USA: Tundra Swan... In The Salt

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports USA & Canada' started by Firebird, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Firebird

    Firebird AH Enthusiast

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    Filled my limited entry tundra swan tag today-in the marshes surrounding the Great Salt Lake of Utah, a desert state. I will post up the whole story later but for now I will see if I can get the pictures to work. . . resize swan.JPG resizeswan1.JPG resizeswanhead.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2019
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  2. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Legend

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    That's awesome man! I got one in Virginia years ago, when I drew a tag. One of the greatest trophies out there! Very cool!
     

  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Very nice! Would these also be known as trumpeter swans? They would come through the SLC area too. I would see them up the road from you in Pocatello.
     

  4. Mort Hill

    Mort Hill GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    No, not the same. Trumpeter swan are protected I believe. Similar, but Trumpeter is much larger.
     

  5. Wade J VanGinkel

    Wade J VanGinkel AH Senior Member

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    Very nice,
    I took one there about 3 years ago. Made a beautiful mount IMG_20170507_112550591.jpg
     
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  6. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    I'm not sure on other years but there was a set limit on Trumpeter swans this year, I believe that it was around 20 that could be shot and the Utah DOW was tracking it as hunters went through the check stations.
     

  7. Wade J VanGinkel

    Wade J VanGinkel AH Senior Member

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    I know when I went it was illegal to purposely shoot a trumpeter. You have to take an online Id course. But if you did shoot one there was no penalty as they are so hard to tell apart.
    The guide I went with said he had never had any come in to his decoys.
    Mostly sky blasters that accidentally shot them.
    But the laws may be different now
     

  8. IdaRam

    IdaRam SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Awesome! Congrats Firebird. Looks like Unit 2 at Bear River maybe?

    Those big white birds make a beautiful mount and yours looks like a nice mature bird.
     

  9. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congratulations on a beautiful bird.

    A word of warning, they look much better than they eat. Tundra swan was probably the worst meat I have ever tasted. I say tasted, because I couldn't eat it. The dog couldn't either.
     
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  10. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Legend

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    Wow the one I got in Virginia was delicious...must really depend on what they eat.
     

  11. perttime

    perttime AH Veteran

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    Wow! All swans are protected species in my part of the world. I suspect part of it has roots in ancient folklore where swans are the most sacred of all birds. Legends refer to young women turning into swans.

    There has been talk of allowing the hunting of whooper swans (cousin of the American trumpeter), but many hunters seem reluctant to do it, even if permitted.
     

  12. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Possibly so. The only one I have shot came out of North Dakota during the migration out of the tundra.
     

  13. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Legend

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    Yeah I think mine had been eating at wheat fields for about a month.

    I actually made part of mine into cheesesteak subs.
     
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  14. Firebird

    Firebird AH Enthusiast

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    Utah's swan hunt is a testament to hunting working with conservation. Hunting areas are limited and tightly controlled and monitored by the fish and game dept. This year the swan numbers were high enough to allow extra permits and open additional hunting areas-but still all in the salt lake marshes/vicinity. Most years if 10 trumpeter swans are bagged the dwr shuts the hunt down. This year they increased that to 20 and last I heard there were 16 reported. All swans harvested must be measured by the dwr. Trumpeters do migrate through and I think many of the birds killed are young and grey, thus harder to tell the difference.
    The weather this year was unusually warm and sunny and the marsh-good call on unit 2 was overgrown with less water than usual. Unit 2 lies between a non hunted rest area and a private duck club, so the swans pass over and being naive to the ways of hunters, are often very low. After they have seen some hunting pressure they tend to stay over the protected areas and fly much higher.
    Bear River Bird Refuge is a federal refuge area and hosts a 12 mile loop for hunting access and visitor viewing. Again heavily restricted and patrolled-its a good place to mind your P's and Q's. The dike I like to hunt used to restrict hunters to only 10 shells per day, trying to eliminate the "skybusters." This year they opened it up to 25 shells which I appreciated. I did shoot a mallard drake and passed some shovelors the morning I killed my swan. I like to use decoys and I have a DJ's swan call that is awesome. I was using neither tactic when I killed my swan, just sort of standing there in the wind talking to another guy and staring through the binos-I'll post the story soon, hard to find time and pix just now.
    The meat is very dependant on what they have been eating, I usually make all my ducks, geese and swan into jerky at season's end-the jerky is always good. I used to have some good taxidermy friends and a couple biologists from Idaho area, they would all recognize unit 2, I've drawn alot of maps for guys that wanted to collect this fun trophy. I mount my own and have a plan for this one-it was a very, very good bird.
     
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  15. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats and thanks for sharing!
     

  16. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    The last time that I hunted swans in Utah way back in the mid 80's you could hunt the whole state and not just the northern section of it.

    It was a lot funner back then.
     

  17. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

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    Beautiful bird................well done .............we called them whistler swans when I was a boy. (as named by Lewis and Clark exped) Always wanted to hunt one, but it is illegal here. They have been so overpopulated and crowded in places that tens of thousands have died of fowl cholera at times (but we wouldn't want to have one shot, no siree). Congrats on your hunt.............FWB
     

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