Turkey Hunting Regulations
COVID-19 and Utah’s upland game and turkey hunts: Stay informed about COVID-19 pandemic-related changes that might affect your hunts. See the box on wildlife.utah.gov/covid.
Apply for crane, grouse and swan hunts: You can apply for greater sage-grouse, sandhill crane, sharp-tailed grouse and swan permits in the same hunt drawing. The ap- plication period runs from July 1–16, 2020.
Hunt drawing for spring turkey permits: If you hope to hunt turkey on a limited- entry unit or CWMU in 2021, the application period runs from Dec. 1–28, 2020. See page 16 for more information.
Fee increases for nonresident hunters: License, permit and application fees for hunt- ers who are not Utah residents will increase starting July 1, 2020. Many of those increased fees are listed in the tables. To see all of Utah’s license and permit fees, visit wildlife.utah.gov/licenses/fees.html.
Change to permit surrender processes: Starting this year, if you need to surrender your greater sage-grouse, sandhill crane, sharp- tailed grouse or limited-entry wild turkey permit, you are strongly encouraged to do so at least 30 days before the season opens. The surrender process has changed and could result in the loss of previously accrued bonus/prefer- ence points. For details visit wildlife.utah.gov/refund.
Changes to youth quail and pheasant hunts: There have been changes to the timing and duration of the youth quail and pheasant hunts.
Later start to ptarmigan hunt: The ptarmigan season will start on Sept. 1 this year. See season dates and bag limits.
Longer sandhill crane hunt in Box Elder County: Starting in 2020, the sandhill crane hunt will last 60 days in the East Box Elder County unit.
Brief WMA closures for sponsored pheasant hunts: This year, the Annabella and Pah- vant wildlife management areas (WMAs)—and part of the Ogden Bay waterfowl management area—will be closed to the general public on Nov. 14, 2020 for organized, sponsored youth and beginner pheasant hunts. For details, visit wildlife.utah.gov/upland-game-youth-hunts. html later this summer.
Clarified tagging requirements: There are updated tagging requirements for greater sage-grouse, sandhill crane, sharp-tailed grouse or wild turkey.
Check all season dates: Season dates change every year.
Forfeit preference points for purchase of remaining permits: If you purchase a greater sage-grouse, sandhill crane or sharp-tailed grouse permit that’s available after the hunt drawing in 2020, you will lose any preference points you’ve accrued for that species.
Hunting in Utah State Parks: Hunting of wildlife is allowed within the boundaries of all Utah State Park areas, except those areas and hunts specifically closed by the Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation in Utah Admin. Rule R651-614. For details visit stateparks.utah.gov/resources/hunting-at- state-parks.
Nuisance squirrel removal: Although squir- rels and other small rodents aren’t considered upland game, you do have some options for removing nuisance animals.
And keep in mind
Hunting license required: You must have a valid Utah hunting or combination license before you can apply for or obtain a greater sage-grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, sandhill crane or wild turkey permit. You must also have a valid license in your possession while hunting any upland game species. You can buy your license from a license agent, a Division office or online at wildlife.utah.gov. You can also purchase your license by calling 1-800-221-0659.
Get a HIP number online: Registering in the Migratory Game Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) is mandatory if you plan to hunt migratory game birds—including American crow, band-tailed pigeon, mourning dove, sandhill crane or white-winged dove—dur- ing the 2020–2021 season. To register, visit wildlife.utah.gov/uthip. For more information, please see page 10.
Trial hunting program: People who haven’t hunted may be able to try it for the first time without taking Hunter Education.
Opportunities for youth: For detailed information on youth hunting opportunities and age requirements.
Upland Game Slam: This year, the Division is continuing the Upland Game Slam program. Hunters who join the program help improve upland hunting and earn prizes for harvesting various upland game species.
Maps and boundaries on Utah Hunt Planner: The Utah Hunt Planner contains information on Utah’s hunting units, including unit maps, boundary descriptions and species distributions. To learn more about the hunt planner, visit wildlife.utah.gov/huntplanner.
Walk-in Access program requirement: If you plan to hunt on Utah’s Walk-in Access properties in 2020–2021, you’ll need to obtain an authorization number.
Other permits available: Beginning July 30 at 8 a.m. MDT, you can obtain the free permits required for hunting band-tailed pigeon and white-tailed ptarmigan. Permits are available at wildlife.utah.gov and from license agents and Division offices.
