Presenter: Vernon Bevill

Commission Agenda Item No. 17
Action
2006-2007 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Late Season Provisions
August 2006

I. Executive Summary: This item presents proposed changes to regulations governing the take of late-season species of migratory game birds for adoption. Other than routine annual changes to starting dates, the proposed rules would, if required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, implement the Hunter's Choice (a lowered aggregate bag limit for ducks that would allow season-long harvest opportunity for canvasback and pintails) and potentially eliminate the special conservation season for light geese.

II. 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 Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 64, Subchapter C. Parks and Wildlife Code, §64.022, authorizes the Executive Director, after notification of the Chairman, to engage in rulemaking. The proposed regulations (located at Exhibit A) appeared in the June 2, 2006, issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 4570). Following the issuance of early-season frameworks by the Service on June 24, 2006, the Executive Director on July 11, 2006 issued Executive Order 06-001, which adopted those portions of the proposal affecting early-season species (§§65.315 and 65.319, located in Exhibit A). The Notice of Adoption effecting that action appeared in the July 28, 2006, issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 6054), located at Exhibit B. Staff has gathered and analyzed public comment pertaining to the late-season provisions of the proposal and a summary will be available at the time of the meeting.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to 31 TAC §§65.318, 65.320, and 65.321, concerning the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation, with changes as necessary to the proposed text (located at Exhibit A) as published in the June 2, 2006, issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 4570)."

Attachments – 2

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed 2006-2007 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
  2. Exhibit B – Notice of Adoption: Early Season and Miscellaneous Provisions

Commission Agenda Item No. 17
Exhibit A

2006-2007 Migratory Game Bird Proclamaion
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (the department) proposes amendments to §§65.315, 65.318, and 65.319-65.321, concerning the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation.

The proposed amendment to §65.315, concerning Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits - Early Season Species, would adjust the season dates for early-season species of migratory game birds to account for calendar-shift. The proposed amendment also would implement a 16-day teal season, which must be approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) before it can be implemented. In previous years, the Service has authorized a teal season not to exceed nine days.

The proposed amendment to §65.318, concerning Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits - Late Season Species, adjusts the season dates for late-season species of migratory game birds to account for calendar-shift. The proposed amendment also sets forth conditional bag limits for ducks, coots, and mergansers. The current bag limits and season structure for these species reflect continuing concerns on the part of the Service over breeding populations of canvasback and pintail ducks. For the last three years, the Service has not authorized full-season hunting opportunity for those two species, electing to require states to impose a truncated season-within-a-season instead. The proposed amendment also includes a potential alternative to the season-within-a-season structure currently in place. The Service is considering implementation of the ‘Hunter’s Choice’ structure. The Hunter’s Choice would reduce the daily bag limit for ducks from six to five and create an aggregate daily bag limit of one mallard hen, pintail, canvasback, or dusky duck (mottled duck, black duck, Mexican duck, or their hybrids). The purpose of the Hunter’s Choice structure is to allow for season-long harvest of canvasbacks and pintails, which would eliminate compliance and enforcement confusion and allow more hunting time for waterfowl hunters who seek those species. The proposed amendment also eliminates the term ‘Mexican-like duck’ in the definition of ‘dusky ducks’ and replaces it with a more accurate description. Mexican-like ducks are hybrids of mottled ducks, black ducks, and/or Mexican ducks. The change is necessary because of concerns that the mottled duck is being misidentified by hunters, which potentially could result in overharvest of mottled ducks. By clarifying what the category of dusky ducks includes, additional protection is afforded to mottled ducks by reducing the potential for overharvest due to misidentification. The department also notes that if the conservation season is not retained, the department intends to adopt longer light goose (snow and Ross’) and sandhill crane seasons in order to provide the full 107 days of opportunity allowable under federal frameworks. Currently, the normal seasons are truncated in order to hold the conservation season.

The proposed amendment to §65.319, concerning Extended Falconry Season—Early Season Species, adjusts season dates for the take of early-season species of migratory game birds by means of falconry to reflect calendar shift.

