The following are among the changes Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are recommending for this fall's upland game hunts:
Allowing hunters to hunt band-tailed pigeons across Utah.
Currently, band-tailed pigeon hunting is allowed in 13 of Utah's 29 counties.
Blair Stringham, migratory game bird coordinator for the DWR, says most band-tailed pigeons are found in southern Utah. "Making the hunt a statewide hunt would make the regulations easier to understand," he says. "Also, even though pigeons are mostly found only in the 13 counties, hunters who did see a pigeon outside of those counties could legally take it."
Stringham says band-tailed pigeon numbers have declined since the 1960s. For that reason, biologists are recommending that the daily bag limit be decreased from five pigeons a day to two birds a day.
"If we drop the limit," Stringham says, "we're comfortable allowing pigeon hunting across Utah."
A third change would increase the number of mourning and white-winged doves hunters can have in their possession.
Biologists are recommending that the possession limit increase from 20 doves to 30 doves. The daily bag limit of 10 doves would stay in place.
Keeping the daily dove bag limit at 10 doves, but allowing hunters to have 30 doves in their possession, would help those who travel a long distance to hunt.
"Instead of having to pack up and head home after two days of hunting," Stringham says, "you could extend your hunting trip an extra day because you could have 10 additional doves in your possession."
Starting the dove and pigeon hunt on Sept. 2. The hunt usually starts on Sept. 1.
"Utah law doesn't allow a hunt to start on a Sunday," Stringham says, "so we're recommending that this year's hunt start on Monday, Sept. 2."
You can see all of the biologists' upland game recommendations at wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/hunting/board-rac.html.
After reviewing the recommendations, plan on sharing your ideas at your upcoming Regional Advisory Council meeting. RAC chairs will share the input they receive at the meetings with members of the Utah Wildlife Board when the board meets in Salt Lake City on June 4 to approve rules for Utah's upland game hunts.
RAC meeting is scheduled for the following date and time:
May 7, 7 p.m.
Beaver High School
195 E Center ST