Waterfowl Hunting Season Frameworks Proposed, Process for Setting Seasons Streamlined

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Image of dog retrieving duck, Credit: Guy Huntley, Flickr

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed hunting regulations for the upcoming 2015-2016 late waterfowl seasons. Hunting season lengths of 60 days were proposed for the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways, with 74 days for the Central Flyway (with an additional 23 days in the High Plains areas) and 107 days for the Pacific Flyway.

A full season on pintails would be offered nation-wide with a two bird daily bag limit, and a full season on canvasbacks with a two bird daily bag limit offered nation-wide.

States will select their individual seasons from within the federal frameworks that establish the earliest beginning and latest ending dates and the maximum season length and bag limits.

The Service is also streamlining the process by which it sets annual migratory game bird hunting seasons and bag limits. Beginning with the 2016-17 hunting seasons, the current two-cycle regulatory practice will be compressed into a single annual process.The new streamlined process to set annual migratory game bird hunting seasons and bag limits will rely on biological data from the past year to set hunting season dates and project appropriate harvest limits for each game species. The change will give biologists more time to analyze bird survey data that inform the Service’s regulatory decisions and will give the public more time to comment on proposed rules. The change will also ensure that administrative procedures do not delay the opening of state hunting seasons.