CO: FWS Unveils Duck Season Proposal

DENVER — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comment through May 15 on proposed changes to the guidelines that the Colorado Wildlife Commission must use to set duck hunting season zones and split seasons from 2011 to 2015.

Colorado and other states have requested a revision in federal zoning and split season guidelines, which have remained unchanged since 1996. This Environmental Assessment evaluates four alternative structures for how Colorado may divide the state into hunting zones and choose duck hunting season dates within those zones.

If the Fish and Wildlife Service approves the states' request, described in the Environmental Assessment's proposed action, states would have more flexibility in how they can structure duck seasons than under the current guidelines. If the proposed action is approved, the Colorado Wildlife Commission is considering dividing the current Eastern Plains Duck Hunting Zone of the Central Flyway along I-70 to create northern and southern zones, each of which could have different season dates. For example, in the northeastern zone the season could be split to provide both early and late hunting opportunity, while in the southeastern zone more hunting days could be allotted to late fall and winter when ducks are generally more abundant in this area.

Earlier this year, the Division surveyed eastern Colorado duck hunters about the proposed changes. More than half of the hunters in southeastern Colorado who responded to the survey felt the change would increase the number of days they hunt, their harvest and their satisfaction. Almost half of northeastern Colorado duck hunters who responded felt that changing zone boundaries would have no effect on their hunting habits or satisfaction, while 35 percent said the proposed change would likely benefit them.

Colorado hunters who wish to learn more about the proposal can find the Environmental Assessment on the Fish & Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program web site: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/

Individuals can provide comments directly to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the web at the Federal eRulemaking Portal:http://www.regulations.gov and following the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2011-0014.

Comments may also be mailed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Attn: FWS-R9-MB-2011-0014, Division of Policy and Directives Management, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM, Arlington, VA 22203.

More information about waterfowl hunting in Colorado can be found on the Division web site here:

http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/Waterfowl/

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

 

Categories: News Archive, Waterfowl

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