The Utah Wildlife Board is holding a public hearing concerning the newly legalized hunting of crows. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 29 at 10:00 a.m. in the Department of Natural Resources Auditorium (located and 1594 West North Temple in Salt Lake City).
On June 5, the Wildlife Board decided to include crows on the list of “upland game birds” eligible for hunting. The first crow hunt is scheduled to run during the entire month of September. The next scheduled hunt runs from December 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015.
According to Department of Wildlife Resources migratory game bird coordinator Blair Stringham, crow populations within the state and especially along the Wasatch Front have grown steadily since 1990 from about 400 birds between Logan and Salt Lake City to more than 2400 in 2011. Stringham maintains crows damage fruit, corn and grain crops in some parts of Utah as well as steal eggs from other nesting birds. They also damage trees, create disturbances in urban areas, and carry avian cholera and other diseases that can affect birds.
Gene Baierschmidt, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Utah is expressing concern hunters will confuse crows with ravens that are illegal to hunt and are a protected species. In addition, Baierschmidt maintains crows prevent crop loss and control disease by eating insects and rodents. A scavenging species, crows also help clean the environment and recycle nutrients. They also have highly a highly developed social structure within the flock and mate for life. He is asking the DWR to consider a non-lethal way to control the crow population if there is in fact, a problem. If you would like to contact the Wildlife Board and express your concerns, please click here.
There are more than 400 species of birds in Utah. Currently only 33 can be hunted. For a photo list of upland game birds, please click here.
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Source: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Humane Society of Utah