Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Record Deer Harvest, New Woodcock, Turkey, and Dove Regulatations

Below are some interesting notes from the Delaware Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Minutes meeting held on March 27.

Some good points are that it looks like there could be 4 extra days added to the Delaware woodcock hunting season, and 2006-2007 may have been a record deer harvest year. Hurray!

A bad point is the change in the early Delaware dove hunting schedule. We archers like to have the woods undisturbed on those September morning hunts, but it now looks like dove hunters will be able to hunt doves before noon. See below.



Deer Season Update

Joe Rogerson, Game Mammal Biologist with the Division of Fish and Wildlife, gave a presentation on deer management. Mr. Rogerson discussed some of the benefits and problems associated with the multiple methods of deer registration (i.e. check stations, toll free phone number, or website). Due to numerous harvest forms that need to be entered, the Division does not have a final harvest total from the 2006/07 hunting season. However, preliminary results indicate that the overall harvest may be the all-time highest. As of March 26, 2007, 10,399 deer harvest records have been entered. The previous record harvest (14,669 deer) occurred during the 2004/05 season. The Division hopes to have all of the harvest data entered and analyzed by the end of April. After this task is completed the Division will present the final harvest results to the public.

Turkey Hunter Ed Classes (Ken Reynolds).

Ken Reynolds discussed the proposal to require first time Delaware turkey hunters to take the turkey hunter education class before they could apply for the public land lottery. Currently, everyone can apply and be selected for a permit. Those that have not had the turkey hunting instruction are issued their permit after completing the class. Unfortunately, many fail to take the class after being selected for a permit. This is unfair to those who have already taken the class and results in a large number of permits that then are up for grabs just before the season starts. Mr. Reynolds further noted that this change would not be implemented until the 2009 spring season. Council members agreed that this was a reasonable proposal.


Greg Moore gave a brief update on waterfowl seasons and federal regulations. Mr. Moore recently attended the Atlantic Flyway Council meeting in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Moore reported that at the meeting he learned that the duck season for Delaware would probably be a 60 day season with a 6 bird daily bag limit for 2007/2008. The Atlantic Flyway Council voted to recommend to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Regulatory Commission a 60 day 6 bird daily bag duck season for the Atlantic Flyway. This season must be adopted by the SRC in August before states can implement it. The Council also discussed the greater snow goose Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This EIS has been under review by the F&W Services' solicitors. They have subsequently requested an update of some of the information within the statement which was originally developed in 2001. A date for the final ruling and implementation of the EIS is still uncertain.

Mr. Moore also indicated that the Flyway Council supported a proposal to the SRC to request compensatory days for the woodcock season. Currently, Sundays are counted as part of the 30 day framework to establish woodcock seasons. If the SCR accepts the Flyway Council's proposal, Sundays would no longer be counted adding four (4) potential hunting days to the woodcock season. Mr. Moore concluded his remarks about waterfowl seasons/regulations by indicating that he had discussed the early teal season shooting hours with the enforcement section and the majority of the agents were opposed to hunting all day.

Mr. Moore concluded his remarks by reading several letters of opposition to changing the shooting hours for the first segment of Delaware's 2007 dove season from a noon opening to a 1/2 hour before sunrise opening. Mr. Moore indicated that he had also received several phone calls against the change in shooting hours. Following Mr. Moore's comments, considerable discussion from both the Council and the audience ensued. A petition was given to Councilman Dave Healy by Mr. McGaffin requesting that the council reverse their decision to change the shooting hours for the first segment of the dove season. A motion was made by Councilman Berry to place the topic on the April agenda, seconded by Mr. Burris. However, the motion was defeated and the base dove season will stand as established at the February meeting with all three segments running from 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset. Letters concerning this issue are available for public review at the Wildlife Section Office in Dover.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Admin! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this exciting information.
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