The proposed amendment to §65.320, concerning Extended Falconry Season—Late Season Species, adjusts season dates for the take of late-season species of migratory game birds by means of falconry, also to reflect calendar shift.

The proposed amendment to §65.321, concerning Special Management Provisions, would adjust the dates for the conservation season on light geese to account for calendar shift and would provide for the elimination of the conservation season on January 1, 2007. The conservation season is a population control mechanism originally authorized by the Service in 2000 as a response to serious habitat degradation on light goose breeding grounds in Canada. The department has determined that the effect of the conservation season in Texas on overall light goose numbers has been negligible. The season has also proven to be unpopular with some hunters, primarily because seasons for other species of geese and sandhill crane have had to be truncated in order to provide the conservation season. Texas’ conservation season was a good-faith effort to contribute to a multi-state and international effort to control light geese numbers; however, if it is producing negligible benefits and curtails other types of opportunity desired by hunters, the department sees no reason to continue it. Ordinarily, the department would propose the repeal of an unnecessary section; however, in this case, a proposed repeal would make it impossible to retain the section and adjust the conservation season dates for calendar shift. Conversely, to publish only the proposed calendar-shift adjustments would make it impossible to eliminate the conservations season. Therefore, the department publishes the proposed calendar-shift dates and a provision that would eliminate the conservation season on January 1, 2007 in order to provide an opportunity for public comment on both possibilities. Obviously, the intent is to either adjust the conservation season for calendar shift or eliminate the conservation season, but not both.

The proposed amendments are generally necessary to implement commission policy to provide the greatest hunter opportunity possible, consistent with hunter preference for season starting dates and segment lengths, under frameworks issued by the Service. The Service has not issued regulatory frameworks for the 2006-2007 hunting seasons for migratory game birds; thus, the department cautions that the proposed regulations are tentative and may change significantly, depending on federal actions. However, it is the policy of the commission to adopt the most liberal provisions possible, consistent with hunter preference, under the frameworks in order to provide maximum hunter opportunity.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, regulations coordinator, has determined that for the first five years that the amendments as proposed are in effect, there will be no additional fiscal implications to state or local governments of enforcing or administering the rules as proposed.

3.Public Benefit/Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the proposed rules are in effect:

(A) The public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the rules as proposed will be the department's discharge of its statutory obligation to manage and conserve the state's populations of migratory game birds, as well as the implementation of commission policy to maximize recreational opportunity for the citizenry.

(B) There will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses or microbusinesses and no additional economic costs to persons required to comply with the rules as proposed.

(C) The department has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as required by Government Code, §2001.022, as the department has determined that the rules as proposed will not impact local economies.

(D) The department has determined that there will not be a taking of private real property, as defined by Government Code, Chapter 2007, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Vernon Bevill, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4578 or 1-800-792-1112.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendments are proposed under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 64, which authorizes the Commission and the Executive Director to provide the open season and means, methods, and devices for the hunting and possessing of migratory game birds.

The amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 64.

§65.315 Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits—Early Season.

(a) Rails.

(1) Dates: September 16 - 24, 2006 and November 4, 2006 – January 3, 2007[September 10 - 25, 2005 and October 29 - December 21, 2005].

(2) Daily bag and possession limits:

(A) king and clapper rails: 15 in the aggregate per day; 30 in the aggregate in possession.

(B) sora and Virginia rails: 25 in the aggregate per day; 25 in the aggregate in possession.

(b) Dove seasons.

(1) North Zone.

(A) Dates: September 1 - October 30, 2006[September 1 - October 30, 2005.]

(B) Daily bag limit: 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: 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 30, 2006 and December 26, 2006 - January 4, 2007[September 1 - October 30, 2005 and December 26, 2005 - January 4, 2006].

(B) Daily bag limit: 12 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 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 22 - November 12, 2006 and December 26, 2006 - January 12, 2007[September 23 - November 10, 2005 and December 26, 2005 - January 15, 2006].