Corrections: If errors are found in this guide- book after it is printed, the Division will correct them in the electronic copy that is posted atwildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.
Protection from discrimination: The Division receives federal financial assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the U.S. Department of the Interior and its bureaus prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility, or if you desire further information, please visit www.doi.gov/pmb/eeo/public-civil-rights.cfm.
Private lands: The Division cannot guaran- tee access to any private land. Under certain circumstances, you must obtain written permis- sion from the landowner or the landowner’s authorized representative before hunting on private lands. For more information, please see Trespassing on page 26.
Division funding: The Division is mostly funded by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and through federal aid made possible by an excise tax on the sale of firearms and other hunting- and fishing-related equipment.
Are you planning to hunt upland game or wild turkey in Utah this year? Before you head into the field, make sure you meet Utah’s hunter education and license requirements. And, if you plan to hunt migratory game birds, you must also obtain a Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration number. This section explains how to meet these requirements.
Are you old enough?
Utah Code § 23-19-11
In Utah, there are no age restrictions for upland game or turkey hunters. If you have passed a Division-approved hunter education course, then you can hunt upland game and turkey in Utah, regardless of your age.
Adults must accompany young hunters
Utah Code § 23-20-20
While hunting with any weapon, a person age 13 or younger must be accompanied
by his or her parent, legal guardian or other responsible person who is 21 years of age or older and who has been approved by the parent or guardian.
A person who is 14 or 15 years old must be accompanied by a person 21 years of age or older while hunting with any weapon.
The Division encourages adults to be familiar with hunter education guidelines or to complete the hunter education course before accompanying youth into the field.
While in the field, the youth and the adult must remain close enough for the adult to see and provide verbal assistance to the young hunter. Using electronic devices, such as two- way radios or cell phones, does not meet this requirement.
Is hunter education required?
Utah Code § 23-19-11 & Utah Admin. Rule R657-23
If you were born after Dec. 31, 1965, you must provide proof that you’ve passed a hunter education course approved by the Division before you can apply for or obtain a hunting or combination license.
The only exception to this law is for individuals who are participating in the Division’s Trial Hunting Program. You can find details about the program by visiting wildlife.utah.gov/trial.
Proof of hunter education
You can prove that you’ve completed hunter education by obtaining a hunter educa- tion card (called a “blue card” in Utah) or if you have a verified hunter education number on file with the Division. The number is assigned when you complete hunter education and your blue card is issued.
How to take hunter education
To get started, you should visit wildlife.utah.gov/huntereducation. You’ll see links to various traditional and online hunter education courses. Follow the instructions on the website to obtain a hunter education regis- tration certificate (required) and to register for a course online.
If you need assistance, please contact your local Division office or call 801-538-4727.
When you finish the course, your instructor will verify your course completion in the online hunter education system. At that point, you will be able to apply for or obtain permits in the Division’s hunt drawings, and your hunter education registration certificate will become your hunting license.
Approximately four to six weeks after you complete the course, you will receive your blue card by mail.
You should also keep the following in mind:
- Hunters under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult while hunting.
- All hunting regulations, including season dates and bag limits, will apply.
- Hunters who are planning to hunt out of state should allow enough time for their hunter education card to arrive in the mail.
New to Utah?
If you become a Utah resident, and you’ve completed a hunter education course in another state, province or country, you must obtain a Utah blue card before you can buy a resident hunting license. You can obtain a Utah blue card at any Division office by providing proof that you’ve completed a hunter educa- tion course approved by the Division.
Do you have a license?
Utah Code §§ 23-19-1 and 23-20-3 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-54-3
You must possess a valid hunting license or a combination license to hunt upland game in Utah. You must also have one of these licenses before you can apply for or obtain a permit to hunt greater sage-grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, sandhill crane or wild turkey.
New this year: Starting July 1, 2020, all license, permit and application fees for non- resident hunters will increase. For details visit wildlife.utah.gov/licenses/ fees.html.
Here’s the difference between a hunting license and a combination license:
- A hunting license allows you to hunt small game, including upland game and waterfowl.
- A combination license allows you to fish and hunt small game in Utah.
It costs less to buy a combination license than it does to buy separate hunting and fishing licenses.
Licenses are available at wildlife.utah.gov and from license agents and Division offices. You can also purchase a license by calling 1-800-221-0659. The line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to the fee for the license, you’ll also be charged a $2 transaction fee for each item you buy.
