Presenter: Vernon Bevill

Commission Agenda Item No. 3
Action
Migratory Game Bird Proclamation – Early Season
June 1999

I. DISCUSSION: Responsibility for establishing seasons, bag limits, means, methods, and devices for harvesting migratory game birds within U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) frameworks is delegated to the Commission under Chapter 64, Subchapter C, Parks and Wildlife Code. Parks and Wildlife Code, §64.022 authorizes the Executive Director, after notification of the Chairman, to engage in rulemaking. At present, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has not issued the regulatory frameworks for early-season species of migratory game birds. Staff received permission from the Regulations Committee at its April 1999 meeting to publish the proposed regulations (located at Exhibit A) in the Texas Register for public comment. The proposed regulations appeared in the April 30, 1999 issue of the Texas Register (24 TexReg 3300). Staff has gathered and analyzed public comment, and a summary will be available at the time of the meeting. An Executive Summary of general public comment with respect to early-season migratory game bird regulations is included at Exhibit B. Since the current regulations reflect the Commission's policy to provide the most liberal harvest provisions permissible under the federal frameworks, staff recommends retaining those provisions (adjusted for calendar shift) should the Service frameworks remain unchanged from last year. Should the Service issue frameworks that alter any existing options or offer new options for hunter opportunity, the department will utilize the provisions of Chapter 64 of the Code to propose and adopt the most liberal provisions possible, while affording needed protection to the resource.

II. RECOMMENDATION: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC §65.315 and new §65.319, concerning the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation, with changes to the proposed text (located at Exhibit A) as published in the April 30, 1999, issue of the Texas Register (24 TexReg 3300)."

Attachments - 3

1. Exhibit A – Proposed Early Season Migratory Game Bird Regulation
2. Exhibits B and C - Summary of Public Comment and Fiscal Note (Exhibits B and C - Available upon request)


Commission Agenda Item No. 3
Exhibit A

Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Early Season Provisions

65.315. Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits - Early Season.

(a) Rails.

(1) Dates: September 11-26, 1999 [12-27, 1998], and October 23 [24] - December 15, 1999 [16, 1998].

(2) (No change.)

(b) Dove seasons.

(1) North Zone.

(A) Dates: September 1- November 9, 1999 [October 30, 1998].

(B) Daily bag limit: 12 [15] mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves in the aggregate, including no more than two white-tipped doves per day;

(C) Possession limit: 24 [30] mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, including no more than four white-tipped doves in possession.

(2) Central Zone.

(A) Dates: September 1-October 24, 1999 [18, 1998], and December 26, 1999 [1998] -January 10, 2000 [6, 1999].

(B) Daily bag limit: 12 [15] mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves in the aggregate, including no more than two white-tipped doves per day;

(C) Possession limit: 24 [30] mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, including no more than four white-tipped doves in possession.

(3) South Zone.

(A) Dates: Except in the special white-winged dove area as defined in <*>65.314 of this title (relating to Zones and Boundaries for Early Season Species), September 24 [25]-November 14, 1999 [8, 1998], and December 26, 1999 [1998]-January 12, 2000 [9, 1999]. In the special white-winged dove area, the mourning dove season is September 24 [25]-November 14, 1999 [8, 1998], and December 26, 1999 [1998]-January 8, 2000 [5, 1999].

(B) Daily bag limit: 12 [15] mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves in the aggregate, including no more than two white-tipped doves per day;

(C) Possession limit: 24 [30] mourning doves, white-winged doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate, including no more than four white-tipped doves in possession.

(4) Special white-winged dove area.

(A) Dates: September 4, 5, 11, and 12, 1999 [5, 6, 12, and 13, 1998].

(B)-(C) (No change.)

(c) Gallinules.

(1) Dates: September 11-26, 1999 [12-27, 1998], and October 23, 1999 [24, 1998] - December 15, 1999 [16, 1998].

(2) (No change.)

(d) September teal-only season [Teal ducks].

(1) Dates: September 11-26, 1999 [12-27, 1998].

(2) (No change.)

(e)-(f) (No change.)

(g) Sandhill cranes. A free permit is required of any person to hunt sandhill cranes in areas where an open season is provided under this proclamation. Permits will be issued on an impartial basis with no limitation on the number of permits that may be issued. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

(1) Zone A: November 13, 1999 [7, 1998]-February 13, 2000 [7, 1999].

(2) Zone B: December 4, 1999 [November 28, 1998]-February 13, 2000 [February 7, 1999].

(3) Zone C: January 8, 2000 [2, 1999]- February 13, 2000 [ 7, 1999].

(h) Woodcock: December 18, 1999 [1998]-January 31, 2000 [1999]. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

(i) Common snipe (Wilson's snipe or jacksnipe): October 17, 1999 [1998]-January 31, 2000 [1999]. The daily bag limit is eight. The possession limit is 16.

§65.319. Extended Falconry Season - Early Season Species.

(a) It is lawful to take the species of migratory birds listed in this section by means of falconry during the following Extended Falconry Seasons:

(1) mourning doves and white-winged doves: November 19 [9] - December 25, 1999 [1998]; and

(2) rails and gallinules: December 16, 1999 [17, 1998] - January 21, 2000 [22, 1999].

(3) woodcock: November 24-December 17, 1999 [1998], and February 1-March 10, 2000 [1999].

(b) (No change.)


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