Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Presenter:  Dave Morrison

Action
2010-2011 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Late Season Provisions
August 26, 2010

I.      Executive Summary:  This item seeks adoption of proposed changes to regulations governing the take of late-season species of migratory game birds.

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 May 21, 2010 issue of the Texas Register (35 TexReg 3957). Following the issuance of early-season frameworks by the Service on June 24, 2010, the Executive Director on July 26, 2010, issued Executive Order 10-007, 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 August 13, 2010, issue of the Texas Register (35 TexReg), located at Exhibit B.

Staff will be asking that the Commission adopt the remaining portion of the proposal which concerns the late season provisions.  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 May 21, 2010, issue of the Texas Register (35 TexReg 3957).”

Attachments – 2


Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Exhibit A

2010-2011 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation – Late Season Provisions
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

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

         The proposed amendment to 65.318, concerning Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits — Late Season Species, also would retain the basic season structure and bag limits from last year and adjust the season dates for late-season species of migratory game birds (ducks, coots, mergansers, geese, and sandhill cranes) to account for calendar shift. The proposed amendment also changes the references to mottled ducks with a reference to “dusky ducks.” The Service is concerned about perceived instability in mottled duck populations in Texas and last year directed Texas to reduce mottled duck harvest by at least 20 per cent. Although the concern is for mottled ducks, the department believes that it is best to include all ducks that are similar in appearance to dusky ducks (mottled duck, Mexican-like duck, black duck and their hybrids), in order to prevent accidental harvest of mottled ducks.

         The proposed amendment to §65.320, concerning Extended Falconry Season — Late 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 §65.321, concerning Special Management Provisions, would adjust the dates for the conservation season on light geese to account for calendar shift.

         The proposed amendments are generally necessary to implement commission policy to provide the greatest hunter opportunity possible, consistent with hunter and landowner preference for starting dates and segment lengths, under frameworks issued by the Service. The Service has not issued regulatory frameworks for the 2010-2011 hunting seasons for migratory game birds; thus, the department cautions that the proposed regulations are tentative and may change significantly, depending on federal actions prior to the release of the early-season frameworks in late June and the late-season frameworks in August. 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 for the use and enjoyment of the public, consistent with the principles of sound biological management.

         (B) Under the provisions of Government Code, Chapter 2006, a state agency must prepare an economic impact statement and a regulatory flexibility analysis for a rule that may have an adverse economic affect on small businesses and micro-businesses. As required by Government Code, §2006.002(g), the Office of the Attorney General has prepared guidelines to assist state agencies in determining a proposed rule’s potential adverse economic impact on small businesses. Those guidelines state that an agency need only consider a proposed rule’s “direct adverse economic impacts” to small businesses and micro-businesses to determine if any further analysis is required. The department considers “direct economic impact” to mean a requirement that would directly impose recordkeeping or reporting requirements; impose taxes or fees; result in lost sales or profits; adversely affect market competition; or require the purchase or modification of equipment or services.

         The department has determined that the proposed rules regulate various aspects of recreational license privileges that allow individual persons to pursue and harvest migratory game bird resources in this state and therefore do not directly affect small businesses or micro-businesses. Therefore, neither the economic impact statement nor the regulatory flexibility analysis described in Government Code, Chapter 2006, is required.

         There also will be no adverse economic effect on 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 2008, as a result of the proposed rules.

4. Request for Public Comment.

         Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Robert Macdonald, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas, 78744; (512) 389-4775 or 1-800-792-1112 (e-mail: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us).

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 proposed amendments affect Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 64.

         §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. The daily bag limit for ducks is six, which may include no more than five mallards  (only two of which may be hens); three wood ducks; two scaup (lesser scaup and greater scaup in the aggregate); two redheads; one pintail; one canvasback; and one “dusky” duck (mottled duck, Mexican like duck, black duck and their hybrids).   For all other species not listed, the bag limit shall be six. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers is five, which may include no more than two hooded mergansers.

                                    (A) High Plains Mallard Management Unit:

                                                (i) all species other than “dusky ducks”[mottled ducks]: October 23-24, 2010 and October 29, 2010 – January 23, 2011[October 24 — 25, 2009 and October 30, 2009 — January 24, 2010].

                                                (ii) “dusky ducks”[mottled ducks]: November 1, 2010 – January 23, 2011[November 2, 2009 — January 24, 2010].

                                    (B) North Zone:

                                                (i) all species other than “dusky ducks”[mottled ducks]:  October 30 – November 28, 2010 and December 11, 2010 — January 23, 2011[October 31 — November 29, 2009 and December 12, 2009 — January 24, 2010].