You must carry your license and any ap- plicable permits with you while you’re hunting upland game, and you cannot alter, transfer or lend your license or permit to another person.
Do you have a HIP number?
50 CFR 20.20 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-6-3
In addition to your license, if you’re hunting migratory game birds—American crow, band- tailed pigeon, mourning dove, sandhill crane or white-winged dove—you must obtain a Migratory Game Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration number for Utah.
Obtain your HIP number online
To obtain a Utah HIP number, just visit wildlife.utah.gov/uthip from any computer, smartphone or tablet and complete a few brief questions.
You will need to provide information about any migratory game bird hunts you partici- pated in during the 2019–2020 season.
When you complete the registration process, your new HIP number will appear on the screen. You can also choose to have it emailed to you.
If you need help while registering for a HIP number, please call any Division office (see page 2) from Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Once you’ve obtained your HIP number, you must write the number in the space provided on your current hunting license.
You can also enter and save your HIP num- ber on the Utah Hunting and Fishing app. The app is available at wildlife.utah.gov/mobileapp.
HOW TO OBTAIN A TURKEY PERMIT
After you meet Utah’s hunter education and license requirements (see page 8), you
can apply for or obtain a wild turkey permit. You must have a turkey permit before you can hunt turkeys in Utah. This section provides information about the different types of turkey permits, the permit application process, bonus points, applying with a group and important dates for turkey hunters.
Types of turkey permits
There are a variety of wild turkey permits available to hunters:
- Limited-entry permits (spring)
- General-season permits (spring and fall)
- Conservation permits (spring)
- Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) permits (spring)
- Poaching-reported reward permits (spring)
You may obtain one permit for the spring season and up to three permits for the fall season.
Please remember that you must carry the turkey permit on your person while you’re hunting. You cannot alter your permit or transfer it to another person.
Limited-entry turkey permits are available through the state’s turkey permit drawing.
You can enter the permit drawing by applying online at wildlife.utah.gov during the turkey application period, which will be open from Dec. 1–28, 2020.
If you are successful in the drawing, your limited-entry permit will authorize you to harvest one bearded turkey on a specific limited-entry area during the 2021 limited- entry season.
Most mature male turkeys have a beard, and about 20% of mature female turkeys have one too. Please see page 30 to learn what
a beard looks like and where it’s located on a turkey.
Fifteen percent of Utah’s turkey limited- entry permits are reserved for young hunters (those who are 17 years old and younger by July 31, 2021). For more information on this opportunity for youth, see the information box on page 17.
If a youth obtains a limited-entry permit but does not harvest during the limited-entry season, he or she will be allowed to continue hunting during the spring general-season youth hunt and the spring general season. During the general-season hunts, the youth may hunt in the statewide general-season area.
For more information on the limited-entry areas, see page 39.
Turkey application period
The 2021 turkey application period will be open from Dec. 1–28, 2020. Here’s what you need to know in order to apply for a turkey limited-entry permit or a bonus point (see page 18 for more information about bonus points):
• Before you can apply, you must have
a valid Utah hunting or combination license. If you don’t already have one of these licenses, you can buy one online when you apply.
• You can apply online at wildlife.utah.gov until 11 p.m. MST on Dec. 28.
If you need help with your online applica- tion, please call any Division office before
5 p.m. MST on Dec. 28, 2020. A Division employee will be available to help you.
Utah Admin. Rule R657-54-20
Utah will again hold general-season turkey hunts in the fall of 2020. These hunts will be in addition to the spring general-season hunt of 2021. Here’s what you need to know about ob- taining permits for the general-season hunts.
Fall 2020 general-season hunts
This fall, you can obtain up to three general-season turkey permits. There will be a limited number of permits for four general- season turkey hunts in the following regions:
- Central Region
- Northern Region
- Southeastern Region • Southern Region
Important: Only specified areas within each of these regions will be open to hunting during the fall. A permit allows you to hunt all of the specified areas within a region. These hunt areas are comprised of all or largely pri- vate property. To see hunt boundary maps, visitwildlife.utah.gov/huntplanner in August 2020.
Permits for the fall 2020 general-season turkey hunts will be available beginning Sept. 3, 2020. Visit wildlife.utah.gov/uplandgame in August to see purchase times and locations.
