RULE UPDATES (EFFECTIVE 6/1/16)
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- Certified master waterfowl hunter has been moved from a minimum of 20 species to 15 species.
- Species registration will now be $5.00 per entry (previously $10.00 per entry).
- Grandfather clause: members are now able to register 3 previously harvested species prior to the members start date with valid credentials (see grandfather clause page).
- Due to the fact it is difficult to tell the difference between each sex of the black duck, either sex may now be registered.
- Due to the fact it is difficult to tell the difference between each sex of the fulvous whistling tree duck, either sex may now be registered.
- Due to the fact it is difficult to tell the difference between each sex of the black bellied tree duck, either sex may now be registered.
OFFICIAL UWC RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
SECTION 1- REGISTRATION
There are two ways to join the UWC as a Lifetime Member. The Standard Membership and the Gold Membership. The benefits of upgrading to the Gold Membership status are that there are no waterfowl species registration fees and each Gold Member receives an exclusive UWC Jacket and Waterfowl Species Identification Poster at sign up.
Upon completing your one time Official UWC (Ultimate Waterfowlers Challenge) Registration Form and paying your one time Lifetime Registration fee, you will receive your Official UWC start up package in the mail within 7 – 10 business days.
Included in your start up package will be:
Included in your start up package will be:
- Official UWC Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter Certificate.
- Official UWC Hat and T-shirt.
- Official UWC Rules of Engagement Handbook.
- Official UWC Hunter Identification Card.
Gold Membership will also receive:
- Official UWC Waterfowl Series Jacket.
- Official UWC Waterfowl Species Identification Poster.
- Special Waterfowl Species Submission / Instruction Form.
Your name will also be placed as a Certified Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter on the UWC website. No matter age, background or experience, each member will start their challenge as a Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter at ground zero.
SECTION 2- HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY CERTIFY A SPECIES
The format to successfully register a waterfowl species listed on the UWC Official North American Waterfowl Species List (See Section 6 for the Official UWC N.A. Species list) which will certify a hunter for that particular species is listed below.
Note: Of the 41 eligible waterfowl species, only drakes are eligible to certify a species except for: Mottled duck, Black duck, Black-bellied whistling duck, Fulvous whistling duck, Tundra swans, Sandhill cranes and all species of Geese.
Step 1: Legally and ethically harvest a specific species of waterfowl. Each hunter must, to the best of their knowledge be the hunter who actually harvests the bird. We understand that when hunting in a group situation, several hunters may be aiming at the same bird and it can be very hard to determine who actually harvested the bird. In that scenario we simply ask that whomever takes possession of the bird for their daily bag limit has the ability to submit that bird for their certified species list. Only one hunter is allowed to submit a single bird, no multiple entries on the same bird are allowed.
Step 2: Once a bird has been harvested and is in possession of a single hunter, that hunter must take a clear and close up photo of the side of the bird’s head and body with that hunter’s UWC Waterfowl ID Card placed one inch below the bill of the bird. This photo will be used to accurately identify the bird once it has been submitted for approval. If the UWC judges are unable to positively identify the bird from this photo and / or the Hunter’s ID Card # is not clear and legible, the entry will be disqualified.
A second photo of the hunter holding the bird and thus taking possession of the bird is also required. Both photos will need to be submitted together at the time the hunter registers the bird.
Note: Any species submissions made prior to 6/1/2016 will be allowed without the second photo of a hunter. If a hunter loses their ID card, it can be replaced for a $10.00 per card fee.
STEP 3: Within 60 days of the harvest of the bird, the hunter must logon to the waterfowlerschallenge.com website and submit an official entry form found on the “Species Registration” page of the website.
(1) Fill out the species entry form with $5 entry fee per bird on the species registration page at waterfowlerschallenge.com. (2) Email both photos directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, placing the hunter’s ID number in the subject line. Once an official entry has been made, the hunter will receive an email confirmation within 7 – 10 business days that the entry has been successful. (UWC Gold Members will be given a special Gold Member Species Registration Form at sign up with instructions on how to enter their birds with no fee).
Note: All harvested waterfowl species must take place in a FAIR CHASE hunting situation. No pen raised or game farm birds are allowed in the challenge.
The species will then be added to that hunter’s Certified Species List located on the waterfowlerschallenge.com website. If a species entry has been mis-identified or was submitted as a drake but was actually a hen, the hunter will be notified within 7 – 10 business days that the entry was mis-identified and the hunter will be given credit for the correct species that was harvested. If the species harvested has already been successfully submitted in a previous entry, or was found to be a hen, the current entry will be null and void and the entry fee will be forfeited.