(B) Daily bag limit: 12 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 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 2, 3, 9, and 10, 2006[September 3, 4, 10, and 11, 2005].

(i) Daily bag limit: 12 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves, in the aggregate to include no more than four mourning doves and two white-tipped doves per day;

(ii) Possession limit: 24 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate to include no more than eight mourning doves and four white-tipped doves in possession.

(B) Dates: September 22 - November 12, 2006 and December 26, 2006 - January 8, 2007[September 23 - November 10, 2005 and December 26, 2005 - January 11, 2006].

(i) Daily bag limit: 12 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves, in the aggregate to include no more than two white-tipped doves per day;

(ii) Possession limit: 24 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate to include no more than four white-tipped doves in possession.

(c) Gallinules.

(1) Dates: September 16 - 24, 2006 and November 4, 2006 – January 3, 2007[September 10 - 25, 2005 and October 29 - December 21, 2005].

(2) Daily bag and possession limits: 15 in the aggregate per day; 30 in the aggregate in possession.

(d) September teal-only season.

(1) Dates: September 9 - 24, 2006[September 17 - 25, 2005].

(2) Daily bag and possession limits: four in the aggregate per day; eight in the aggregate in possession.

(e) Red-billed pigeons, and band-tailed pigeons. No open season.

(f) Shorebirds. No open season.

(g) Woodcock: December 18, 2006 - January 31, 2007[December 18, 2005 - January 31, 2006]. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

(h) Wilson's snipe (Common snipe): November 4, 2006 - February 18, 2007[October 29, 2005 - February 12, 2006]. The daily bag limit is eight. The possession limit is 16.

§65.318. Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits—Late Season. Except as specifically provided in this section, the possession limit for all species listed in this section shall be twice the daily bag limit.

(1) Ducks, mergansers, and coots. If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service establishes a [The] daily bag limit for ducks of [is] six, the daily bag limit shall [which may] include no more than five mallards, only two of which may be hens, two scaup, one ‘dusky’ duck (mottled duck, black duck, Mexican duck, or hybrid of those species, [or Mexican-like duck]) one canvasback, one pintail, two redheads, and two wood ducks. Canvasback and pintail may be taken only during the restricted seasons provided for those species. If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service establishes an aggregate bag limit of five, the daily bag shall include no more than two scaup, two redheads, two wood ducks, and no more than one (in the aggregate) of the following: mallard hen, pintail, dusky duck, or canvasback. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, which may include no more than one hooded merganser. [Canvasback and pintail may be taken only during the restricted seasons provided for those species.]

(A) High Plains Mallard Management Unit: October 21-22, 2006, and October 27, 2006-January 28, 2007[October 22-23, 2005, and October 28, 2005-January 29, 2006]. The open season for pintail and canvasback begins December 21, 2006 and runs through January 28, 2007[December 22, 2005 and runs through January 29, 2006].

(B) North Zone: November 4-26, 2006 and December 9, 2006-January 28, 2007[November 5-27, 2005 and December 10-January 29, 2006]. The open season for pintail and canvasback begins December 21, 2006 and runs through January 28, 2007[December 22, 2005 and runs through January 29, 2006].

(C) South Zone: November 4-26, 2006 and December 9, 2006-January 28, 2007[November 5 - 27, 2005 and December 10, 2005 - January 29, 2006]. The open season for pintail and canvasback begins December 21, 2006 and runs through January 28, 2007[December 22, 2005 and runs through January 29, 2006].

(2) Geese.

(A) Western Zone.

(i) Light geese: November 4, 2006-February 6, 2007[November 5, 2005-February 7, 2006]. The daily bag limit for light geese is 20, and there is no possession limit.

(ii) Dark geese: November 4, 2006-February 6, 2007[November 5, 2005-February 7, 2006]. The daily bag limit for dark geese is four, which may not include more than three Canada geese or more than one white-fronted goose.

(B) Eastern Zone.

