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Rock Chucks in Utah

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Unread 07-09-2008, 02:47 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 53
Rock Chucks in Utah

I recently talked to a wildlife biologist here in Utah that informed me that there are contradictions in the rules and you could be given a ticket for shooting rock chucks unless you have a license for collecting them. There is apparently a contradiction in the rules because in one section they are classified as unprotected mammals but under the zoological rules they are classified as controlled and it requires a permit to collect them. They have convienantly decided collecting means killing. I heard it was a 50/50 chance you will be given a ticket if found shooting them depending on the officer involved.

Has anybody had any experience with this? Your thoughts please.
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Unread 07-10-2008, 05:08 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,375
I have no experience with the matter. I personally would not hesitate to shoot them. I had an odd experience a few years back I think relates. I encountered a fish and game officer while on a horseback deer hunt. After enduring some rather odd questioning, I finally asked the gentleman what the problem was. Turned out he was just mad we were allowed to shoot deer. I was enormously surprised to find an anti hunting fish cop. I believe the gentleman would have ticketed me out of spite if he could've found a reason. I believe this to be the exception. However, they are out there.

Back to the question. I would not worry about getting a ticket. Even if you ran into an officer who insisted on ticketing you, you would not be convicted. We must be guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Actually conflicting regulations certainly provide reasonable doubt. To my knowledge, they are not included in a small game or fur bearers liscense. And are in fact unprotected as are raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and more.

I'm not sure the dwr still has a forum, but that'd be a good place to ask. Have you actually read the conflicting sections? I'll have a look.

Last edited by grit; 07-10-2008 at 05:11 PM.
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Unread 07-10-2008, 05:22 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 53

The reason I even posted this is I just go back from an ATV trip and indicated to my biologist friend that we found a few rock chucks and he described it exactly as you have experienced. He indicated there are officers that want to protect them and will find any excuse no matter how small to write a ticket for shooting them. I did check the regulations and it is hard to find but if you look in the zoological section they are listed as a controlled species. They also indicate a controlled species cannot be collected and collection means to kill. THat being said i agree that it would be tough to make a ticket stick for shooting them. It appears to me that the zoological code or rules were written for people looking to import, export, or sell animals or parts.

I might print the section on nonprotected mammals and just keep it with me when shooting.
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