SPECIES OVERVIEW - Tundra Swan
Tundra swans are one of the water fowling world’s top trophy birds. Their numbers have increased every year. In 2015, their estimated numbers were around ~175,000 (the combined western and eastern populations), which is enough to support a hunting season. The tundra swans’ longer migration from the high arctic breeding grounds is helpful to hunters because the bird can be hunted in more places than a
trophy bird with a shorter migration (like harlequin duck or king eider). In the states they are hunted, permits are given out by lottery and the limit is one per season. Like deer or moose, carcass tags are validated after harvest. Here are the lists of states who give out permits for the tundra swan every
year, from most permits given to least permits given.
► North Carolina (hunts are between Pamlico and Albemarle sounds): 5,000
► Utah: 2,000
► Montana: 1,000
► Virginia: (mainly in Rappahannock River’s marshes): 200+
There is an orientation required by most states to ensure a hunter can tell the difference between a tundra swan and the endangered trumpeter swan. A quick way to tell the difference between the two birds is that the lore (fleshy patch between eye and beak) of a trumpeter swan is black while a tundra swan has a patch of yellow. The trumpeter swan is also larger than a tundra swan and has a blockier head.