Fifteen percent of Utah’s fall general- season turkey permits are reserved for youth (those who are 17 years old and younger by July 31, 2020). For more information on op- portunities for youth, see the information box on page 17.
Keep in mind: Fall turkey hunts are designed to reduce turkey populations
and address conflicts between turkeys and landowners. For this reason, female harvest is encouraged. If you obtain one or more permits for any of the fall turkey hunts, you may harvest any turkey, regardless of its sex. You do not need to harvest a bearded turkey.
Spring 2021 general- season hunt
Spring general-season permits will be available beginning at 8 a.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at wildlife.utah.gov and from license agents and Division offices.
You may obtain a spring general-season turkey permit if you meet the basic hunting requirements (see page 8), and you didn’t obtain a limited-entry turkey permit for the spring 2021 season.
Young hunters who obtain general-season turkey permits will have the opportunity to participate in the youth hunt. For details, see the information box on page 17.
Utah Code § 23-19-38 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-42
The Division rarely issues refunds for licenses or permits, but there are some excep- tions. To see if you’re eligible for a refund, visitwildlife.utah.gov/refund.
New this year: If you are eligible for a refund, you must submit all required forms and accompanying paperwork within 90 days of the season ending in order to qualify for a full refund.
Important dates for turkey hunters
Utah Admin. Rule R657-62-25
Please note the following dates if you want to obtain a turkey limited-entry permit or a turkey general-season permit.
September 3: Fall 2020 general- season permits available (new)
Permits for the fall 2020 general-season turkey hunts will be available beginning Sept. 3, 2020. Visit wildlife.utah.gov/uplandgame in August to see purchase times and locations.
New this year: As of July 1, 2020, all license, permit and application fees have increased for nonresident hunters.
Please remember that license agents have different hours of operation. You should verify that an agent is open before you attempt to purchase a turkey general-season permit.
You can find a list of participating license agents at wildlife.utah.gov/licenseagents.
December 1: Apply online (new)
From Dec. 1–28, 2020, residents and non- residents can apply for a turkey limited-entry permit, a CWMU permit or a bonus point at wildlife.utah.gov. You can also apply by calling any Division office.
New this year: As of July 1, 2020, all license, permit and application fees have increased for nonresident hunters.
To apply for a resident permit, you must be a resident on the date the permit is purchased. January 7, 2021 is considered the purchase date.
When applying for a turkey limited-entry permit, you may select up to five hunt choices. Please list your hunt choices in order of preference.
Remember, you may apply with a group for limited-entry permits. Up to four hunters—including both residents and nonresidents—can apply together. If your group is successful in the drawing, all of the applicants in your group who have valid applications will receive a permit.
December 28: Application deadline
Your application for a turkey limited-entry permit, a CWMU permit or a bonus point must be completed at wildlife.utah.gov and submitted no later than 11 p.m. MST on Dec. 28, 2020.
For assistance with your online application, you can call any Division office until 5 p.m. MST on Dec. 28, 2020. Please remember that you must have a hunting license or a combination license to apply for a permit or bonus point.
December 28: Deadline to withdraw and resubmit your application
Did you make a mistake in your online permit application? Simply withdraw your original online application and submit a new, corrected application before 11 p.m. MST on Dec. 28, 2020.
In order to withdraw your application, you must have the confirmation number from your original application. You must also have your customer ID and your date of birth. For each new application you submit, you will be charged an application fee.
If you need help resubmitting your online application, please call any Division office before 5 p.m. MST on Dec. 28, 2020.
December 28: Deadline to withdraw your application
If you decide not to hunt, you can with- draw your online permit application until 11 p.m. MST on Dec. 28, 2020. Application fees are not refundable.
January 7: Drawing results available
You’ll be notified of the turkey drawing results on or before Jan. 7, 2021. You can also learn the drawing results by visiting wildlife.utah.gov or calling 1-800-221-0659.
Note: Drawing results are not final until you receive an official notification email. If you draw a turkey permit, you’ll receive it in the mail by the middle of February.
Please be aware that if the debit card or credit card you used for payment is refused, the Division will attempt to contact you multiple times to obtain a valid card number. If you realize that your card number is no longer valid, please call 1-800-221-0659 or visit utah-hunt.com to provide a different card number.
