill crane.
(2) Except as provided in Subsection (3), nontoxic shot is not required to take any species of upland game, except Sandhill crane.
(3) A person may not possess or use lead shot or any other shot that has not been approved as nontoxic by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service while on federal refuges or the following state waterfowl or wildlife management areas: Bicknell Bottoms, Blue Lake, Brown's Park, Clear Lake, Desert Lake, Farmington Bay, Harold S. Crane, Howard Slough, Lee Kay Dog Training Area, Locomotive Springs, Manti Meadows, Mills Meadows, Ogden Bay, Powell Slough, Public Shooting Grounds, Salt Creek, Scott M. Matheson Wetland Preserve, Stewart Lake, Timpie Springs, and Utah Lake Wetland Preserve.
R657-6-8. Use of Firearms, Crossbows and Archery Tackle on State Wildlife Management Areas.
(1) A person may not discharge a firearm, crossbow, or archery tackle on the Bear River Trenton Property Parcel, Browns Park, Bud Phelps, Huntington, James Walter Fitzgerald, Kevin Conway, Manti Meadows, Montes Creek, Nephi, Pahvant, Redmond Marsh, Roosevelt, Scott M. Matheson Wetland Preserve, Stewart Lake, Vernal, and Willard Bay Wildlife Management areas during any time of year, except:
(a) the use of authorized weapons as provided in Utah Admin. Code R657-6-6 during open hunting seasons for lawful hunting activities;
(b) as otherwise authorized by the Division in special use permit, certificate of registration, administrative rule, proclamation, or an order of the Wildlife Board; or
(c) for lawful purposes of self-defense.
R657-6-9. Use of Firearms, Crossbows, and Archery Tackle on State Waterfowl Management Areas.
(1) A person may not discharge a firearm, crossbow, or archery tackle on the Bicknell Bottoms, Blue Lake, Brown's Park, Clear Lake, Desert Lake, Farmington Bay, Harold S. Crane, Howard Slough, Locomotive Springs, Mills Meadows, Ogden Bay, Powell Slough, Public Shooting Grounds, Salt Creek, Stewart Lake, Timpie Springs and Topaz Waterfowl Management areas, and Utah Lake Wetland Preserve, during any time of the year, except:
(a) the use of authorized weapons as provided in Section R657-9-7 during open waterfowl hunting seasons for lawful hunting activities;
(b) as otherwise authorized by the Division in special use permit, certificate of registration, administrative rule, proclamation, or an order of the Wildlife Board; or
(c) for lawful purposes of self-defense.
R657-6-10. Shooting Hours.
(1)(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), shooting hours for upland game are as follows:
(i) American crow, band-tailed pigeon, mourning dove, white-winged dove, and Sandhill crane may be taken only between one-half hour before official sunrise through official sunset.
(ii) Greater sage-grouse, ruffed grouse, dusky grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, white-tailed ptarmigan, chukar partridge, gray partridge, pheasant, California quail, Gambel's quail, cottontail rabbit, and snowshoe hare may be taken only between one-half hour before official sunrise through one-half hour after official sunset.
(b)(i) A person must add to or subtract from the official sunrise and sunset depending on the geographic location of the state.
(ii) Specific shooting hours shall be provided in a time zone map in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
(2) A person may not discharge a firearm on state owned lands adjacent to the Great Salt Lake, state waterfowl management areas or on federal refuges between official sunset through one-half hour before official sunrise.
R657-6-11. 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 in Section 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, crossbow, or archery tackle is prohibited within one quarter mile of the above stated areas.
(1) Falconers must obtain an annual hunting or combination license and a valid Falconry Certificate of Registration or license to hunt upland game and must also obtain:
(a) a band-tailed pigeon permit before taking band-tailed pigeon;
(b) a greater sage-grouse permit before taking greater sage-grouse;
(c) a sharp-tailed grouse permit before taking sharp-tailed grouse;
(d) a white-tailed ptarmigan permit before taking white-tailed ptarmigan; or
(e) a sandhill crane permit before taking sandhill crane.
(2) Areas open and bag and possession limits for falconry are provided in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.
