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Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons Proposed

Public Comments Accepted through March 14

hunters sitting in duck blind

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comment on the proposed 2016-2017 migratory game bird hunting seasons. The seasons will be finalized in early spring after the department reviews input and obtains approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“We look forward to reviewing public feedback from our waterfowl hunters and other citizens,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Our goal is to provide the best waterfowl hunting opportunities we can within the framework provided.”

The proposed youth waterfowl hunting days are Nov. 5 and Feb. 11. These days are part of a national effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state agencies to increase participation in the rich tradition of waterfowl hunting. The maximum age for participating youth has been increased from 15 to 16 years old.

The proposed regular duck season would run Oct. 15-22.  The second and third split seasons would be Nov. 12-25, and Dec. 13-Jan. 28.

The proposed special sea duck season would run from Nov. 5-Jan. 13. The federal framework for the season was reduced from 107 days to 60 days for 2016-2017.

The proposed Atlantic Population (migrant) Canada goose season would be split into its traditional two segments, Nov. 19-25, and Dec. 16-Feb. 4.

The proposed mourning dove season would run Sept. 1-Oct. 8, followed by two additional splits, Oct. 22-Nov. 19, and Dec. 16-Jan. 7.

The department will host a public meeting on March 8 at Chesapeake College at 7:00 p.m. to review the new schedule set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife as well as to collect comments on the proposed hunting seasons and bag limits for the 2016-2017 hunting season. It will be held in Room 110 in the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center (Building No. 13).

Citizens who are unable to attend the meeting may comment online, by phone at 410-260-8540, by fax at 410-260-8596, or in writing to: Maryland Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife and Heritage Service, 580 Taylor Avenue, E-1, Annapolis, Maryland, 21401. The public comment period will close at 12:00 p.m. on March 14.