February 25: Spring general-season permits and remaining limited-entry permits available (new)
Any limited-entry permits remaining after the drawing—as well as the spring general-season permits—may be obtained beginning at 8 a.m. MST on Feb. 25, 2021 at wildlife.utah.gov and from license agents and Division offices.
Remaining limited-entry permits are avail- able on a first-come, first-served basis. If you purchase a remaining limited-entry permit, you will lose any turkey bonus points you’ve accumulated.
Spring general-season permits will be available for purchase through May 31, 2021.
New this year: As of July 1, 2020, all license, permit and application fees have increased for nonresident hunters.
You can find a list of participating license agents at wildlife.utah.gov/licenseagents. Please remember that license agents have different hours of operation. You should verify that an agent is open before you attempt to purchase a remaining permit.
Additional turkey permits
In addition to limited-entry and general- season permits, other types of turkey permits are available.
Utah Admin. Rule R657-41
You may obtain conservation permits in addition to any other turkey permit you’ve obtained.
Turkey conservation permits are available from nonprofit conservation organizations. The organizations usually sell the permits at fund- raising banquets. A list of organizations selling conservation permits for Utah’s 2021 turkey season will be available at wildlife.utah.gov by late December 2020.
Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit permits
Utah Admin. Rule R657-37
You can enjoy hunting turkeys on private property in Utah through the state’s Coopera- tive Wildlife Management Unit (CWMU) pro- gram. Here’s how the CWMU program works:
Private lands can become CWMUs if the landowners work with the Division to manage the land for turkeys. Private landowners who own land that qualifies as a CWMU are given permits they can sell to hunters. In return, the landowners agree to allow an equal number of public hunters—those who obtain CWMU permits through the state’s drawing—onto their CWMUs to hunt.
You can obtain a CWMU permit in one of two ways: you can either apply for one in the turkey drawing, or you can contact a CWMU operator directly to inquire about purchasing a permit. For a list of CWMU operators, visit wildlife.utah.gov/CWMU.
For more information about obtaining a CWMU permit, contact the nearest Division office.
Poaching-reported reward permits
Utah Admin. Rule R657-51
If you provide information that leads to the arrest and successful prosecution of a person who has illegally taken any turkey, you may be eligible to receive a permit from the Division to hunt turkeys the following year.
While hunting upland game or turkey in Utah, you should know the requirements for car- rying and using firearms, crossbows and archery tackle. You should also know the different hunting methods you may use and what you’re required to do with any game you take.
and archery tackle
50 CFR 20.21, Utah Code § 23-20-3 and Utah Admin. Rule R657- 6-6, R657-6-7 and R657-54-4
Several rules apply to the types of firearms, crossbows, archery tackle and ammunition that you may use to take upland game and wild turkeys in Utah.
You may hunt and harvest a turkey with any of the following:
- Archery equipment, including a draw lock, using broadhead-tipped arrows. • A crossbow, using broadhead-tipped arrows or bolts.
- Any shotgun firing shot BB or smaller diameter.
- Rimfire firearms (during the fall turkey season only).
Loaded firearms in a vehicle
Utah Code §§ 76-10-502, 76-10-504, 76-10-505 and 76-10- 523
You may not carry a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle unless you meet all of the following conditions:
- You own the vehicle or have permission from the vehicle’s owner.
- The firearm is a handgun.
- You are 18 years of age or older.
A pistol, revolver, rifle or shotgun is considered to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell or projectile in the firing position.
Pistols and revolvers are also considered to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell or projectile to be fired.
A muzzleloading firearm is considered loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder(s).
The firearm restrictions in this section do not apply to concealed firearm permit holders, provided the person is not utilizing the con- cealed firearm to hunt or take wildlife.
Hunter orange requirements
Although there are no regulations that govern what you should wear on an upland game or turkey hunt, your choice of clothing could affect your safety.
For Utah’s upland game hunts, we strongly encourage you to wear hunter orange in the field. It will make you more visible to other hunters at a time of year when there are many different hunts in progress.
For Utah’s turkey hunts, we discourage you from wearing hunter orange. Hunters sometimes mistake bright colors for the head of a turkey.
Areas with special restrictions
Although many areas are open to hunters, some areas are closed or have specific restric- tions.
Areas closed to turkey hunting
Utah Admin. Rule R657-54-14
You may not hunt wild turkeys in any area posted closed by the Division or in any of the following areas:
- Salt Lake International Airport boundar- ies as posted.
