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Time to mark calendars for waterfowl seasons

August 14, 2005|By BILL ANDERSON

Maryland waterfowl hunters can begin making plans, because the official dates are out for the early waterfowl seasons and the proposed dates are out for the later waterfowl seasons.

The early waterfowl season - which in our area, is the Western Zone and is for resident Canada geese - is Sept. 1-24 with a bag limit of 8 birds per day. The season in the Eastern Zone is Sept. 1-15 with a bag limit of 8 birds per day. Yes, it is a big bag limit, but there are a lot of resident Canada geese.

A traditional favorite in Maryland is the early teal season. This season is open to the east of Interstate 95 only. The season dates are Sept. 15-24 with a bag limit of four birds per day.

The late season dates are still listed as proposed because they are awaiting final approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as all states establish waterfowl seasons from within a framework provided by the feds. It would be unusual for the proposed dates to not be approved.

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Duck season is divided into three segments: Oct. 8-15; Nov. 12-25 and Dec. 13, 2005-Jan. 28, 2006.

Black duck season has two segments: Nov. 12-26 and Dec. 13, 2005-Jan. 28, 2006.

Canvasback duck season is Dec. 26, 2005-Jan. 28, 2006.

Hunters should note that the general bag limit for ducks this fall is six per day, but may not include more than the following as an example: four mallards (maximum. two hen mallards), two wood ducks, two redheads, two scaup, one pintail, one hooded merganser, one 1 black duck (during black duck season) and one canvasback (during canvasback season). The duck possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.

Dates for Atlantic Population Canada geese in eastern counties are Nov. 17-25 and Dec. 17, 2005-Jan. 28, 2006.

For late-season resident Canada geese in western counties, dates are Nov. 15-Nov. 26 and Dec. 8, 2005-Feb. 15, 2006.

The above dates and bag limits are for general information only. Hunters will need to consult a current regulation booklet and become familiar with all of the details for this coming season.

As has been the case for some time, all waterfowl hunters will be required to have a state license, state and federal waterfowl stamps, use non-toxic shot and be in the HIP system to legally hunt waterfowl.




Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail.

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