(1) A person may not hunt upland game by the aid of baiting, 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 all bait in an area is eaten. This section does not prohibit:
(a) the taking of any migratory game bird on or over the following lands or areas that are not otherwise baited areas:
(i) standing crops or flooded standing crops, including aquatics, standing, flooded or manipulated natural vegetation, flooded harvested croplands, or lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, post-harvest manipulation or normal soil stabilization practice;
(ii) from a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation;
(iii) from a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, as long as such camouflaging does not result in the exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of grain or other feed; or
(iv) standing or flooded standing agricultural crops where grain is inadvertently scattered solely as a result of a hunter entering or exiting a hunting area, placing decoys or retrieving downed birds.
(b) The taking of any upland game, except Sandhill crane, on or over lands or areas that are not otherwise baited areas, and where grain or other feed has been distributed or scattered solely as the result of manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the land where grown or solely as the result of a normal agricultural operation.
R657-6-14. Use of Motorized Vehicles.
Motorized vehicle travel on all state wildlife management areas is restricted to county roads and improved roads that are posted open.
R657-6-15. 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 23A, Wildlife Resources Code or any rules of the Wildlife Board. Every upland game animal wounded by hunting and reduced to possession by the hunter shall be immediately killed and become part of the daily bag limit.
R657-6-16. Tagging Requirements.
(1) A person that takes a sandhill crane, greater sage-grouse, or sharp-tailed grouse must tag the carcass, as provided in Section 23A-4-709, immediately upon taking possession of the carcass.
(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 the date the animal was taken; 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 the date; or
(b) tag more than one carcass using the same tag.
(4) A person may not hunt or pursue a sandhill crane, greater sage-grouse, or sharp-tailed grouse after:
(a) shooting and retrieving birds equal to the number of unused permits in possession, or daily bag limit;
(b) the tag is detached from the permit; or
(c) any of the notches have been removed from the tag.
R657-6-17. Identification of Species and Sex.
One fully feathered wing must remain attached to each upland game bird and migratory game bird taken while it is being transported to allow species identification.
R657-6-18. Waste of Upland 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 upland game without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the upland game animal.
R657-6-19. Utah Pheasant Project.
(1) Youth groups may collect and rear pheasants from eggs in nests destroyed by normal hay mowing operations. The administrator of the youth group shall first apply for and obtain a certificate of registration for this activity.
(2) Landowners or operators of mowing equipment may collect the eggs and possess them for no more than 24 hours for pick up by a person with a certificate of registration.
(3) Pheasants must be released by 16 weeks of age.
(4) These pheasants remain the property of the state.
R657-6-20. Use of Dogs.
(1) An individual may not use or permit a dog to harass, pursue, or take protected wildlife unless otherwise allowed for in Title 23A, the Wildlife Resources Code of Utah, or the rules outlined in a guidebook of the Wildlife Board.
(2) Dogs may be used to locate and retrieve upland game during open upland game hunting seasons.
(3) Dogs are generally allowed on state wildlife management and waterfowl management areas, subject to the following conditions.
(a) dogs are not allowed on the following state wildlife management areas and waterfowl management areas between March 10 and August 31 annually or as posted by the Division:
(ii) Bear River Trenton Property Parcel;
(iii) Bicknell Bottoms;
(iv) Blue Lake;
(v) Browns Park;
(vi) Bud Phelps;
(vii) Clear Lake;
(viii) Desert Lake;
(ix) Farmington Bay;
(x) Harold S. Crane;
(xi) Hatt's Ranch;
(xii) Howard Slough;
(xiv) James Walter Fitzgerald;
(xv) Kevin Conway;
(xvi) Locomotive Springs;
(xvii) Manti Meadows;
(xviii) Mills Meadows;
(xix) Montes Creek;
(xxi) Ogden Bay;
(xxiv) Public Shooting Grounds;
(xxv) Redmond Marsh;
(xxviii) Salt Creek;
(xxix) Scott M. Matheson Wetland Preserve;
(xxx) Steward Lake;
(xxxi) Timpie Springs;
(xxxii) Topaz Slough;
(xxxiii) Utah Lake Wetland Preserve;
(xxxiv) Vernal; and
(xxxv) Willard Bay.
