Change in Fed. Waterfowl law?

oldfireguy

Senior Refuge Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
440
Reaction score
621
Location
mi
Current law, as explained by a federal warden, does not permit any transport of waterfowl without attached wing or head.

The absolute application of that rule results in prohibiting hunters from processing snow geese breasts into ground meat, or being made into sausage, jerky or other edible forms.

If it is to the benefit of habitat and environment to reduce the population of Snows, then perhaps some revision of "transport" regulations is warranted for spring season.

Thoughts?
 

USMC-Ret

Senior Refuge Member
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
381
Reaction score
233
Location
NW Arkansas

20.43 Species identification requirement.


No person shall transport within the United States any migratory game birds, except doves and band-tailed pigeons (Columba fasciata), unless the head or one fully feathered wing remains attached to each such bird at all times while being transported from the place where taken until they have arrived at the personal abode of the possessor or a migratory bird preservation facility.

[41 FR 31537, July 19, 1976]

Seems pretty clear that once at your personal abode, species identification no longer applies and you can turn the meat into whatever form you want
 

oldfireguy

Senior Refuge Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
440
Reaction score
621
Location
mi

20.43 Species identification requirement.


No person shall transport within the United States any migratory game birds, except doves and band-tailed pigeons (Columba fasciata), unless the head or one fully feathered wing remains attached to each such bird at all times while being transported from the place where taken until they have arrived at the personal abode of the possessor or a migratory bird preservation facility.

[41 FR 31537, July 19, 1976]

Seems pretty clear that once at your personal abode, species identification no longer applies and you can turn the meat into whatever form you want
Yes.
But if you are there, or at a camp, you cannot transport that " meat" outside the home.

We traditionally have a " duck feed" at camp for neighbors who let us hunt. Any " leftovers" may not be brought home.

Just think that maybe an exemption could be made for spring snow goose season.
You know, like the exemptions from plugged gun, electronic callers, no limits....
 

Neighbor Guy

Elite Refuge Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
4,390
Location
Central MN
I was told, also by a federal warden that if you cooked it and it’s “leftovers” it can be transported as food.

He’s also the same guy who told me to grind every goose I shot and right “venison” on the bag. So take that with a grain of salt.
 

oldfireguy

Senior Refuge Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
440
Reaction score
621
Location
mi
I was told, also by a federal warden that if you cooked it and it’s “leftovers” it can be transported as food.

He’s also the same guy who told me to grind every goose I shot and right “venison” on the bag. So take that with a grain of salt.
There are certainly ways to circumvent laws, but I'd rather see a change.
If a group of 4 hunters had 100+ geese, it would make sense if they could spend a day making ground sausage, and everyone head home with a cooler of meat.
Seems to me a small added change to current regs for spring Snows.
Federal warden told me that, every year, a lot of "sausage" tickets are written.....under current regs.
 

Jmuv

Refuge Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
40
Reaction score
43
I have not read the law myself but years past I had curret and retired wardens hunt with me in Louisiana. They bought 5 day licenses and planned to hunt for the full 5. They were from a different state and had to transport the ducks home. After two days of full limits the active warden said that to continue hunting for the next three days to be within the law the birds would have to be cooked. The cooking was taken under the law, as ending the stipulation of keeping an identification body part attached to the bird and once cooked it also didn’t trigger the possession limit of twice the daily limit. We breasted the birdo saving legs, gizzards and hearts. We then pit the parts on my smoker and very lightly smoked the parts. They were bagged, marked as smoked duck and frozen. The act of processing and cooking even lightly satisfied the law. Knowing the warden, he is not a “law bender”. I guess it goes back to the fact that some law enforcement not all or most officials will charge first and let the person get the court to sort out the law.
 

tornadochaser

Elite Refuge Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
2,133
Reaction score
260
Location
south dakota
The act of processing and cooking even lightly satisfied the law. Knowing the warden, he is not a “law bender”. I guess it goes back to the fact that some law enforcement not all or most officials will charge first and let the person get the court to sort out the law.

Per the USFWS: The head or one fully feathered wing must remain attached to the birds while you transport them to your home or to a facility that processes waterfowl. State wardens might let this slide from time to time; but the federal wardens sure won't.
 

basinmeyer

Refuge Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
55
Reaction score
22
Location
Minnesota
There can be no exemption made for spring snows. The wing attachment not only identifies what the bird is but more importantly what it is not! Once breasted how do you identify there is nothing but light geese in the bag. Mallard or Ross goose, snow or speck or small Canada?
 

no harm-no fowl

Elite Refuge Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
1,260
Reaction score
828
Location
ohio
We just breasted out the birds and kept them at a friends house in his freezer. That way we never had more than a days worth in our possession. At the end of the trip, it was our last stop out of town. I believe that once they are processed for consumption, they don't count any more. I can't do anything about you running into a FGW that's a D**k and gives you a ticket. He'll get reprimanded when they loose the case.
Resized_20211115_122223.jpeg


When we go to Canada, we just leave them whole and bring them back.
 
Last edited:

Dirk Van Schmaldlerson

Elite Refuge Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
3,036
Reaction score
10,222
Location
Leaving your moms house
I've been told, by multiple Fed's, that the possession limit is in fact "bird to turd", meaning just because it is processed doesn't reduce it from your possession limit. When pressed how they could prove what was what, they all waffled on how they can do so. It's actually quite funny. Here's the thing, if they are looking into you, you've got issues no matter what.
 

Latest posts

Top