                                                (ii) “dusky ducks”[mottled ducks]: November 4, 2010 – November 28, 2010 and December 11, 2010 – January 23, 2011[November 5 — 29, 2009 and December 12, 2009 — January 24, 2010].

                                    (C) South Zone:

                                                (i) all species other than “dusky ducks”[mottled ducks]: October 30 – November 28, 2010 and December 11, 2010 — January 23, 2011[October 31 — November 29, 2009 and December 12, 2009 — January 24, 2010].

                                  (ii) “dusky ducks”[mottled ducks]: November 4, 2010 – November 28, 2010 and December 11, 2010 – January 23, 2011[November 5 — 29, 2009 and December 12, 2009 — January 24, 2010].

                 (2) Geese.

                         (A) Western Zone.

                                  (i) Light geese: November 6, 2010 – February 6, 2011[November 7, 2009  –  February 7, 2010]. The daily bag limit for light geese is 20, and there is no possession limit.

                                  (ii) Dark geese: November 6, 2010 – February 6, 2011[November 7, 2009  –  February 7, 2010]. The daily bag limit for dark geese is five, which may not include more than four Canada geese or more than one white-fronted goose.

                         (B) Eastern Zone.

                                  (i) Light geese: October 30, 2010 – January 23, 2011[October 31, 2009 – January 24, 2010 ]. The daily bag limit for light geese is 20, and there is no possession limit.

                                  (ii) Dark geese:

                                          (I) White-fronted geese: October 30, 2010 – January 9, 2011[October 31, 2009 – January 10, 2010]. The daily bag limit for white-fronted geese is two.

                                          (II) Canada geese: October 30, 2010 – January 23, 2011[October 31, 2009 – January 24, 2010]. 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 6, 2010 — February 6, 2011[November 7, 2009  –  February 7, 2010]. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

                         (B) Zone B: November 26, 2010 — February 6, 2011[November 27, 2009 — February 7, 2010]. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

                         (C) Zone C: December 18, 2010 — January 23, 2011[December 26, 2009 — January 24, 2010]. The daily bag limit is two. The possession limit is four.

                 (4) Special Youth-Only Season. There shall be a special youth-only waterfowl season during which the hunting, taking, and possession of geese, 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. Season dates are as follows:

                         (A) High Plains Mallard Management Unit: October 16-17, 2010[October 17 – 18, 2009] ;

                         (B) North Zone: October 23-24, 2010[October 24 — 25, 2009]; and

                         (C) South Zone: October 23-24, 2010[October 24 — 25, 2009].

         §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 24 — February 7, 2011[January 25 — February 8, 2010];

                         (C) South Duck Zone: January 24 — February 7, 2011[January 25 — February 8, 2010].

                 (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. 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 (WRD) from the person who killed the birds. A properly executed WRD satisfies the tagging requirements of 50 CFR Part 20. The WRD 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 WRD 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 24 — March 27, 2011[January 25 — March 28, 2010], 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 27, 2011[February 8 — March 28, 2010], 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).

         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. 11
Exhibit B

2010-2011 Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
Early-Season Provisions
Adoption Preamble

1. Introduction.

         The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (the department) adopts amendments to §65.315 and §65.319, concerning the Migratory Game Bird Proclamation without changes to the proposed text as published in the May 21, 2010, issue of the Texas Register (35 TexReg 3957).   The proposed text as published in the May 21, 2010 issue of the Texas Register also included amendments to §§65.318, 65.320, 65.321.   The proposed amendments to §§65.318, 65.320, 65.321 will be considered for adoption by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (commission) on August 26, 2010.  After consideration of the remaining sections by the Commission, a separate notice of adoption will be published.  Because of the timing of the seasons and bag limits established in §65.315 and §65.319, these amendments have been adopted by order of the department’s executive director as authorized by  Parks and Wildlife Code, §64.022, and 31 Tex. Admin. Code §65.313(d).

2. Justification for the Rules.

         The amendments are generally necessary to implement commission policy to provide the greatest hunter opportunity possible under the federal frameworks established by the Service, consistent with the tenets of sound biological management, and with hunter and landowner preference for starting dates and segment lengths, under annual frameworks issued by the Service.  In accordance with federal law, the department’s rules may be more conservative, but not more liberal than the federal frameworks

         The amendment to §65.315, concerning Open Seasons and Bag and Possession Limits — Early Season, retain the season structure and bag limits from 2009 for rails, dove, gullinules, woodcock, and snipe, but adjust the season dates to account for calendar shift (i.e., to ensure that seasons open on the desired day of the week, since dates from a previous year do not fall on the same days in following years).

