In a vote of 3-2 on Thursday, the Utah Wildlife Board approved the state’s first crow hunt starting this fall. According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), the decision came about after the steady increase of crows in the state for the past 24 years.
“Taking some crows will not hurt the overall population,” said Blair Stringham, the DWR’s migratory bird coordinator.
In fact—if the surveys of crow numbers are anything to judge by—the hunt will actually help fruit farmers and others affected by crow depredation. Utah will not be the first state to authorize a crow hunt to reduce the damage on fruit, corn, and grain crops. About 45 other states have also opened a season on crows for the same reason, although critics say the problem is not as widespread in Utah.