Another 107-day duck and goose season awaits Utah's waterfowl hunters this year. The 107-day season will include a 60-day season for canvasbacks and a 60-day season for pintails.
The Utah Wildlife Board set Utah's seasons at an Aug. 12 meeting after learning that the number of ponds and the number of ducks raised increased after a wet spring across most of North America this year.
Utah's 2003-2004 waterfowl season will begin with a special youth waterfowl day, for hunters 12 to 15 years of age on Sept. 27. The regular waterfowl season follows on Oct. 4 and runs until Jan. 17, 2004.
Utah's seven duck and three goose bag limit remains unchanged from last year, except hunters may take one canvasback a day during the 60-day canvasback season, which runs from Oct. 4 to Dec. 2.
Utah hunters were not allowed to take canvasbacks last season. "After three years of decline, canvasback numbers rebounded this spring," indicated DWR waterfowl coordinator, Tom Aldrich.
"The board approved our recommendation to hold the canvasback season at the start of the season, which is when most of Utah's waterfowl hunters are in the marshes and when most canvasbacks migrate through Utah," continued the waterfowl coordinator.
Another change involves Utah's 60-day pintail season. Last year it was split, with a portion held early in the season and the remaining portion held at the end. This season it will run 60 straight days, from Oct. 4 to Dec. 2.
"New rules from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made it difficult to split the season this year," Aldrich stated.
Under the new rules, a state may not hold a split season for one bird unless the state is willing to split its entire waterfowl season. This requires the state to shut its entire season down for at least one day.