- Many Utah towns, cities and incorporated municipalities have laws that restrict hunting and the discharge of firearms within city limits. Contact the city’s administrative office for specific laws and boundaries.
- All state waterfowl management areas, except Brown’s Park and Stewart Lake.
- All national wildlife refuges, unless
they have been declared open by the managing authority. For example, Ouray National Wildlife Refuge is only open to youth turkey hunters during the 2021 turkey season.
- Military installations, including Camp Williams, are closed to hunting and trespassing.
State parks (new)
Utah Code § 76-10-508 and Utah Admin. Rule R651-614-4
New this year: Hunting of wildlife is allowed within the boundaries of all state park areas, except those areas and hunts specifi- cally closed by the Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation in Utah Admin. Rule R651-614. For more information, visit stateparks.utah. gov/resources/hunting-at-state-park.
State laws regarding the possession and discharge of dangerous weapons apply in state park areas open to hunting. For information about discharging a dangerous weapon or firearm in a state park, see the Areas where you cannot discharge a firearm section below or review Utah Code § 76-10-508.
Areas where you cannot discharge a firearm
Utah Code § 76-10-508
You may not discharge a dangerous weapon, crossbow or firearm under any of the following circumstances
- From a vehicle
- From, upon or across any highway
- At power lines or signs
- At railroad equipment or facilities, including any sign or signal
- Within Utah state park camp or picnic sites, overlooks, golf courses, boat ramps or developed beaches
- Without written permission from the owner or property manager, within 600 feet of:
- A house, dwelling or any other building
- Any structure in which a domestic animal is kept or fed, including a barn, poultry yard, corral, feeding pen or stockyard
Areas with motorized vehicle restrictions
Utah Admin. Rule R657-6-14
Motorized vehicle travel on all state wild- life management areas is restricted to county roads and improved roads that are posted open to vehicles.
Utah Code §§ 23-20-14 and 23-20-3.5
While taking wildlife or engaging in wildlife-related activities, you may not— without permission—enter or remain on privately owned land that is:
- Properly posted
- Fenced or enclosed in a manner designed
to exclude intruders
In addition, you may not:
- Enter or remain on private land when directed not to do so by the owner or a person acting for the owner.
- Obstruct any entrance or exit to private property.
“Cultivated land” is land that is readily identifiable as land whose soil is loosened or broken up for the raising of crops, land used for the raising of crops, or a pasture that is artificially irrigated.
“Permission” means written authorization from the owner or person in charge to enter upon private land that is cultivated or properly posted. Permission must include all of the following details:
- The signature of the owner or person in charge
- The name of the person being given permission
- The appropriate dates
- A general description of the land
“Properly posted” means that signs prohibiting trespass—or bright yellow, bright orange or fluorescent paint—are clearly displayed at all corners, on fishing streams crossing property lines, and on roads, gates and rights-of-way entering the land. Or, they are displayed in a manner that is visible to a person in the area.
You may not post private property you
do not own or legally control or land that is open to the public as provided by Utah Code
§ 23-21-4. In addition, it is unlawful to take protected wildlife or its parts while trespassing in violation of Utah Code § 23-20-14.
You are guilty of a class B misdemeanor if you violate any provision described in this section. Your license, tag or permit privileges may also be suspended.
Checkpoints and officer contacts
Utah Code §§ 23-20-25 and 77-23-104
To help the Division fulfill its responsibility as trustee and guardian of Utah’s wildlife, Divi- sion conservation officers monitor the taking and possession of wildlife, and the required licenses, permits, firearms and equipment used for hunting. You should expect to encounter conservation officers and biologists in the field and at checkpoints.
If you’re contacted by a conservation officer, you must provide the officer with the items he or she requests, including any licenses and permits required for hunting, any devices used to participate in hunting and any game that you’ve taken. These contacts allow the Division to collect valuable information about upland game and turkeys in Utah.
Hunters with disabilities
Utah Admin. Rule R657-12
Utah provides special hunting accom- modations for people with disabilities. For a complete copy of these accommodations and what’s required to qualify for them, please visit wildlife.utah.gov/disabled or call any Divi- sion office.
Hunting methods for upland game and turkey
Several rules apply to the methods you can use to hunt upland game and wild turkeys in Utah.
