Below are some interesting notes from the Delaware Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Minutes meeting held on March 27.
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.
ADVISORY COUNCIL ON WILDLIFE & FRESHWATER FISH MINUTES
TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2007
Deer Season Update
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
Turkey Hunter Ed Classes (Ken Reynolds).
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.
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.