USA -(Ammoland.com)- Hunters 17 years old and younger will have Utah's marshes — and the ducks and geese that go with them — all to themselves during two days in September.
This season, Utah has been split into two duck hunting zones, a Northern Zone and a Southern Zone. A special Youth Waterfowl Hunt will be held in the Northern Zone on Sept. 23. In the Southern Zone, a youth hunt will be held on Sept. 30.
Young hunters will have the marshes all to themselves during two days in September.
All youth hunters, including those who are 16 and 17 years of age, must be accompanied by someone 21 years of age or older to hunt on the youth days. (Normally, those 16 to 17 years of age can hunt in Utah without adult supervision.)
Blair Stringham, migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says one of the goals of the youth hunt is to get young hunters in the marsh with adults who can teach them responsible and ethical hunting. “To accomplish that goal,” he says, “we've decided — on Sept. 23 and Sept. 30 only — to require 16 and 17 year olds to have an adult with them.”
Trial Hunting Program:
For the fourth year in a row, young people who haven't completed a Hunter Education course can still participate in the youth hunt through the state's Trial Hunting program. The program allows someone 21 years of age or older to take someone 12 years of age or older hunting, even if the person they're taking hasn't completed Hunter Education.
More information about the Trial Hunting program is available online.
Take A Kid Hunting:
Stringham says taking young hunters into the marsh on Sept. 23 or Sept. 30 is the perfect way to get them interested in duck and goose hunting. He says the number of ducks in Utah peaks in mid-September.
“It's the perfect time to be in the marsh,” he says. “The kids you take will see plenty of ducks. And they should get plenty of shots.” And the young hunters should also get your undivided attention. “Adults can't hunt during the youth hunt,” he says, “so the kids you take will get all of your attention.”
On Sept. 23, Utah will host its annual Youth Waterfowl Hunt in the newly created Northern hunting zone. In the Southern zone, the youth hunt happens Sept. 30.
Stringham says a youth day might be the best day you spend in the marsh all season. “Youth day is the perfect way to pass the tradition of waterfowl hunting on to the next generation,” he says. “The experiences the kids have that day are something they'll never forget.”
Shooting on Sept. 23 starts at 6:46 a.m. On Sept. 30, shooting starts at 6:53 a.m.
To participate in the hunt:
- If you've completed a Hunter Education course, you must be 17 years of age or younger on July 31, 2017. You must also have a current hunting license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, and be accompanied by an adult.
- Also, if you're 16 or 17 years old, you must have a federal duck stamp.
- If you haven't completed a Hunter Education course, you must be between 12 and 17 years of age on July 31, 2017. You also must have a current hunting license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, a federal duck stamp (if you're 16 or 17 years old) and be accompanied by someone 21 years old or older. In addition, before you hunt, you must complete a brief online Trial Hunting Program Orientation course. The orientation course is among the items available online.
- To help you find a good spot to hunt, visit see our 2016 waterfowl hunt opener conditions page online. Marsh conditions — at the state's waterfowl management areas — will be posted there soon.
- If you'd like to add some fun to your hunt, consider participating in Utah's Waterfowl Slam this season. You can learn more about the slam online.
More information about the Youth Waterfowl Hunt, including the number of ducks and geese kids can take, is available on page 32 of the 2017 – 2018 Utah Waterfowl Guidebook.
The free guidebook is available online.