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Utah state board approves September crow hunt to cull growing ‘nuisance issue’

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By Jennifer Dobner

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) – Utah will hold its first ever crow hunt this fall as authorities try to contain the noise and mess from a population of the big, black birds that officials say has tripled over the last 12 years.

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The state’s Wildlife Board voted 3-2 on Thursday to let hunters cull up to 10 crows each per day in September, and then again between Dec. 1 and Feb. 28, an official said on Friday.

State data shows the crow population has grown some 300 percent since 2002, in part because they live mostly in urban areas across northern Utah where they are relatively safe from predators and have easy access to food.

As communities have grown bigger along the Wasatch Front, the number of crows has grown alongside them, said Blair Stringham, the state’s migratory game bird coordinator.

“It’s gotten to be a nuisance issue,” Stringham said.

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“When they roost, it can be in groups of 1,000 or more, so there’s a lot of noise associated with that and a lot of fecal matter and mess, which people don’t like.”

The proposal was prompted by a growing number of complaints from urban residents, and from farmers who say the birds damage corn, fruit and grain crops.

Bird enthusiasts and other opponents of the plan say it will not solve the problem because hunting will remain prohibited in the urban neighborhoods where most crows are found.

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Bill Fenimore is an avid hunter and Wildlife Board member who voted against the proposal. He said he doubted many of his fellow hunters would rush to kill the birds for food.

“Nobody’s going to go out to hunt crows because they are hungry,” said Fenimore. Crows look similar to protected ravens, he added, and he said he worried that younger, less experienced hunters might accidentally shoot the wrong birds.

Under the new rules, homeowners will also be allowed to kill nuisance birds if other means of driving them out, such as the use of shiny objects or loud noises, are unsuccessful.

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Crows are protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty, but about 45 states allow them to be hunted, Stringham said.

(Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)

[Image: “Crow,” via Shutterstock]

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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GOP lawmaker cut the mic on black woman’s facts — but let white men spew ‘lunacy and lies’: report

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The Republican chair of a Tennessee legislative committee is under fire for cutting off the microphone while a woman of color was speaking -- but allowing white men to spew "lunacy."

"It took all of five minutes for Sen. Mike Bell, chairman of the Tennessee General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, to prove Cherisse Scott’s point. Scott is founder and CEO of Sister Reach, a Memphis organization that fights for reproductive freedom and health for rural women and girls of color struggling with poverty," Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee explained.

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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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