2010-11 migratory game bird seasons and bag limits established

Harrisburg — Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director
Carl Roe today announced that the agency has made its selections
for the 2010-11 migratory game bird hunting seasons and bag
limits.

Annual waterfowl seasons are selected by states from a framework
established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Game Commission
selections were made after reviewing last year’s season results,
waterfowl survey data, and input gathered from waterfowl hunters
and the public. Final approval from the USFWS is expected by late
September.

Roe also noted that the Game Commission again has posted the
waterfowl season brochure and maps on its website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us). The agency currently is mass-producing
brochures to be distributed to U.S. Post Offices within the next
two weeks.

“Many hunters already have purchased their hunting licenses and
federal waterfowl stamps in anticipation of the season,” Roe said.
“For their convenience, in addition to being able to pick up the
waterfowl brochure and maps at post offices and license issuing
agents, hunters can obtain this important information from the Game
Commission’s website.”

Kevin Jacobs, Game Commission waterfowl biologist, said the
federal frameworks are again allowing for a 60-day duck season,
with a six bird daily limit. The same species restrictions and bag
limits that were in place for the 2009-10 season will continue,
with the exception of a two-bird daily limit for pintail throughout
the 60-day season.

“In reviewing public input, we have heard that hunters would
prefer that we not close the duck season in the Northwest Duck Zone
during the two-week firearms deer season (Nov. 29-Dec. 11),” Jacobs
said. “We have incorporated this request into the season dates for
the 2010 duck seasons, which will run from Oct. 9-23, and from Nov.
6-Dec. 30.”

Jacobs also noted that hunters will be able to harvest 25 snow
geese daily in both the regular snow goose season (Nov. 6-Feb. 19)
and Snow Goose Conservation Hunts, which was extended by one
additional week (Feb. 21-April 16). To participate, hunters will
need to obtain a free conservation hunt permit and file a mandatory
report of harvest/participation in addition to their other required
licenses. Specifics on how to obtain a permit for the Snow Goose
Conservation Hunt will be announced later this hunting season.

Once again, young Pennsylvania hunters will be provided with a
special day of waterfowl hunting on Saturday, Sept. 18. The Youth
Waterfowl Day will be open to those 12- to 15-years-old who hold a
junior hunting license. To participate, a youngster must be
accompanied by an adult, who may assist the youth in calling, duck
identification and other aspects of the hunt. During this special
day-long hunt, youth can harvest Canada geese, ducks, mergansers,
coots and moorhens. The daily bag limit for youth participating in
the Youth Waterfowl Day for is the same as the regular season daily
limit in the area being hunted. The only exception is that when
September Canada goose daily bag limits exceed the regular season
limit for the area being hunted, youth can take the September daily
limit.

Also, this agency again will hold a special youth-only waterfowl
hunting day at the controlled hunting blinds at both Middle Creek
Wildlife Management Area and Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area.
The youth day for Middle Creek is Nov. 20, for Pymatuning, Nov. 27.
A special drawing of applications submitted by junior license
holders will be held immediately before the regular drawing for
goose blinds. Interested youth should use the same application on
page 28 of the 2010-11 Digest. Only one application will be
accepted per junior hunter.

In addition to a regular Pennsylvania hunting license, persons
16 and older must have a Federal Migratory Bird and Conservation
Stamp, commonly referred to as a “Duck Stamp,” signed in ink across
its face. All waterfowl hunters, regardless of age, must have a
Pennsylvania Migratory Game Bird License to hunt waterfowl and
other migratory birds, including doves, woodcock, coots, moorhens,
rails and snipe. All migratory game bird hunters in the United
States are required to complete a Harvest Information Program
survey when they purchase a state migratory game bird license. The
survey information is then forwarded to the USFWS.

“By answering the questions on the survey card, hunters will
improve survey efficiency and the quality of information used to
track the harvest of migratory birds for management purposes,”
Jacobs said.

Hunters must use non-toxic shot while hunting ducks, geese or
coots in Pennsylvania. The use of decoys powered or operated by
batteries or any other source of electricity is unlawful in
Pennsylvania. Also, the use of any sort of artificial substance or
product as bait or an attractant is prohibited.

Jacobs noted that, although hunting hours have been extended to
one-half hour after sunset for big game (except spring gobbler), as
well as small game and furbearers, federal regulations prevail for
waterfowl and migratory game birds, so shooting hours for these
species will continue to close at sunset. The only exceptions are
during the early September Canada goose season (Sept. 1-25) and the
Snow Goose Conservation Season (Feb. 21-April 16), in which the
USFWS has permitted states to extend the hunting hours to one-half
hour after sunset. Also, during the first part of the dove season
(Sept. 1-28), hunting hours are from noon through sunset.

For complete early Canada goose season information, as well as
webless migratory game bird seasons, please see News Release
#78-10, which the agency issued on July 29.

 

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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