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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.

  • Helen Kenney

    In regards to the proposed special sea duck season which would run from Nov. 5-Jan. 13. The federal framework for the season was reduced from 107 days to 60 days for 2016-2017, if you must cut the dates allowed, I am in agreement with the purposed 11/05 thru 01/13. Although, this seems drastic with such short notice to the outfitters who depend on the duck season and many who have already booked hunting parties for the 2016-2017 and will now lose a significant amount of income with little time to make other income arrangements. It seems the DNR could have eased into the reduced season giving outfitters more time to adjust. With the proposed dates, at least there are other waterfowl that can be hunted in January. Please, do not cut dates in November as sea ducks are the main waterfowl that can be hunted for our outfitters and if you were to cut any dates in November, they would be out of work and the financial burden placed on them, with such short notice, would be devastating.

    • Lawrence Tyler

      Thank you Helen Kenney! I am an outfitter & stand to lose a lot of income with this change as most of my best clients book the last 2 weeks of January from year to year. They keep those standing dates which will make it hard for me to rearrange my calendar with the possibility of losing them all together.
      Lawrence Tyler/Diving Ducks Outfitters

  • Jesse Gottleib

    I propose the duck season be extended as far into the month of February as possible.

  • Crystal

    Perhaps, we don’t hunt defenseless animals at all?