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Hunting in Utah: 7 Invasive Species to Utah and Its Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Tuesday, 09 June 2015 11:42 AM

Like many areas in the United States, Utah has its share of invasive or nuisance species – and rules on how to hunt them.

An invasive species is defined as an alien species of plant, animal, or other organism that is introduced to an area outside of its original range that causes harm in its new home and usually spreads quickly. They are recognized as a leading threat to biodiversity in their new range and can pose problems for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and human health.

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All hunters must have either a valid basic hunting license or a combination license before they can buy a specific hunting permit, according to Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. In addition to either of these two licenses, many game animals require an additional hunting permit.

Here are nine of the invasive or nuisance animals that can be hunted in Utah:

1. Muskrat
Muskrat require special permits but can be hunted year-round with no bag limit. No hunting license is needed but you will need a permit if you trap in a Waterfowl Management Area. The best method to take a muskrat is by trapping. They carry a number of diseases and cause extensive damage by burrowing, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food said.

2. Nutria
Nutria were imported to Utah in the late 1800s for the fur trade. These animals are "non-controlled for collection, prohibited for importation and controlled for possession," UDWR said.  Contact the UDWR if you intend to hunt them.

3. Red Foxes
Red foxes are harvested by sport hunters and fur trappers in Utah. Red foxes can be hunted year-round with no bag limit, and you don't need a license to hunt them. However, you cannot have one as a pet or captive in Utah, UDWR said.

4. White‐Tailed Deer
White-tailed deer can be taken during deer hunting seasons, which are posted on the UDWR site in a specialized guide book that lists seasons, types of weapons used, and other information.

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5. Prairie Dogs
In Utah, white-tailed and Gunnison's prairie dogs are not protected, but certain areas of the state are closed to the taking of prairie dogs. The UDWR website has information on where they can be hunted.

6. Ground Squirrels
"Ground squirrel and rock squirrel, and antelope squirrels (All species, All genera), family Sciuridae are controlled for collection, importation and possession, except nuisance squirrels which are noncontrolled for collection," according to UDWR.

7. Coyotes
Coyotes are often a problem nationwide and are considered invasive as they move into rural areas and pose threats to livestock, pets, and humans. Coyotes are not protected in Utah. A permit is not required and there is no closed season. The Utah DWR even offers incentives for hunters to take coyotes – a $50 reward for each animal they kill, as of 2015. Hunters should take the online predator control course.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Like many areas in the United States, Utah has its share of invasive or nuisance species - and rules on how to hunt them.
hunting, Utah, invasive species
Tuesday, 09 June 2015 11:42 AM
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