Baiting upland game and
50 CFR 20.11 and 20.21, Utah Admin. Rule R657-6-13 and 54-9, Utah Code § 23-20-3
Baiting is an illegal activity that involves
the spreading of shelled, shucked or unshucked grain, feed or salt to lure, attract or entice birds to an area for the purposes of hunting them. You may not hunt upland game or wild turkey by baiting, and you may not hunt in an area where you reasonably should have known that the area is or has been baited.
An area is considered to be baited for 10 days after the bait has been completely removed from the area.
You can take upland game or wild turkey on or over any of the following lands or areas, so long as these areas have not been baited:
- Standing crops or flooded standing crops (including aquatics)
- Standing, flooded or manipulated natural vegetation
- Flooded harvested croplands
- Lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, post-harvest manipulation or normal soil-stabilization practice
- From a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, as long as such camouflaging does not result in the exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of grain or other feed
- Standing or flooded standing agricultural crops where grain is inadvertently scattered solely as a result of a hunter entering or exiting a hunting area, plac- ing decoys or retrieving downed birds
For example, a farmer working his land after harvesting a crop does not render his field “baited” — so long as the post-harvest manipulation of the farmer’s field is a normal agricultural process. To see detailed informa- tion about normal agricultural processes, visit go.usa.gov/chx5Q. For the hunter, the presence of rows, piles or other concentrations of grain should raise questions about the legality
of the area for upland game or wild turkey hunting.
In addition to the provisions above, you cannot take sandhill crane on or over lands where standing crops have been manipulated to distribute or scatter grain or other feed on the land where it was grown. You can take other upland game species and wild turkey on or over lands where standing crops have been manipulated to distribute or scatter grain or other feed on the land where it was grown, if the area is not otherwise baited.
This distinction is important primarily for wildlife food plots where seed or grain is not harvested as part of a normal agricultural process. For example, if a farmer were to mow a crop without first harvesting it, that field would be considered baited for sandhill crane, but it would not be considered baited for other upland game species or wild turkey.
Using dogs to hunt
Utah Admin. Rules R657-6-20 and R657-54-13
Dogs may be used to locate and retrieve upland game or wild turkeys during open hunting seasons.
Although dogs are generally allowed on state wildlife and waterfowl management areas (WMAs), they are prohibited on many WMAs from March 10 to August 31 or as posted by the Division. You can see the com- plete list of WMAs that are seasonally closed to dogs in Utah Admin. Rule R657-6-20.
Live decoys and electronic calls
50 CFR 20.21 and Utah Admin. Rules R657-6-22 and R657-54-8
You may not take migratory game birds (crows, doves, pigeons or cranes) with:
- the use or aid of live birds as decoys; or
- recorded or electronically amplified migratory game bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electronically amplified imitations of migratory game bird calls or sounds.
Likewise, you may not use live decoys, recorded turkey calls or sounds, or electroni- cally amplified imitations of turkey calls to take wild turkeys.
Utah Code §§§ 23-20-3, 76-10-504, 76-10-523 and Utah Admin. Rules R657-6-24 and R657-54-16
You may not use a spotlight, headlight or other artificial light to locate any protected wildlife while having in your possession a firearm or other weapon or device that could be used to take or injure protected wildlife.
The use of a spotlight or other artificial light in any area where protected wildlife are generally found is considered probable cause of attempting to locate protected wildlife.
The provisions of this section do not apply to you under the following conditions:
- You are using the headlights of a motor vehicle or other artificial light in a usual manner where there is no attempt or intent to locate protected wildlife.
- You are licensed to carry a concealed weapon, and you’re not utilizing the con- cealed weapon to hunt or take wildlife.
Safety tips for turkey hunters
To stay safe during the turkey hunt, follow the recommendations of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF):
- Select your calling spot in open timber rather than thick brush; turkeys are hesitant to walk into thick brush.
- Select a stump, tree trunk or rock— taller and wider than you are—to lean back against while calling; this will protect your back if another hunter moves in behind you.
- Eliminate the colors white, red, orange, black and blue from your hunting outfit; these are the colors of most gobblers.
- Listen for the alarm cries of birds or squirrels; these sounds can alert you when another hunter begins moving into your area.
- When nearby songbirds or your turkey go suddenly silent, take a careful look around. There’s a good chance another hunter is moving in on your bird.
- Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter to your location. Remain still and speak in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence.
- For more information about hunting wild turkeys, visit the NWTF’s website at nwtf.org
What is a beard?