Once a bird has been harvested and is in possession of a single hunter, that hunter must take a clear and close up photo of the side of the bird’s head and body with that hunter’s UWC Waterfowl ID Card placed one inch below the bill of the bird. A second photo of the hunter holding the bird and thus taking possession of the bird is also required. Both photos will need to be submitted together at the time the hunter registers the bird. These photos will be used to accurately identify the bird once submitted for approval.
SPECIAL SPECIES SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS:
- CANADA GOOSE AND CACKLING CANADA GOOSE – Due to the fact that there are 7 different sub species of Canada Geese and 4 different sub species of Cackling Canada Geese, we have elected to simplify these into two categories- Canada Geese and Cackling Canada Geese. To distinguish the difference between the two, there are two different criteria to go off of. Any Canada goose weighing more than 6 pounds will fall under the Canada goose species. Any Canada goose weighing less than 6 pounds will fall under the Cackling Canada Goose species. The second criteria is the length of the goose’s bill. A Cackling Canada Goose will have a short triangular bill normally less than one inch in length, while a Canada goose will have a more elongated bill, over one inch in length.
- GREATER AND LESSER SCAUP – Due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to determine the difference between the two species, a third photo must be included for certification of these two species. The third photo must show the extended wing to show the white speculum in its entirety. Note: The Greater Scaup will have a white wing speculum that extends the entire length of the wing while the Lesser Scaup will have a white speculum that only extends half way across the wing.
- BLUE-WINGED TEAL AND CINNAMON TEAL – Due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to determine the difference between the immature drake and hen Blue-winged Teal and Cinnamon Teal, a third photo may be needed for certification of these two species, if it is not evident that the bird is a drake. The second photo must show the extended wing to show the complete white speculum below the blue wing patch. On the drakes the white area will be clearly white, while the hens will have a speckled white wing speculum.D. MOTTLED DUCK – The Mottled duck, found in the southern region of the United States is difficult to tell the difference between the male and female. Therefore either sex is allowed to certify this species.
- BLACK DUCK – The Black duck, found throughout the United States is difficult to tell the difference between the male and female. Therefore either sex is allowed to certify this species.
- FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK – The Fulvous Whistling Duck, found in the southern United States and throughout Mexico is difficult to tell the difference between the male and female. Therefore either sex is allowed to certify this species.
- BLACK-BELLIED WHISTING DUCK – The Black-bellied Whisting Duck, found in the southern United States and throughout Mexico is difficult to tell the difference between the male and female. Therefore either sex is allowed to certify this species.
SECTION 3- THE GRANDFATHER CLAUSE
Due to the fact that many hunters may have already successfully harvested a specific species that is very hard to attain, the UWC is now allowing the ability for a participant to certify up to 3 waterfowl species that have been previously harvested prior to the participant’s official start date for the UWC Challenge. To be eligible to certify a pre-harvested species one of the four following verification sources MUST BE confirmed prior to adding those species to a hunters certified species list. This is a one-time certification option. Once a bird has been certified using the Grandfather Clause it cannot be changed or reversed.
Confirmation from a witness who was present at the time of the harvest. Ideally an outfitter who was present at the time of the harvest. However a hunting partner or other credible source is acceptable. Note: The witness WILL BE contacted via phone to confirm the accuracy of the species harvested. If the witness is not deemed to be a credible source that person may be unacceptable to use as SOURCE 1 in the Grandfather Clause.
A photo of the hunter with the bird may be used as a second source. The photo must clearly show the hunter along with the species harvested. If there is any question on the species of the bird or the recognition of the hunter who harvested the bird, or the authenticity of the photo, the photo may be disqualified as acceptable using SOURCE 2 in the Grandfather Clause.
If the harvested bird was mounted as a trophy, a photo of the hunter who harvested the bird standing next to the mount, along with the name and contact information of the taxidermist who mounted the bird may also be used as a credible source to verify the species being certified using SOURCE 3 in the Grandfather Clause.
If the bird was banded and the UWC participant has the Official Certificate from the USGS with the bird’s info and hunter’s name on the certificate a photo of the certificate may be submitted as a credible source to verify the species using SOURCE 4 in the Grandfather Clause.
There will be a $10.00 Registration fee for entering each bird using “The Grandfather Clause.” Please see the Grandfather Clause page of the waterfowlerschallenge.com website for more information and how to verify a pre-harvested species. Due to the fact that it is always possible to fabricate the authenticity of a bird harvested, we encourage our participants to rely on the proper ethics instilled in the UWC Challenge. The UWC Challenge is set up for the hunter participant to have an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Cheating the system only hurts the participant involved and the credibility of the UWC Challenge overall. If a participant is caught trying to cheat the system they may be disqualified from the challenge.
