Duck numbers down, but similar to last year
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the tentative dates for the 2008-09 early migratory bird hunting seasons at their July 8 meeting.
The length of the September teal hunting season is based on the breeding population estimate of blue-winged teal. A population estimate below 4.7 million would provide a nine-day season and an estimate above that base line provides for a 16-day season. However, if the estimate is below 3.3 million teal, then no special teal season can be held. The 2008 estimate was over 6 million, allowing for a proposed teal season of 16 days from Sept. 13-28. A daily bag limit of four and possession limit of eight would be allowed.
The proposed dove season is broken down into a north and south zone with each zone having three segments and includes mourning, white-winged, Eurasion collared and ringed-turtle doves. The dove season in the south zone would go from Sept. 6-14, Oct. 18-Nov. 30 and Dec. 20-Jan. 5. The north zone would be from Sept. 6-21, Oct. 11-Nov. 9 and Dec. 13-Jan. 5. The daily bag limit for mourning, white-winged and fully dressed Eurasian collared-doves and ringed-turtle doves would be 15 in aggregate and possession of 30 in aggregate. However, there is no bag limit on Eurasian collared-doves or ringed turtle-doves provided that a fully feathered wing and head remain attached to the carcass of the bird. Fully dressed Eurasian-collared doves and ringed turtle-doves (those without a fully feathered wing and head naturally attached to the carcass) shall be included in the aggregate bag.
The following boundary divides the dove season zones: Beginning at the Texas-Louisiana border on La. Hwy. 12; thence east along La. Hwy. 12 to its intersection with U.S. Hwy. 190; thence east along U.S. Hwy. 190 to its intersection with Interstate 12; thence east along I-12 to its intersection with Interstate 10; thence east along I-10 to the Mississippi state line.
Rail and gallinules seasons are proposed to last 70 days. The first segment would be open from Sept. 13-28. The other segment will be set in August with the regular waterfowl seasons. King and clapper rails would have a daily bag limit of 15 with a possession limit of 30. Sora and Virginia rails would have a daily and possession limit totaling 25. Common and purple gallinules would have a daily bag limit of 15 and possession limit totaling 30.
Under the proposal, woodcock season would last 45 days from Dec. 18-Jan. 31. A three-bird daily bag limit and a six-bird possession limit would be allowed.
Shooting and hawking hours for dove, woodcock, rail, teal and gallinules are tentatively set for half an hour before sunrise to sunset, except for a noon start time on the first day of dove season on Sept. 6.
Extended falconry mourning dove season would open from Sept. 22-Oct. 7. Extended falconry woodcock season would open from Oct. 28-Dec. 17 and will reopen from Feb. 1-11. The falconry daily bag limit would be three and possession limit of six birds for all permitted migratory game birds during the extended falconry and regular hunting seasons. Extended falconry seasons for ducks, rails and gallinules will be set in August with the waterfowl regulations.