         The amendment to §65.315 also implements a 16-day statewide teal season to run from September 11-26, 2010.  The change to the September teal-only season is being adjusted only for calendar shift.  By federal law, the number of days in the September teal season count against the 107 days of total hunting opportunity allowed for ducks, coots, and mergansers.

         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.

3. How the Rules Will Function.

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

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

4. Summary of Public Comment.

         The department received 14 comments opposing adoption of the portion of the proposed amendment to §65.315 governing the hunting of doves. Of the 14 comments, 13 articulated a reason or rationale for opposing adoption. Those comments, accompanied by the department’s response to each, follow.

         One commenter opposed the opening of dove season on a Friday (and stated that the season should open on the earliest day possible under the federal frameworks. The department disagrees with the commenter and responds that hunter surveys indicate a preference for opening day to occur on a Friday, and that September 17 (a Friday) is the earliest date allowed by federal frameworks in the South Zone. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         Three commenters opposed adoption of the proposed possession limits for dove and stated that the possession limit should be equivalent to three daily bag limits rather than two. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that the maximum possession limit is established by federal rule and cannot be altered by state action. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that all dove zones should open on the same day because by the time the south zone opens the birds have either relocated or are flying too high. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that under the federal frameworks, the season in the South Zone cannot open earlier than September 17 and  hunter preference in the South Zone is for the season to begin the earliest full weekend possible under federal law. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption of the bag limit for whitewing doves and stated that the bag limit should be increased due to that species’ abundance. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that the bag limit as adopted is the greatest allowable under federal law. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the opening day for dove season should be on a Saturday and not on a Friday. The commenter stated that not everyone is able to take advantage of a Friday opener and that the department should set the opener such that the greatest number of hunters can take advantage of it. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that hunter surveys indicated a preference for the season to open on the earliest Friday possible under the federal frameworks. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         Once commenter opposed adoption and stated that the winter segment of the dove season should not open on December 25. The commenter stated that instead of opening the winter segment on that day, it should open on the 26th and the extra day should be added to the end of the winter split. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that December 25 was chosen because it enables people to have the entire weekend to hunt. Hunter surveys indicate a preference for the season to run as late as possible and the department believes that it is important to provide hunting opportunity during weekends and holidays when most people have an opportunity to hunt and when children and students are out of school. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that early segment in the Central Zone should run to October 31. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that season structures have historically been set in such a fashion as to allow greater hunting opportunity during the Christmas break, when more people, especially youth, are able to take advantage of opportunity, and that hunter preference is to have a late segment that is roughly 15 days in length. The department also notes that removing a week from the winter segment would reduce holiday hunting opportunity. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that duck season starts too early and  interferes with dove hunting. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that duck hunting is not believed to influence the behavior or prevalence of doves and that although the 2010-2011 duck seasons have not yet been established, hunter preference is for duck season to begin in late October or early November. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the last four days of the early segment in the South Dove Zone should be moved to the end of the winter segment, because the season for hunting buck deer is over by then in South Texas and people want something to hunt. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that hunter preference in the South Dove Zone is for as much concurrent dove/deer hunting as possible. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the shooting hours for dove hunting should be from noon to sunset. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that hunter surveys indicate a strong preference for all-day shooting hours during dove seasons. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the opening day of dove hunting should be September 1 in all zones, and that the winter segment should open the Saturday before Christmas and run to the end of the framework to maximize youth opportunity. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that a statewide opening date of September 1 is impossible because the earliest date allowed by federal frameworks in the South Dove Zone is the Friday closest to September 20th (but not earlier than the 17th) (except for four half-days in the Special White Wing Dove Area). No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         The department received 54 comments supporting adoption of the proposed amendments governing dove hunting.

         The department received two comments opposing adoption of the portion of the proposed amendment to §65.314 governing the hunting of gallinules. Both commenters stated that the bag limit is too high. The department disagrees with the comments and responds that commission policy is to adopt the most liberal bag limits possible under the federal frameworks, provided the bag limit is consistent with the tenets of sound biological management. At the current time there is no evidence to suggest that the bag limit for gallinules is inappropriate. No changes were made as a result of the comments.

         The department received 19 comments supporting adoption of the proposed amendments governing gallinule hunting.

