State bird season permits now available

Hunters can now apply to take part in the annual permit-only waterfowl hunting days at the Deal Island and Fairmount wildlife management area (WMA) impoundments in Somerset County.

Waterfowl hunting within the managed impoundments is by permit only, and is valid only for the opening day of each of the three separate splits of duck season. After each opening day, hunting is restricted to select days of the week and/or select holidays through the remainder of each split season. The schedule of open hunting days can be found in the 2015-2016 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.

Applications to hunt during one of the permit-only dates can be downloaded on the Maryland Natural Resources website and must be returned prior to Sept. 11. Permits will be issued through a lottery drawing, with assignments based on the hunters’ stated preference for each area and/or date.

The Department of Natural Resources reminds all impoundment users that the use of motorized boats, except those powered by electric motors, will again be prohibited at Deal Island and Fairmount WMA impoundments between Oct 1 and March 31. The department established the revised management strategy two years ago to limit stressors to important habitats and improve hunting conditions.

The motorized boat restrictions and schedule of open waterfowl hunting days apply to the managed impoundment areas only. Boat use and waterfowl hunting outside of the impoundments on these WMAs remains open and unchanged from prior seasons.

For more information, contact the WMA office at 410-543-8223.

The Department of Natural Resources today announced the 2015-2016 early migratory game bird hunting seasons, which mark the traditional start of hunting activity each year in Maryland.

Dove, split season

First Season: September 1 – October 10, 2015

Second: October 31 – November 27, 2015

Third: December 25, 2015 – January 15, 2016

Woodcock, split season

First Season: October 30 – November 27, 2015

Second: January 15 – 30, 2016

Early resident Canada goose season*

Eastern zone: September 1 – 15, 2015

Western zone: September 1 – 25, 2015

*Hunters are allowed to use shotguns capable of holding more than three shot shells, and shooting hours are extended to one-half hour after sunset during the early resident Canada goose season.

Teal, September season**

September 16 – 30, 2015

**Shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset and the daily bag limit is six teal. A description of the September teal season zone, season dates, and bag limits are included at the Early Teal Season website.

All migratory bird hunters, including landowners who are license-exempt, must purchase a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp/HIP Permit and possess the printed receipt while hunting. All waterfowl hunters ages 16 and over must possess the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (federal duck stamp). Licenses, stamps and permits may be purchased online via COMPASS, by phone at 1-855-855-3906, at a DNR Service Center, or at any of the more than 250 Sport License Agents. For more information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/service.

Official shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for all early migratory game bird hunting seasons EXCEPT for: mourning doves during the first season segment, when shooting hours are from noon to sunset; and during the September resident Canada goose seasons when shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Migratory bird hunting information and a listing of season dates and bag limits are available here.

Hunters are encouraged to report banded migratory game birds by calling 1-800-327-BAND (2263) or online at reportband.gov.

Keep up to date with DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service on Facebook and Twitter @MDDNRWildlife.

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