(i) Light geese: November 4, 2006-January 28, 2007[November 5, 2005-January 29, 2006]. The daily bag limit for light geese is 20, and there is no possession limit.

(ii) Dark geese:

(I) white-fronted geese: November 4, 2006-January 14, 2007[November 5, 2005-January 15, 2006]. The daily bag limit for white-fronted geese is two.

(II) Canada geese: November 4, 2006-January 28, 2007[November 5, 2005-January 29, 2006]. The daily bag limit for Canada geese is three.

(3) 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.

(A) Zone A: November 4, 2006 - February 4, 2007[November 5, 2005 - February 5, 2006]. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

(B) Zone B: November 24, 2006 - February 4, 2007[November 26, 2005 - February 5, 2006]. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

(C) Zone C: December 23, 2006 – January 28, 2007[December 24, 2005 - January 29, 2006]. The daily bag limit is two. The possession limit is four.

(4) Special Youth-Only Season. There shall be a special youth-only duck season during which the hunting, taking, and possession of ducks, mergansers, and coots is restricted to licensed hunters 15 years of age and younger accompanied by a person 18 years of age or older, except for persons hunting by means of falconry under the provisions of §65.320 of this chapter (relating to Extended Falconry Season—Late Season Species). Bag and possession limits in any given zone during the season established by this paragraph shall be as provided for that zone by paragraph (1) of this section, except that pintail ducks and canvasback ducks may be taken. The bag limit for pintail ducks is one per day and the bag limit for canvasback ducks is one per day. The possession limit is two. Season dates are as follows:

(A) High Plains Mallard Management Unit: October 14-15, 2006[October 15-16, 2005];

(B) North Zone: October 28-29, 2006[October 29-30, 2005]; and

(C) South Zone: October 28-29, 2006[October 29-30, 2005].

§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 - December 25, 2006[November 19 - December 25, 2005].

(2) rails and gallinules: January 4 – February 9, 2007[December 22, 2005 - January 27, 2006].

(3) woodcock: November 24 - December 17, 2006[November 24 - December 17, 2005 and February 1 - March 10, 2006].

(b) The daily bag and possession limits for migratory game birds under this section shall not exceed three and six birds respectively, singly or in the aggregate.

§65.320. Extended Falconry Season—Late Season Species.

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) Ducks, coots, and mergansers:

(A) High Plains Mallard Management Unit: no extended season;

(B) North Duck Zone: January 29- February 19, 2007[January 30- February 20, 2006];

(C) South Duck Zone: January 29- February 19, 2007[January 30-February 20, 2006].

(2) The daily bag and possession limits for migratory game birds under this section shall not exceed three and six birds, respectively, singly or in the aggregate.

§65.321. Special Management Provisions. The provisions of paragraphs (1)-(3) of this section apply only to the hunting of light geese. All provisions of this subchapter continue in effect unless specifically provided otherwise in this section; however, where this section conflicts with the provisions of this subchapter, this section prevails.

(1) Means and methods. In addition to the means and methods authorized in §65.310(a) of this title (relating to Means, Methods, and Special Requirements), the following means and methods are lawful during the time periods set forth in paragraph (4) of this section:

(A) shotguns capable of holding more than three shells; and

(B) electronic calling devices.

(2) Possession. During the time periods set forth in paragraph (4) of this section:

(A) there shall be no bag or possession limits; and

(B) the provisions of §65.312 of this title (relating to Possession of Migratory Game Birds) do not apply; and

(C) a person may give, leave, receive, or possess legally taken light geese or their parts, provided the birds are accompanied by a wildlife resource document from the person who killed the birds. The wildlife resource document is not required if the possessor lawfully killed the birds; the birds are transferred at the personal residence of the donor or donee; or the possessor also possesses a valid hunting license, a valid waterfowl stamp, and is HIP certified. The wildlife resource document shall accompany the birds until the birds reach their final destination, and must contain the following information:

(i) the name, signature, address, and hunting license number of the person who killed the birds;

(ii) the name of the person receiving the birds;

(iii) the number and species of birds or parts;

(iv) the date the birds were killed; and

(v) the location where the birds were killed (e.g., name of ranch; area; lake, bay, or stream; county).

