Hunters in Utah may get a chance to pursue a few new kinds of birds this coming season. Biologists from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be sharing proposals to allow the hunting of crows and turkeys, and increasing the bag limits on other currently hunted birds.
Division of Wildlife Resources Migratory Game Bird Coordinator Blair Stringham says many western states already allow crow hunting.
“We do have a lot of crows that live along the Wasatch Front and that population has increased over the last decade or so. They’ve created a lot of nuisance problems,” Stringham said. “They tend to nest in really big groups in trees and residential areas…They’re also somewhat of a problem with agriculture. They’ll eat a lot of the fruit crops.”
Final decisions will be made by the Utah Wildlife Board, and if passed, crow hunting season could begin in the fall.
Critics of the crow proposal say hunting a bird that is not good for eating is not a good way to introduce hunting to those new to the sport. They also worry about accidental hunting of ravens.
Stringham says crows are not the only bird that are hunted for purposes other than eating. He also says the DWR would work to inform hunters about the differences between ravens and crows.
The DWR is currently taking public comment.