         The department received six comments opposing adoption of the portion of the proposed amendment to §65.314 governing teal hunting. Of the six comments, 13 articulated a reason or rationale for opposing adoption. Those comments, accompanied by the department’s response to each, follow.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the early teal season should be one week in length or done away with and the days made part of the duck season because there are no teal around at that time of the year. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that days cannot be taken from the September teal season and added to duck season because the duck season in Texas is already at the maximum number of days allowed by federal law. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the teal season should include black-bellied ducks, which are becoming invasive. The department agrees with the comment but responds that by federal law, the September teal-only season is restricted to teal only. No changes were made as a result of the comment

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the bag limit for teal should be the same as for ducks during duck season. The commenter stated that there is insufficient hunting pressure during the early season to control teal populations. The department agrees with the comment but responds that the bag limit adopted for teal during the early season is the maximum allowable under the federal frameworks, and that the harvest strategy for teal is focused on sustainability and not population control. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         Three commenters opposed adoption and stated that the bag limit should be higher. The department agrees with the comments but responds that the bag limit for teal during the early season as adopted is the maximum allowed under federal law. No changes were made as a result of the comments.

         The department received 54 comments supporting adoption of the portion of the proposed amendment to §65.315 governing the hunting of teal.

         The department received three comments opposing adoption of the portion of the proposed amendment to §65.315 governing the hunting of woodcock. All three commenters offered a reason or rationale for opposition. Those comments, accompanied by the department’s response to each, follow.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the bag limit is pointless because it would take a week to find three woodcocks. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that it is commission policy to adopt the most liberal bag limits possible under the federal frameworks, consistent with the tenets of sound biological management. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the season should begin earlier in north Texas because there are more woodcock in the area at that time. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that hunter sentiment has been to open and run the season as late as possible, which, under the federal frameworks, is January 31. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         Once commenter opposed adoption and stated that there should be an annual bag limit of three birds. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that there is no biological reason for the department not to select the maximum bag limit allowable under the federal frameworks. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         The department received 19 comments supporting adoption of the portion of the proposed amendment to §65.315 governing the hunting of woodcock.

         The department received four comments opposing adoption of the portion of proposed §65.315 governing the hunting of snipe. All four comments articulated a reason or rationale for opposing adoption. Those comments, accompanied by the department’s response to each, follow.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the bag limit should be lower because the birds are rare. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that there is no biological reason for the department not to select the maximum bag limit allowable under the federal frameworks. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that by running the snipe season concurrently with duck season, the department was forcing people to decide whether to go duck hunting or snipe hunting. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that the intent of running concurrent snipe, gallinule, rail, and duck seasons is to create more hunting opportunity, not less. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the season for snipe should run from November 15 to March 15. The department disagrees and responds that under the federal frameworks the department may select up to a 107-day season between September 1 and February 28 for snipe. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         One commenter opposed adoption and stated that the bag limit for snipe should be ten. The department disagrees with the comment and responds that the bag limit as adopted (eight) is the maximum allowed under the federal frameworks. No changes were made as a result of the comment.

         The department received 25 comments supporting adoption of the portion of the proposed amendment §65.314 governing the hunting of snipe.

         The department received no comments opposing or supporting adoption of the portion of the proposed amendment to §65.314 governing the hunting of early-season species of migratory game birds by means of falconry.

         The department received 15 comments supporting adoption of the portion of the proposed amendment to §65.314 governing the hunting of early-season species of migratory game birds by means of falconry.

         No groups or associations commented in support of or opposition to 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 11–26, 2010 and October 30 – December 22, 2010.

                         (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 24, 2010 and December 25, 2010 – January 9, 2011.

                                  (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 24, 2010 and December 25, 2010 – January 9, 2011.

                                  (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.

                         (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 17 – October 31, 2010 and December 25 – January 18, 2011.

                                  (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.

                         (4) Special white-winged dove area.

                                  (A) Dates: September 4, 5, 11, and 12, 2010.

                                          (i) Daily bag limit: 15 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: 30 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 17 – October 31, 2010 and December 25, 2010 – January 14, 2011.

                                          (i) Daily bag limit: 15 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: 30 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 11– 26, 2010 and October 30 – December 22, 2010.

                         (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 11-26, 2010.

                         (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, 2010 — January 31, 2011. The daily bag limit is three. The possession limit is six.

                 (h) Wilson’s snipe (Common snipe): October 30, 2010 – February 13, 2011. 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 18 – December 24, 2010.

                         (2) rails and gallinules: December 25, 2010 — January 30, 2011.

                         (3) woodcock: November 23 — December 16, 2010.

                 (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 within the agency’s authority to adopt.

         Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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