Expanded hunting opportunities this year

Discussion in 'Florida Flyway Forum' started by FLDuck Biologist, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. FLDuck Biologist

    FLDuck Biologist New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    I am very happy to share some exciting news. We have received word the Service Regulations Committee, the panel that approves migratory bird hunting rules, has approved several recommendations that will increase hunting opportunity in Florida. These recommendations will not truly be final until the end of August, after they have been posted in the Federal Register.

    First, it is a near-certainty the dove season will be expanded by 20 days. I presented this possibility to the FWC Commissioners at the April Commission Meeting in Havana. We added several days to all the phases of the dove season and extended the season to the last allowable day within the Federal frameworks. The dove season this year should be Phase 1: Sept 27 ? Oct 27, Phase 2: Nov 8 ? Dec 1, and Phase 3: Dec 12 ? Jan 15. We chose the distribution of the extra days based on input we received from an online survey we conducted last year.

    Second, we received permission to increase the bag limit of teal during the Special September Duck Season (known commonly as Early Teal Season or September Duck Season). The daily bag limit may not exceed 6 teal and wood ducks in the aggregate, of which no more than 2 may be wood ducks. This means you will be able to harvest 2 more teal during the September season than you have been able to in the past.

    Third, we have been given the opportunity to add 4 days of teal-only hunting in September to occur either immediately before or immediately after the 5- day teal/wood duck season. This will be an experimental season, presumably for at least the next three year. FWC will be working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to follow the guidelines set forth as necessary for the experimental status of the season. It really won?t affect the hunters. It?s really just some administrative stuff that my staff and I will have to follow up on to ensure we keep the experimental status for a few years and help move it to operational status sometime down the road.

    Just as a note, we are leaning towards adding the 4 extra teal days to the end of the season. That would make the season run Sept 20 ? Sept 28, where only teal may be harvested Sept 25 ? Sept 28. That will provide for 2 full weekends of duck hunting in September. I welcome any feedback on this proposal. Feel free to send comments to ducks@MyFWC.com. Also, for at least this year, we will not be able to offer the second weekend (the teal-only weekend) at the STAs because of the alligator hunts. I hope the STA hunters will understand why we cannot offer them this year. This opportunity came in too late in the planning process. I promise to work with FWC alligator staff, the public hunt area staff, and the South Florida Water Management District staff to see how we can get this expanded duck hunting opportunity offered on the STAs for September 2015.

    PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, AS ALWAYS THESE SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS ARE NOT FINAL AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. We will know they are final at the end of August.

    Finally, I want to give accolades to my predecessor, Joe Benedict. He laid a lot of groundwork, along with the waterfowl biologists in Kentucky and Tennessee (who also shoot wood ducks in September and were also given these extra teal days) to get these extra teal days in September. Also Diane Eggeman, our Atlantic Flyway Council rep, along with many of her counterparts within the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways did some good work talking with the Service Regulations Committee to get them to consider our requests. All the hard work resulted in extra September teal for Florida duck hunters.

    Have fun with your extra hunting days this year.

    Jamie Feddersen
    FWC Waterfowl and Small Game Management Program Coordinator
     
  2. Floridaboy

    Floridaboy Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2001
    Location:
    FL
    I support all three!
     

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