From the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources - Duck, goose & swan hunt starts Oct. 4
Canada goose numbers second highest in 10 years
Pintail ducks are highly prized among many Utah hunters. Thousands of pintails will migrate through Utah this fall - Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
A mixed bag awaits Utah's waterfowl hunters this fall:
- The number of Canada geese produced in the state is the second highest in the past 10 years. Couple that with good production in Montana and western Canada, and this could be a banner year for Canada goose hunting in Utah.
- Duck hunters can expect plenty of birds to migrate through the state. The number of ducks produced in Utah was down this spring, but production in Alaska, Montana and most of Alberta and British Columbia was up. The question is, how long will the ducks remain in Utah? The water level on Great Salt Lake is close to its lowest point on record. A smaller lake means ducks won't have as many places to escape hunters when hunting pressure builds on the marshes.
- With only one exception, marsh conditions are great on state waterfowl management areas across Utah. And conditions are also good at the federal Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge west of Brigham City. At both the state and federal areas, managers were able to keep water on the main marsh units throughout the summer.
Wetlands outside of the WMAs and the refuge are much drier. Dry conditions on these seasonal marshes will force hunters into a smaller area. It will also reduce the places waterfowl can go, to escape hunting pressure on the WMAs and the refuge.
More on Utah's duck, goose and swan hunting season ...