Yes, you read the headline correctly. On October 19 hunters now get to participate in a new experience – a swan hunt. Hunters who have secured a tag can legally kill swans in the Panhandle Region; Benewah, Bonner, Boundary and Kootenai counties only.
According to the Idaho government site, in August 50 tags were issued and the season runs until December 1, 2020. The experimental hunt will then be evaluated for three years after approval from the Pacific Flyway Council and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Hunters will be able to kill one swan a day and one swan possession per day. Hunters are encouraged to take the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s swan orientation to become familiar with the bird and have to follow the following rules:
Swan Bag Limit
Daily Bag Limit: 1 swan
Mandatory Check and Report – any hunter killing a
swan must, within three (3) days of the date of kill,
present the swan carcass (for measurement and
identification) to a conservation officer, regional
office or check station, and complete the relevant
harvest report. A person may authorize another
person to perform the check and report if that
person possesses sufficient information to complete
• Swan Tag – REQUIRED
• Migratory Bird (HIP) Permit – REQUIRED
• Federal Migratory Bird (Duck) Stamp – REQUIRED
• Shotgun capable of carrying no more than
3 shells – REQUIRED
• Nontoxic Shot – REQUIRED
• Shot Size: No person shall take swans while in
possession of shot larger than two tenths (0.2
inches) in diameter (size T)
Why would anyone want to kill a swan? Do we have to hunt and kill everything?
Both trumpeter and tundra swans are the swan species native to North America. Trumpeter swans make loud honking noises and look similar to mute swans except they have entirely black bills and masks. In the 20th century, they almost went extinct, however their populations have rebounded in protected areas.
Swans mate for life and can live upwards to 20 years. In the event of the death of their mate or if they are unsuccessful with breeding, the swans may opt to find a new mate.
Perhaps their best known trait is how aggressive and territorial they can get during mating and breeding seasons. It’s not unusual to see swans at that time hissing, swimming and aggressively flapping their wings when perceived as being threatened.