Comments Sought On 2012-13 Waterfowl Seasons

The Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking comment on the state’s 2012-13 waterfowl seasons.  Specifically, the following two options for the Central Flyway waterfowl seasons:

  • adopting waterfowl seasons similar to last year for the Pacific and Central flyways, with the season opening Sept. 29 and extending until Jan. 11, 2013 in the Pacific Flyway.
  • adopting a mid-season split that would close the Central Flyway duck, coot, and goose seasons Oct. 15-30 and then re-open the season from Oct. 31- Jan. 19 for ducks and coots and Oct. 31-Jan. 27 for geese. Tundra swan season would run continuously from Sept. 29 through Jan. 3, 2013. No splits are proposed for the Pacific Flyway.

Here is what George Pauley, FWP’s wildlife management section chief in Helena, had to say:

“The split season would provide more days for hunting mallards and Canada geese later in the season by taking away days in the latter part of October.” 

Changes proposed in bag limits this season include increases in the scaup and white goose bag limits in both flyways and an increase in the dark goose bag limit from 4 to 5 in the Central Flyway.

Below are the proposed seasons and bag limits for 2012-13:

Pacific Flyway

  • Youth Waterfowl Season—Sept. 22-23
  • General Waterfowl Season—Sept. 29-Jan. 11, 2013
  • Ducks: Daily limit of seven ducks or mergansers; possession limit twice the daily limit. Daily bag limit can’t include more than: two hen mallards, two pintails, two redheads, and one canvasback.
  • Coots: 25 daily and in possession.
  • Geese: Dark–four daily; possession limit twice the daily limit. White–10 daily, possession limit twice the daily limit.
  • Swan (500 permits only) Season—Oct. 13-Dec. 1
  • Falconry—Ducks, coots, and geese: Sept. 29-Jan 11, 2013

Central Flyway—Option I

  • Youth Waterfowl Season—Sept. 22-23
  • Duck and Coot Season—Sept. 29-Jan. 3, 2013
  • Ducks: Daily limit of six ducks or mergansers; possession limit twice the daily limit. The daily bag limit can’t include more than five mallards, no more than two of which may be hens; two redheads; two hooded mergansers; three wood ducks; two pintails; and one canvasback.
  • Coots: 15 daily; possession limit twice the daily limit.
  • Goose Season—Sept. 29-Jan. 11, 2013
  • Geese: Dark–five daily; possession limit twice the daily limit. White–20 daily, possession limit twice the daily limit.
  • Tundra Swan (500 permits only)—Sept. 29-Jan. 3, 2013
  • Falconry— Ducks and coots: Sept. 23-Jan. 3, 2013. Geese: Sept. 29-Jan. 11, 2013

Central Flyway—Option II

  • Youth season, bag limits, possession limits, and tundra swan season are the same as under Option I.
  • Duck and Coot Season—Sept. 29-Oct. 14 & Oct. 31-Jan. 19, 2013
  • Goose Season—Sept. 29-Oct. 14 & Oct. 31-Jan. 27, 2013
  • Falconry—Ducks and Coots: Sept. 23-Oct. 14, & Oct. 31-Jan. 19, 2013. Geese: Sept. 29-Oct.14, & Oct. 31-Jan. 27, 2013

Get your opinions and comments in soon.  All comments on waterfowl regulations must be received by 5:00 p.m. Aug. 27.  Final approval of the proposed 2012-13 late season migratory bird regulations is scheduled for Aug. 30

You can comment via FWP’s website.

Or mail to: FWP – Wildlife Bureau, Attn: Public Comment, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620.

For more information, call: (406)444-2612.