SECTION 4- LEVELS OF CERTIFICATION
LEVEL 1- CERTIFIED JOURNEYMAN WATERFOWL HUNTER
Each participant, no matter what their background or waterfowl hunting experience will start out at the Certified Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter level. This simply means that the hunter has successfully completed the Official UWC Registration and is an active participant in the UWC Challenge. Within 7 – 10 business days of registering as an Official UWC participant the hunter’s name will be added in alphabetical order, to the UWC Journeyman Waterfowlers Page at waterfowlerschallenge.com. The participant will also receive their UWC Starter kit in the mail and will be eligible to enter any waterfowl species harvested from that date forward. Each species certified will be added to the participants name profile on the Journeyman Waterfowl Hunters page to confirm the overall number of species harvested for that participant.
NOTE: There are 3 levels of higher certification that each participant has the opportunity to achieve above the Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter level. (See Section 6 for the Official UWC N.A. Waterfowl Species List).
LEVEL 2- CERTIFIED MASTER WATERFOWL HUNTER
The first level above The Certified Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter is becoming a Certified Master Waterfowl Hunter. To achieve this certification level each participant must successfully harvest and become certified for a minimum of 15 of the 41 Official Certified UWC Certified Waterfowl Species. Any waterfowl species found on the BONUS WATERFOWL DIVISION is also eligible towards this certification level. (See Section 6 for the Official UWC N.A. Waterfowl Species List). Once a participant has successfully certified a minimum of 15 species, the status of Certified Master Waterfowl Hunter has then been achieved. At that point the participant will receive a beautiful Master Waterfowl Hunter wall plaque. The hunter will also be added to the Master Waterfowl Hunter page of the UWC website with their photo of choice added to their profile. In addition, the hunter’s full certified waterfowl species list will be added under their name and photo on Master Waterfowl Hunter page of the UWC website at watefowlerschallenge.com.
LEVEL 3- CERTIFIED MASTER ELITE WATERFOWL HUNTER
The second level above The Certified Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter is becoming a Certified Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter. To achieve this certification level each participant must successfully harvest and become certified for a minimum of 30 of the 41 Official Certified UWC Certified Waterfowl Species. Any waterfowl species found on the BONUS WATERFOWL DIVISION is also eligible towards this certification level. (See Section 6 for the Official UWC N.A. Waterfowl Species List). Once a participant successfully certifies a minimum of 30 species, the status of Certified Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter has been achieved. At that point the participant will receive a personalized Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter wall plaque with their full certified waterfowl species list included on the plaque, as well as their favorite hunting photo. The hunter will also be added to the Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter page of the UWC website. In addition the hunter will have the ability to add their own bio and favorite 3 photos to the Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter page of the website accessible for fellow waterfowl hunters to read. The Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter bio form will be available to download on the Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter page of the UWC website. All photos and bios can be emailed directly to: email@example.com.
LEVEL 4- CERTIFIED GRAND MASTER WATERFOWL HUNTER
The third and final level above The Certified Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter is becoming a Certified Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter. This is the pinnacle of the UCW Challenge! To achieve this certification level each participant must successfully harvest and become certified for all 41 of the 41 Official Certified UWC Certified Waterfowl Species (See Section 6 for the Official UWC N.A. Waterfowl Species List). Once a participant has successfully certified all 41 species the status of Certified Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter has been achieved. Any of the birds found in the BONUS WATERFOWL DIVISION will now be added to the participants UWC profile for additional accreditation. At that point the participant will receive a custom carved King Eider Decoy mounted on a wood stand with a custom engraved gold name plate, with the hunter’s name and status as a Certified UWC Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter on it. The hunter will also be added to the Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter page of the UWC website. In addition the hunter will have the ability to add an extensive bio and 3 additional favorite photos for a total of 6 photos, to the Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter page of the website accessible for fellow waterfowl hunters to read. The Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter bio form will be available to be downloaded on Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter page of the UWC website at watefowlerschallenge.com.