(3) Shooting hours. During the time periods set forth in paragraph (4) of this section, shooting hours are from one half-hour before sunrise until one half-hour after sunset.

(4) Special Light Goose Conservation Period.

(A) From January 29-March 25, 2007[January 30, 2006 through March 26, 2006], the take of light geese is lawful in Eastern Zone as defined in §65.317 of this title (relating to Zones and Boundaries for Late Season Species).

(B) From February 7-March 25, 2007[February 8-March 26, 2006], the take of light geese is lawful in the Western Zone as defined in §65.317 of this title (relating to Zones and Boundaries for Late Season Species).

(5) The provisions of this section cease effect on January 1, 2007.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency’s authority to adopt.

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


Commission Agenda Item No. 17
Exhibit B

2006-2007 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Early Season Provisions
Adoption Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts amendments to §§65.315 and 65.319, concerning the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation, without changes to the proposed text as published in the June 2, 2006, issue of the Texas Register (31 TexReg 4570).

2. Justification for the Rules.

The amendment to §65.315, concerning Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits - Early Season Species, adjusts the season dates for early-season species of migratory game birds to account for calendar-shift (to ensure that each season begins on the desired day of the week). The amendment also implements a 16-day teal season, which was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).

The amendment to §65.319, concerning Extended Falconry Season—Early Season Species, adjusts season dates for the take of early-season species of migratory game birds by means of falconry to reflect calendar shift.

The proposed amendments are generally necessary to implement commission policy to provide the greatest hunter opportunity possible, consistent with hunter preference for season starting dates and segment lengths, under frameworks issued by the Service.

3. How the Rules Will Function.

The amendment to §65.315, concerning Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits - Early Season Species, will function by establishing the season dates for early-season species of migratory game birds.

The amendment to §65.319, concerning Extended Falconry Season—Early Season Species, will function by establishing season dates for the take of early-season species of migratory game birds by means of falconry.

4. Summary of Public Comment.

The department received seven comments opposing adoption of the portion of §65.315 affecting dove seasons. Of those seven comments, five expressed a reason or rationale for opposing adoption. The comments, and the agency’s response, are as follows.

One commenter opposed adoption of the proposed amendment and stated that three million doves are illegally killed each season because of ‘double-bagging’ (taking more than the bag limit) and that lawful shooting hours should be from noon to sunset. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that there is no biological evidence that full-day hunting is detrimental to dove populations; that repeated surveys have indicated high hunter preference for full-day hunting; and that full-day hunting is clearly the better choice in terms of providing the greatest hunter opportunity. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

One commenter opposed adoption of the proposed amendment and stated that the bulk of migratory doves seem to appear in southeast Texas in early December, after the season has closed, but that by the time the winter segment opens in late December, the birds usually have moved on further south. The commenter stated that the winter segment in the South Zone therefore should open in early December. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that surveys indicate that hunter and landowner preference is for a winter segment that begins after Christmas. The department also notes that it is the policy of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to provide the greatest amount of hunting opportunity possible and to encourage youth and family hunting activities. Opening the winter segment the day after Christmas provides the greatest opportunity for family and youth hunting activities because children are typically out of school and families are home for the holidays. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

One commenter opposed adoption of the proposed amendment and stated that there should be a winter segment in the North Zone. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that hunter surveys indicate that a shorter season and higher bag limit is preferred by hunters in the North Zone. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

One commenter opposed adoption of the proposed amendment and stated that opening day should be on a Saturday or Sunday. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that hunter preference is for the earliest possible opener allowed under federal frameworks, which is September 1, irrespective of the day of the week it may fall on. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

One commenter opposed adoption of the proposed amendment and stated that there were not enough doves in Karnes County and that therefore the season should be longer. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that the current winter segment is favored by a majority of hunters and landowners in the South Zone.

