Duck Hunt Kicks Off With A Warning

Duck Hunt Kicks Off With A Warning

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Nishi Gupta reporting Utah's duck hunt kicked off today, with an unusual warning: Some ducks have tested high for mercury and are not safe to eat.

Ducks from the Great Salt Lake were tested this summer, and the results prompted a warning: do not shoot or eat certain kinds.

The state Division of Wildlife Resources says to watch out for these ducks: two kinds of the Northern Shoveler and the Common Goldeneye.

Hunters didn't seem to mind. There were plenty of other ducks to bring home. 15-year-old Jared Sacco had pretty good luck today, getting a mallard and a teel.

Hunter Glenn Smith knew about the warning, but if he happened to shoot a Shoveler or Goldeneye, he's got another use for them in mind.

Glenn Smith, "I would still claim it as a part of my limit, but I wouldn't eat it. I'd just use it for dog training"

Although officials don't exactly know where the mercury is coming from, they do have a couple theories.

Tom Aldrich, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, "We know coal fired power plants emit some mercury, we know historically here in Utah- a lot of gold mining used mercury."

And just to be sure unsafe meat doesn't end up at the dinner table, officials are checking every hunter's catch.

The Shoveler and the Goldeneye are only about ten percent of the birds on the lake each year.

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