SECTION 5 – RULES AND EXPECTED CONDUCT OF THE UWC CHALLENGE
The goal of the Ultimate Waterfowlers Challenge is to provide a fun and rewarding challenge for the avid waterfowl hunter to participate in. The overall atmosphere of the challenge is to promote the legal and ethical pursuit of all species of waterfowl found across North America and to help parents and kids to enjoy the great sport of waterfowl hunting together. This can be a fulfilling and rewarding journey that can last an entire lifetime for those hunters who are serious about striving to complete the challenge. Much of this challenge is based on the moral and ethical standards and actions from each and every participant. The UWC is not here to judge any hunter on their moral values. Each hunter has to be responsible to and for themselves. However if any flagrant violations of the Official UWC Rules Of Engagement inside this handbook occur or any major Federal waterfowl hunting violations occur that the UWC is made aware of, including the following scenarios listed below, a participant may be disqualified from the challenge and will not be refunded any money that has been invested into the pursuit of the hunter’s certified species list. Keep in mind each participant is now a role model for our sport and in that participants circle of influence.
- Any waterfowl species harvested legally may be submitted within 60 days of harvesting the bird after the UWC Members Lifetime Registration is complete. There are no time limits or restraints to complete any of the certified waterfowl hunter titles.
- Any participant who incorrectly submits an entry of a waterfowl species will be notified of their mistake by the UWC judge’s panel within 7 – 10 business days and will forfeit their entry fee, if the species has already been added to their certified species list. Otherwise the correct species will be added to that participant’s official species list and the hunter will be notified via email of that correction. Again this is a DRAKES ONLY challenge except for the following waterfowl species: Black Ducks, Mottled Ducks, Black Bellied Whistling Ducks, Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Tundra Swans, Sandhill Cranes and all species of Geese.
- Any hunter convicted of a major felony waterfowl hunting violation may be automatically be disqualified from the Ultimate Waterfowlers Challenge.
- Any waterfowl species harvested illegally under any circumstances is automatically disqualified from the hunter’s certified species list or if it is found to be a hen it will also be disqualified.
- Any participant intentionally trying to cheat the system in any way may be automatically disqualified from the Ultimate Waterfowlers Challenge.
SECTION 6- THE OFFICIAL UWC NORTH AMERICAN WATERFOWL SPECIES LIST
OFFICIAL UWC NORTH AMERICAN WATERFOWL SPECIES LIST
The Official UWC Waterfowl species list includes:
Note: For All waterfowl other than Geese, Tundra Swans and Sandhill Cranes, Black Duck and the Mottled Duck, only drakes are able to be entered to certify a species.
Puddle Duck Division
- American Wigeon
- Northern Shoveler
- Green-winged Teal
- Blue-winged Teal
- Cinnamon Teal
- Wood Duck
- Black Duck
- Mottled Duck
- Black Bellied Whistling Duck
- Fulvous Whistling Tree Duck
Puddle Duck Division
- Greater Scaup
- Lesser Scaup
- Common Goldeneye
- Barrows Goldeneye
- Ruddy Duck
- Ring-necked Duck
- Hooded Merganser
- Common Merganser
- Red-breasted Merganser
Sea Ducks Division
- King Eider
- Common Eider
- Old Squaw (Long tailed Duck)
- Harlequin Duck
- Common (Black) Scoter
- Surf Scoter
- White-winged Scoter
Geese, Swans and Cranes Division
- Tundra Swan
- Sandhill Crane
- Canada Goose
- Cackling Canada Goose
- Snow Goose
- Blue Goose
- Ross Goose
- White-fronted Goose (Speckle Belly)
- Brant Goose
BONUS WATERFOWL DIVISION:
(Waterfowl Species Outside Of The Official UWC NA Waterfowl Species List)
There are several other species of waterfowl that may be harvested in North America and many other waterfowl species found worldwide that do not fall into the 41 species of the Official UWC North American Waterfowl list, that may be harvested by a UWC participant. The species listed below are the most common additional waterfowl species that may be found in North America and are eligible to assist in attaining both the Master Waterfowl Hunter Certification and the Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter Certification. However all 41 species found on the Official UWC North American Waterfowl Species List must be harvested and certified to attain the Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter Certification.
Any of the waterfowl species submitted below will also be added to the UWC Member’s online waterfowl species list for additional accreditation and recognition after achieving the Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter Certification.
- Eurasian Wigeon
- Tufted Duck
- Mexican Duck
- Eurasian Teal
- White-Cheeked Pintail
- Masked Duck
- Blue Phased Ross Goose
- Barnacle Goose
- Pink Footed Goose
- Any Hybrid Species Of Waterfowl
NOTE: On the Official Species Registration Form, please write in “Other” on the line for species harvested and fill out the short addendum form also found on the Species Registration page of the UWC website for any waterfowl species not listed on the official North American Species list as seen above.