A cluster of hair-like feathers called a beard grows from the center of the chest on male turkeys. A small percentage of hens also grow a beard.
During the spring turkey-hunting seasons, the head and beard of a turkey must remain attached during transport to help conservation officers confirm the sex of the bird.
Using falconry to hunt wild turkey
Utah Admin. Rule R657-54-7
In order to hunt a wild turkey using falconry, a falconer must have a fall general- season turkey permit and follow the same rules and boundaries that apply to those who are hunting with archery tackle, a crossbow, an airgun or a shotgun.
A falconer may only release a raptor on
a wild turkey during the fall hunting season listed on his or her permit. Using falconry to hunt a turkey during the spring is prohibited.
Sitting or roosting turkeys
Utah Admin. Rule R657-54-10
You may not take any turkey that is sitting or roosting in a tree.
Possession of upland game and turkey
Once you’ve harvested an upland game species or a wild turkey, several rules apply to the use of the game you’ve taken.
Waste of upland game or turkey
Utah Code § 23-20-8 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-6-18 , R657- 54-15 and R657-54-18
You may not waste any upland game or turkey, or permit it to be wasted or spoiled. Waste means to abandon the game or to allow it to spoil or be used in a manner not normally associated with its beneficial use. For example, using the meat as fertilizer or for trapping bait is not considered a beneficial use of the meat.
In addition, you may not kill or cripple any upland game or turkey without making a reasonable effort to retrieve it. Any game you’ve wounded must be immediately killed and included in your bag limit.
Tagging requirements (new)
Utah Code § 23-20-30 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-6-16 and R657-54-11
You must tag the carcass of a greater sage- grouse, sandhill crane, sharp-tailed grouse or wild turkey immediately upon taking posses- sion of the carcass.
To tag a carcass, completely detach the tag from the permit and completely remove the appropriate notches to correspond with the date the bird was taken. Then attach the tag to the carcass so that the tag remains securely fastened and visible.
Your tag also includes a notch that indi- cates the sex of the bird. You are only required to remove this notch if you harvested a turkey.
You may not remove more than one notch indicating the date the bird was taken, or tag more than one carcass using the same tag.
New this year: You may not hunt or pursue greater sage-grouse, sandhill crane, sharp-tailed grouse or wild turkey after any of the following activities have occurred:
- Shooting and retrieving the bird
- Detaching the tag from the permit
- Removing any of the notches from the tag
Identification of speciesand sex
Utah Admin. Rule R657-6-17 and R657-54-12
When you are transporting any upland game bird or migratory game bird, one fully feathered wing must remain attached to each bird you’ve taken. Keeping the wing attached allows wildlife officers and biologists to deter- mine the species and sex of each bird.
When you are transporting a turkey during the spring seasons, both the head and beard of the turkey must remain attached to the bird. During the fall seasons, only the turkey’s head must remain attached.
Possession of live upland game
50 CFR 20.38, Utah Code § 23-13-4 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-4 and R657-6-15
A hunting license does not give you authority to possess live upland game. You must immediately kill any upland game you’ve wounded and include it in your bag limit.
Donating and transporting upland game or turkey
50 CFR 20.36, 20.37 and 20.40 and Utah Code § 23-20-9
The following are the only places where you may donate, or give, upland game or turkey (or their parts) to another person:
- The residence of the donor
- The residence of the person receiving upland game, turkey or their parts
- A meat locker
- A storage plant
- A meat-processing facility
If you donate upland game or turkey, a written statement of donation must be kept with the upland game or turkey (or their parts). That statement must include all of the following information:
- The number and species of wildlife or parts donated
- The date of donation
- The license or permit number of the donor
- The signature of the donor
In addition to the information required above, if you’re donating migratory game birds, or another person is transporting migratory game birds for you, the birds must be tagged with your address and the dates the birds were killed. You must also tag any migratory game birds that have been left for cleaning, storage (including temporary stor- age), shipment or taxidermy services.
Exporting harvested upland game or turkey from Utah
50 CFR 20.53 and Utah Admin. Rule R657-6-23 and R657- 54-17
You may only export harvested upland game or turkey (or their parts) from Utah if one of the following conditions applies:
- You harvested the upland game or tur- key and possess a valid license or permit corresponding to the tag.
- If you’re not the person who harvested the upland game or turkey, you must obtain a shipping permit from the Division.