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Maryland’s Proposed Late Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Open to Comment

women waiting in waterfowl blind The proposed 2015-2016 late waterfowl hunting seasons and bag limits are now available. The Maryland Department of Natural Resource (DNR) will accept public comment on the proposed regulations through August 17, to be finalized in early September after DNR reviews citizen input and obtains approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

The proposed youth waterfowl hunting days are November 7 and February 6. These special youth hunting days are part of a national effort by USFWS and state wildlife agencies to increase participation in the rich tradition of waterfowl hunting.

The proposed regular duck season opener would run October 10 through 17. The second and third split seasons would be November 14 through 27, and December 15 through January 30.

The proposed Atlantic Population (migrant) Canada goose season is split into two parts, November 21 through 27, and December 15 through February 3.

DNR will host a public meeting to review this year’s waterfowl population status and to collect comments on the proposed hunting seasons. The meeting will also cover a recent assessment completed by USFWS that suggests sea duck populations (eiders, scoters and long-tailed ducks) are potentially being overharvested under the current regulations. Public input will be collected on how to adapt to the anticipated reductions in sea duck seasons and bag limits in 2016-2017.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 13 at Chesapeake College, 1000 College Circle, Wye Mills, MD 21679.  The meeting location is Room 110 in the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center (Building No. 14 on the Campus Map).

Citizens who are unable to attend the meeting may comment on the proposed season dates and bag limits online or by phone at 410-260-8540; by fax at 410-260-8596; or in writing to: Director, Wildlife and Heritage Service, 580 Taylor Avenue, E-1, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. The public comment period on the proposed regulations will close at 12 p.m. on August 17, 2015.