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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posed this question to the Fish & Wildlife Service a couple of years ago:

I live in Wyoming and hunt waterfowl often in the US F & W preserves in Utah.

Many waterfowlers hunting the Utah marsh (strongly) believe that they can reduce their migratory bird harvest possesion limit by turning migratory birds into jerky or salami. One guy has taken 42 lbs of duck meat and made salami and still claims he can have two daily limits in the freezer. Others claim as long as its "processed", i.e. cooked, canned, jerked,or dried.

What's your take on this one? The Utah Division of Natural Resources is reluctant to comment.

Here's the answer:

Dear Timothy,

Thank you for your message asking for information on our laws and regulations pertaining to migratory game bird harvest possession limits. Our mission is working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

In regard to the number of ducks you can lawfully possess, regulations prohibit the possession of more migratory game birds than the legal possession limit (50 CFR 20.33). We strongly advise hunters to stay below their possession limit of waterfowl so they may continue to hunt throughout the season. If during the season, a hunter reaches his possession limit, kept the birds at home and did not consume them, any subsequent take and possession would put the hunter over the possession limit and thus a violation of the regulation. The possession of processed waterfowl is terminated when it has been donated, eaten, or otherwise disposed. Regulations allow hunters to properly gift their possession limit to another person which will terminate their possession (50 CFR 20.39).

In response to your question about jerky/salami and other processed wild duck, the possession limit continues to apply. Special agents have actually encountered this situation in the field when they contact hunters who have hunted away from home for several days. Some hunters have taken the birds they killed early in their hunting trip to a processor and had jerky made from them. They then continued to hunt and attempted to transport another possession limit of birds back to their home. Obviously, this is in violation of the possession limit restrictions and some hunters try to use "the jerky explanation" in an attempt to circumvent the possession limit laws. We understand it is, at times, difficult to determine how many birds you have processed into jerky at your residence and therefore how many birds you have in your possession. We recommend you do the best you can to comply with the law. Understandably, the possession limit assists in managing waterfowl populations and law enforcement action is considered if there is gross negligence of violation of the hunting regulations.

Our laws pertaining to the hunting waterfowl can be found on our website at: http://www.fws.gov/hunting/.

Thank you for your cooperation in complying with our regulations that help protect fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats. We hope we have addressed your concerns. Please feel free to respond to this message with any further inquires that you may have regarding this matter.
[email protected]
12/21/2005 12:44 PM
To [email protected]
 

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When we go to Idaho to shoot ducks we hunt for three days. Most of the time we limit out on all three days. The lovely lady who lets us stay at her place while we hunt up there loves to eat duck. We give her the first days limit and fill out all the paper work and crap just to be legal. Not this last year but the year before we had some duck jerky up there with us. On the first day we were talking about possetion limits and stuff and it dawned on us that we were going to go over out possesion limit because of the jerky. So we wrote up the paper work and gave the jerky to my brother in laws wife. From what I have gathered if you have fourteen ducks and even a part of another duck in your possesion then you are over the limit. That brings up the question about a duck mounted on the wall. Is that in your possesion? If so and you have two pintails mounted are you not able to shoot anymore ever until you give the mounted ones away? That is where I dont understand the law. The good lord only knows that if I had the money I would probabaly have way more than 14 ducks on my wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oddly, every time I post this ruling from the bird cops, the taxidermy bird question comes up.

But it is a valid question. The answer is "No, the stuffed bird doesn't count. You reduced your possession of it when you surrendered it to the taxidermist.", so say the feds.
 

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wyogoob said:
If during the season, a hunter reaches his possession limit, kept the birds at home and did not consume them, any subsequent take and possession would put the hunter over the possession limit and thus a violation of the regulation. The possession of processed waterfowl is terminated when it has been donated, eaten, or otherwise disposed. In response to your question about jerky/salami and other processed wild duck, the possession limit continues to apply.
Thats my take on it. I like how they say processed waterfowl... that eliminates any wiggle room in the "jerky" explanation.... because it seems like far too many folks consider processed to be the same as consumed. Obviously, the folks making the regulations don't feel that way. :? About the mounted birds... I'd say you're fine just because you send your birds to the taxi to be cleaned, scrubbed out and then they're returned to you with nothing consumable left... its an empty shell of feathers, plastic, glass or whatever else and is not able to be processed any further than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lots of technicalities perhaps. The intent is to stop overharvesting, maybe save a few ducks for the next guy.

Can I jerky 100 or 200 chukars and keep hunting? How about if I process a 100 pheasants in jars? Why would they be different than waterfowl?..............Is it OK to take 7 ducks a day, make gumbo, freeze it and keep on hunting, for the entire season? I don't think so.
 

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mmm...all this talk about jerky has made my mouth water! Anyone have a good duck jerky recipie? I also have some elk and cottontails that I'm going to mix with all of my ducks. Does anyone have any suggestions??
 

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Don't know if you had read any of the old forum, but this was a pretty heated topic. Since then i have done the same thing and tryed to find out where to draw the line because i my self love eating the duck, so i would either vaccum pack it and put it in the freezer so that i had meat for later on, (I'm in college and BROKE so i didn't see a problem with this) everybody else on the forum said that i was in the wrong. Here is what i found in the guidebook what the 50 CFR 20.39 is.


Termination of possession
50 CFR 20.39 and Utah Admin. Code R657-9-22
Birds that you have taken are no longer in your possession once you’ve delivered the birds to another person as a gift, or once you’ve taken the birds to a migratory bird preservation facility (i.e. a facility where birds are taken to be cleaned and prepared for the table) or to a post office or common carrier and consigned them for transport to a person other than yourself.


Now, i would consider me preparing the meat to be vaccum packed and frozen a "migratory bird preservation facility" :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
 
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