Waterfowl Hunters Advised of Regulations Changes, Summary Booklet Errors
(Juneau) – September marks the opening days of waterfowl hunting seasons in most parts of Alaska, but before hunters slip into their camouflage waders and load up their dogs and dekes, they will want to review this season’s regulations changes – and make note of some errors in the 2013-2014 Alaska Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations Summary booklet.
Changes this season increase possession limits for geese, brant, cranes, snipe and falconry to three times the daily bag limit. Exceptions to the increase include Game Management Units (GMUs) 6 and 8, where Canada goose possession limits remain at two times the daily bag limit; also, the possession limit for Canada geese taken in the Middleton Island registration hunt may not exceed the daily bag limit of one bird.
Canada goose populations in Prince William Sound and the Gulf Coast (GMU 6) include the dusky Canada goose subspecies which nest only in that region. Dusky Canada geese declined from historical levels after Alaska’s 1964 earthquake altered nesting habitat on the Copper River Delta. In GMUs 5 and 6, the taking of Canada geese is only permitted from September 28 through December 16. Canada goose hunting in Subunits 6B, 6C and on Hinchinbrook, Hawkins and Middleton islands in Subunit 6D is available by obtaining a permit from Anchorage or Cordova Fish and Game offices. In those areas, the Canada goose season will close once 40 birds are harvested. For the remainder of GMU 6 no permit is necessary but possession limits are two times the daily bag limit.
Canada goose bag limits in the Kodiak Island region (GMU 8) where the birds were originally transplanted are capped by state hunting regulations set by the Alaska Board of Game.
Errors in printed copies of the 2013-2014 summary booklet have been corrected in the version posted online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/wildliferegulations/pdfs/waterfowl.pdf. Errors contained in the printed booklets include the following:
* Hunters seeking geese in the Gulf Coast and Kodiak zones should note on Page 2, under the heading “What’s New in 2013?” that possession limits for dark geese have increased to three times the daily bag limit except for all Canada geese in Game Management Units (GMUs) 6 and 8. The summary booklet erroneously reads “except dusky Canada geese.”
* On Page 19, Footnote 4, an error was made regarding possession limits of Canada geese in GMUs 5 and 6. The regulations are:
* In GMU 5, possession limits are three times the daily bag limit;
* In GMU 6, possession limits are two times the daily bag limit (except Middleton Island).
* On Page 19, Footnote 5, an omission should be noted. In Subunits 6(B), 6(C), and Middleton, Hawkins and Hinchinbrook islands in Unit 6(D), Canada goose hunting is by registration permit only. The text states that possession limits are two times the daily bag limit, but omits an exception applying to Middleton Island; the Middleton Island possession limit may not exceed the daily bag limit of one bird per hunter/permit.
Hunters are reminded that, as in previous hunting seasons, waterfowl may be plucked in the field, but one fully feathered wing or the head must remain attached to allow species identification during transport. Also, hunters may not possess or transport more than the daily waterfowl bag limit while in the field or while returning from the field to vehicles, camps, etc.
Sea duck possession limits have not changed. Possession limits for Alaska resident hunters remain at two times the daily bag limit, while nonresident hunters are allowed a seasonal possession limit of 20 birds. Possession limits of dabbling ducks remain at three times the daily bag limit.
Hunters are reminded that emperor geese, spectacled eiders, and Steller’s eiders are protected species that remain closed to hunting.
All waterfowl hunters age 16 or older must have a current federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp ($15). An Alaska Waterfowl Conservation Stamp ($5) is also required unless any of the following apply:
• You are an Alaska resident younger than 16.
• You are an Alaska resident 60 years old or older.
• You are a disabled veteran eligible for a free license.
• You qualify for a resident low-income hunting license.
Remember that state and federal waterfowl stamps must be signed in ink and must be carried at all times while hunting waterfowl. Stamps need not be attached to a hunting license. State and federal stamps are not required when hunting only snipe or sandhill cranes.
Additional restrictions may apply for certain species and locales; hunters should consult the regulations booklet available in sporting goods stores, local Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices, or online at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/wildliferegulations/pdfs/waterfowl.pdf