Proposed amendments to hunting regulations for the 2014-2015 migratory bird hunting seasons are under consideration by the Board of Natural Resources. These include waterfowl and dove seasons.
Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is the primary authority for regulating migratory birds. The USFWS annually establishes a framework (opening and closing dates, maximum season length, and maximum bag limits) within which the states must set their migratory bird hunting seasons. These frameworks are developed with the input of state wildlife agencies and are informed using biological population, harvest and habitat parameters.
Proposed waterfowl hunting season dates are within the framework we anticipate to be offered by the USFWS later this summer. This proposal maximizes hunting opportunity within the anticipated framework. Please be aware that the framework adopted by the USFWS may change based on habitat conditions and other biological parameters.
Concerning doves, the USFWS recently adjusted the dove regulatory framework by increasing the allowable hunting days within the framework from 70 to 90. In 2008, the Wildlife Resources Division intensively visited dove season regulations. A concern at that time was that the season did not maximize late-season opportunity. Unfortunately, at that time, the USFWS framework was limited to 70 days and our agency did not have the framework flexibility to meet the diverse desires of Georgia’s dove hunters. However, with this recent framework change, we now possess the flexibility to address this long-standing desire of dove hunters. As such, we are proposing to use these additional days to extend Georgia’s dove season to the USFWS framework closing date of January 15 thereby maximizing late-season opportunity. Additionally, we are also proposing to use the balance of days to provide more opportunity to hunt migrating doves in October.
A summary of the proposed migratory bird hunting season dates is available here.
Interested persons may provide comment through telephone, mail or electronic mail.
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