(b) the Division may establish special restrictions for Division-managed properties, such as on-leash requirements and temporary or locational closures for dogs, and post them at specific Division properties and at Regional offices;
(c) organized events or group gatherings of 25 or more individuals that involve the use of dogs, such as dog training or trials, that occur on Division properties may require a special use permit as described in Rule R657-28;
(d) dog training may be allowed in designated areas on Lee Kay Center and Willard Bay WMA by the Division without a special use permit; and
(e) dogs are only allowed on the Nature Trail within they Hasenyager Nature preserve, and must be on a leash.
(4) A person may train a dog on live wild game birds provided:
(a) the dog, or the person training the dog, may not harass, catch, capture, kill, injure, or at any time, possess any wild game birds, except during legal hunting seasons as provided in the Upland Game or Waterfowl proclamations of the Wildlife Board;
(b) the use of dogs complies with Rules R657-6. R657-9, and R657-54;
(c) the person training a dog on live wild game birds, except during legal hunting seasons:
(i) must comply with city and county ordinances pertaining to the discharge of any firearm; and
(ii) must obtain written permission from the landowner for training on properly posted private property.
(5) The firearm restrictions set forth in this section do not apply to a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon in accordance with Section 53-5-701, et seq., provided the person is not utilizing the concealed weapon to hunt or take wildlife.
(6) A person may not train dogs or otherwise harass game birds within ½ mile of sage-grouse or sharp-tailed grouse leks, or other concentrations of sage-grouse or sharp-tailed grouse from March 1 to May 31.
(7) Dogs may be used to locate upland game as part of Division sanctioned survey efforts.
R657-6-21. Closed Areas.
A person may not hunt upland game in any area posted closed by the Division or any of the following areas:
(1) The Salt Lake International Airport boundaries as posted.
(2) Wildlife Management Areas:
(a) Waterfowl management areas are open for hunting upland game only during designated waterfowl hunting seasons or as authorized by the Division, including: Blue Lake, Clear Lake, Farmington Bay, Harold S. Crane, Howard Slough, Locomotive Springs, Manti Meadows, Mills Meadows, Ogden Bay, Powell Slough, Public Shooting Grounds, Salt Creek, Scott M. Matheson Wetland Preserve, Stewart Lake, and Timpie Springs.
(b) All National Wildlife Refuges unless declared open by the managing authority.
(c) The Goshen Warm Springs.
(3) Military installations, except as otherwise provided under Rule R657-66, are closed to hunting and trespassing.
R657-6-22. Live Decoys and Electronic Calls.
A person may not take any upland game birds by the use or aid of live or robotic decoys, night vision devices, drones, recorded or electronically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electronically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds.
R657-6-23. Shipping or Exporting.
(1) No person may transport upland game by the Postal Service or a common carrier unless the package or container has the name and address of the shipper and the consignee and an accurate statement of the numbers of each species of birds contained therein clearly and conspicuously marked on the outside of the container.
(2) A shipping permit issued by the Division must accompany each package containing upland game within or from the state.
(3) A person may export upland game or their parts from Utah only if:
(a) the person who harvested the upland game accompanies it and possess a valid license or permit corresponding to the tag, if applicable; or
(b) the person exporting the upland game or its parts, if it is not the person who harvested the upland game, has obtained a shipping permit from the Division.
(1) Except as provided in Section 23A-1-204:
(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, falconry bird 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 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.
R657-6-25. Purchasing or Selling Upland Game Parts.
(1) A person may only purchase, sell, offer or possess for sale, barter, exchange or trade any upland game or its parts as follows:
(a) Untanned or tanned hides, feather, bone, nail, or beak of legally taken upland game or turkey may only be sold by the hunter who harvested the individual animals.
(b) An individual hunter may only sell one possession limit as defined by the Wildlife Board and guidebook for upland game and turkey per year.
(c) Resale may only occur as derivative products such as artificial fishing flies.
(2) A person selling or purchasing untanned or tanned hides, feather, bone, nail, or beak of legally taken upland game shall keep transaction records stating:
(a) the name and address of the person who harvested the animal;
(b) the transaction date; and
(c) the hunting license number of the person who harvested the animal.
R657-6-26. Season Dates, Bag and Possession Limits, and Areas Open.
Season dates, bag and possession limits, areas open, and number of permits for taking upland game are provided in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking upland game and wild turkey.