2008-2009 Bird Hunting Dates, Regulations
SOCIAL CIRCLE — Early hunting seasons for some species of waterfowl will open soon, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division recently announced the department on its Web site. Georgia’s early waterfowl hunting opportunities include an early teal hunting season ( Sept. 20- 28) and an extended September season for Canada geese ( Sept. 628), but the more traditional late seasons won’t open until around Thanksgiving.
“ Waterfowl hunters will again have a 60- day hunting season and also have one an increased bag limit for one species that should please many Georgia hunters,” said the division’s State Waterfowl Coordinator Greg Balkcom. “ Georgia has been actively involved for several years in the Federal process on this issue and finally the bag limit for wood ducks has been raised to three per day.”
In late July, the USFWS Service Regulations Committee approved a framework that allows states to adopt a wood duck bag limit of up to three.
T h e Georgia Wi l d l i f e Resources Division recently recommended this regulation change to the Board of Natural Resources and it was approved. According to two different indices and analysis by the USFWS, the wood duck population has been increasing in eastern North America and should be able to tolerate higher harvest rates that previously believed.
Hunting season for all ducks will be open from Nov. 22 - Nov. 30 and Dec. 6 - Jan. 25. The bag limits for most species remains unchanged from last year. However, there are changes for two species: wood duck bag limit is 3 and scaup limit is 1. However, the season is closed on canvasbacks.
Migratory bird hunting season dates and bag limits can be found online at www. gohuntgeorgia. com or in the “ Late Season Georgia Migratory Bird Regulations 2008- 2009” brochure, available through division offices and at select hunting license agents.
To legally hunt waterfowl in Georgia, sportsmen and women must possess a Georgia hunting license, a Georgia waterfowl conservation license, a federal duck stamp and a free Migratory Bird Hunting License (or HIP Permit).
HIP is an annual federal program that requires those who hunt migratory bird species to fill out a short harvest survey and in return receive a free participation permit. Those hunting on a wildlife management area ( WMA) must possess a WMA license. Hunters may purchase licenses at more than 1,000 license agents or at www.gohuntgeorgia.com .
Legal shooting hours for migratory birds are one half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily sunrise and sunset times for Georgia can be found on page 43 of the 20082009 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide or online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com.
For more information on the upcoming migratory bird season, visit www. gohuntgeorgia. com , contact the local WRD Game Management Office or call (770) 9186416.