It’s upland game/waterfowl season for a 3-time winter Olympian woman

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — It’ll be turkey on the table for most this week however, some others may have something else as their holiday entree since it’s upland game and water foul season. Tracy Evans, a three-time Olympian representing the USA in the sport of freestyle aerials is among the countless Parkites participating in this year’s hunt.

Evans was out running her bird dogs on Saturday, a puppy named Sky, and an adult dog named Piper, on the trails in the shadow of the Utah Olympic Park where she trained for over a decade jumping, flipping, and twisting, in skis, into the pool. She told TownLift, “Sky is my fourth Brittany breed, my other Brittanys were named Ariel and Lily. They’re amazing family dogs and the only breed of dogs I’ve had growing up and now, hunting dogs are great with kids and a joy to have at home, they’re sweet snugglers. Don’t get me wrong, they also definitely like a lot of exercise but that’s a ton of fun too.”

She takes her dogs up to Cache County, outside of Logan, UT, and travels to South Dakota, the unofficial pheasant capital of the nation. Summit County’s Uintah mountains is also a popular spot as well as west of the Salt Lake City Airports at one of the multiple gun clubs along the marshes of the Great Salt Lake. Beyond that, locals take their bird dogs to the eastern Nevada border to hunt for chukar.

Bird dog breeds include brittany’s, pointers, retrievers, setters, and spaniels, each of which performs a different and specific task in the field. This type of hunting is so prevalent in Summit County that there is a nationally recognized breeder located in Kamas called Thorn Creek Kennels. If one is in the market to add one of these highly specialized dogs to their family, it’s not uncommon to be put on a waitlist for as long as a year for a new puppy from this and most reputable breeders.

The Utah Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) Upland Game and Turkey Guidebook summarizes the laws and rules that govern upland game and turkey hunting in Utah. The guidebook is designed to be a quick reference for upland game and turkey hunting regulations. It’s used to search for detailed statute or rule. View the Utah Upland Game Proclamation here.

The Utah DWR Waterfowl Guidebook summarizes the laws and rules that govern waterfowl hunting in Utah. The guidebook is a quick, convenient reference for waterfowl hunting regulations. For more complete information, read through the relevant state statutes and administrative rules. View the Utah Waterfowl Proclamation here.

Common Utah waterfowl species include:

  • canvasbacks
  • wilsons (common) snipe
  • Dowitcher (do not shoot advises DWR)
  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Pintail
  • redhead
  • ring necked duck
  • shoveler 
  • scaup

Common Utah upland game species include:

  • turkeys
  • grouse
  • pheasants
  • chuckars
  • quail
  • ptarmigan
  • sandhill cranes
  • crows

Swans are also permitted-for with the requirement of extra training to obtain the knowledge of which specific species are legal to hunt. DWR makes educating hunters a top priority as to safety and conservation, and funds generated from hunting permits are invested back into trailhead restrooms, parking lots, signage, easements, and environmental preservation.

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