The department received 39 comments supporting adoption of the proposed amendment.

The department received no comments opposing adoption of the portion of proposed §65.315 concerning rail seasons.

The department received 10 comments supporting adoption of the proposed amendment.

The department received no comments opposing adoption of the portion of proposed §65.315 concerning gallinule seasons.

The department received five comments supporting adoption of the proposed amendment.

The department received three comments opposing adoption of the portion of proposed §65.315 concerning teal seasons. Of those three comments, two expressed a reason or rationale for opposing adoption. The comments, and the agency’s response, are as follows.

One commenter opposed adoption of the proposed amendment and stated that the bag limit should be five or six, like the regular season. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that the bag limit for teal is the maximum allowed under federal frameworks issued by the Service. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

One commenter opposed adoption of the proposed amendment and stated that the Service would not allow a season of greater than 14 days. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that the Service has authorized a 16-day teal season. No changes were made as a result of the comments.

The department received 39 comments supporting adoption of the proposed amendment.

The department received no comments opposing adoption of the portion of proposed §65.315 concerning woodcock seasons.

The department received nine comments supporting adoption of the proposed amendment.

The department received no comments opposing adoption of the portion of proposed §65.315 concerning snipe seasons.

The department received 13 comments supporting adoption of the proposed amendment.

The department received no comments concerning adoption of the proposed amendment to §65.319, concerning Extended Falconry Season—Early Season Species.

The department received no comments from any groups or associations concerning adoption of the proposed amendments.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendments are adopted under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 64, which authorizes the commission and the executive director to provide the open season and means, methods, and devices for the hunting and possessing of migratory game birds.

§65.315 Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits—Early Season.

(a) Rails.

(1) Dates: September 16 - 24, 2006 and November 4, 2006 – January 3, 2007.

(2) Daily bag and possession limits:

(A) king and clapper rails: 15 in the aggregate per day; 30 in the aggregate in possession.

(B) sora and Virginia rails: 25 in the aggregate per day; 25 in the aggregate in possession.

(b) Dove seasons.

(1) North Zone.

(A) Dates: September 1 - October 30, 2006.

(B) Daily bag limit: 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: 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 30, 2006 and December 26, 2006 - January 4, 2007.

(B) Daily bag limit: 12 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 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 22 - November 12, 2006 and December 26, 2006 - January 12, 2007.

(B) Daily bag limit: 12 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 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 2, 3, 9, and 10, 2006.

(i) Daily bag limit: 12 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves, in the aggregate to include no more than four mourning doves and two white-tipped doves per day;

(ii) Possession limit: 24 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate to include no more than eight mourning doves and four white-tipped doves in possession.

(B) Dates: September 22 - November 12, 2006 and December 26, 2006 - January 8, 2007.

(i) Daily bag limit: 12 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped (white-fronted) doves, in the aggregate to include no more than two white-tipped doves per day;

(ii) Possession limit: 24 white-winged doves, mourning doves, and white-tipped doves in the aggregate to include no more than four white-tipped doves in possession.

(c) Gallinules.

(1) Dates: September 16 - 24, 2006 and November 4, 2006 – January 3, 2007.

(2) Daily bag and possession limits: 15 in the aggregate per day; 30 in the aggregate in possession.

(d) September teal-only season.

(1) Dates: September 9 - 24, 2006.

(2) Daily bag and possession limits: four in the aggregate per day; eight in the aggregate in possession.

(e) Red-billed pigeons, and band-tailed pigeons. No open season.

(f) Shorebirds. No open season.

(g) Woodcock: December 18, 2006 - January 31, 2007. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

(h) Wilson's snipe (Common snipe): November 4, 2006 - February 18, 2007. 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 - December 25, 2006.

(2) rails and gallinules: January 4 – February 9, 2007.

(3) woodcock: November 24 - December 17, 2006.

(b) The daily bag and possession limits for migratory game birds under this section shall not exceed three and six birds respectively, singly or in the aggregate.

This agency hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency’s authority.

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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