2008-2009 Bird Hunt­ing Dates, Reg­u­la­tions

The Covington News - - Outdoors -

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.

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