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Outdoors - Duck season should be good

September 24, 2006|by BILL ANDERSON

The early waterfowl hunting season for resident geese started nearly a month ago, but the main season will begin with the opening of the Maryland waterfowl seasons, also called the late waterfowl season by the DNR.

The duck season dates and bag limits are good this year, which reflect the generally good reports from the major breeding areas.

The Maryland duck season will once again be divided into three segments: Oct. 14-21; Nov. 11-24; and Dec. 12-Jan. 27.

The bag limit is established by the federal government each season based on population estimates that are taken in the prairie breeding grounds in Canada and the western U.S.

This year, the general duck bag limit is back up to a maximum of six ducks as follows:

The Maryland bag limit is six ducks per day, which may include no more than: Five long-tailed ducks, four scoters, four mallards (no more than two hen mallards), two wood ducks, two redheads, two scaup, two hooded mergansers, one pintail, one canvasback, one fulvous tree duck, one mottled duck and one black duck (during black duck season).

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Once again, black ducks will be legal during segments two and three of the ducks season only. As has been the case for several years, the season for black ducks is closed during the early segment to protect local, breeding black ducks from early hunting pressure.

If you like to travel to the Eastern Shore for a traditional goose-hunting experience, the season dates for Atlantic Population goose areas are Nov. 16-24; and Dec. 16-Jan. 27. The bag limit is two birds per day.

The season for the Western part of the state (including this area) will be much more liberal since the birds are made up of resident (non-migratory) geese. The season dates for the late segments will be Nov. 15-24 and Dec. 7-Feb. 15. The bag limit in our area is five birds per day.

Maryland waterfowl hunters are required to have a valid state license, state waterfowl stamp, HIP permit and federal waterfowl stamp (available at most post offices). Hunters also must use nontoxic shot such as steel, bismuth-tin or tungsten.

This area is not particularly well known for waterfowl hunting, but chances are very good that all hunters in this area have some pretty good duck and goose hunting possibilities within minutes of their home. Like any other hunting sport, success will probably be directly related to the work hunters are willing to put into the sport.




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

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