Having received the annual migratory bird seasons from U.S. Fish & Wildlife, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has released state hunting dates, times and bag limits for doves, Canada geese, woodcock and other migratory birds.
For this season, the biggest changes, says the PGC, is a change in federal regulations to increase possession limits for most migratory game birds from two times the daily bag limit, to three times the daily limit.
The calendar, the PGC points out, has had an influence on opening days for some seasons. Dove season kicks off, Monday, Sept. 2 in the first of a triple-split season. The first segment ends Saturday, Sept. 28 with hunting hours running from noon to sunset.
Other segments of the split season run from Oct. 26 – Nov. 30 and from Dec. 26 – Jan. 1, with hunting hours set at a half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is each segment is 15 birds with a possession limit of 45.
As for the statewide Sept. goose season, it will open Sept. 2 and run to Sept. 25. Daily bag limits are eight but the possession limit has been increased to 24. Shooting hours for the Sept. season are a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset, except for Sept. 14 and 21 when the season overlaps with the youth waterfowl hunting days. On those days shooting hours end at sunset.
There are special regulations that include smaller bag and possession limits in a few areas of the state, and they vary, so it’s best to check the regulations when purchasing a duck stamp for waterfowl hunting.
For those who would travel to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon and Lancaster counties, this area is closed to Sept. goose hunting (as is SGL 46) because of a decline in the resident Canada goose flock.
Kevin Jacobs, waterfowl biologist for the PGC noted that recent liberalizations in Canada goose hunting opportunities, along with control programs being implemented by many municipalities and public/private landowners, appear to be stabilizing the growth of the state’s resident Canada goose population which was in 2013, estimated to be 279,212. This is similar to the recent eight-year average of 265,905. Despite these numbers, they remain significantly above the management goal of 150,000.
As for the youth waterfowl days, it’s open to licensed junior hunters aged 12-15, but they must be accompanied by an adult who may assist in calling, duck identification and other aspects of the hunt. During the hunt, youths (and adults) have the same daily bag limit for Canada geese and other waterfowl in the area being hunted.
Migratory game bird hunters including those pursuing doves and woodcock, are required to obtain and carry a Pennsylvania migratory game bird license ($3.70 for residents and $6.70 for nonresidents) as well as a hunting/combination license or lifetime license. All waterfowl hunters age 16 and older must also possess a federal migratory game bird and conservation (duck) stamp.
If you bag a leg-banded bird, report it online to www.reportband.gov or use the toll free 800-327-BAND number. Hunters are requested to provide the band number, where, when and what species was taken when reporting.
A few months back we featured the umbrella rig as an effective technique for bass fishing.
To refresh your memory, the rig consists of a set of wires coming off a lead wire similar to what saltwater anglers use when trolling. To each wire can be connected any variety of baits with multiple hooks. However, in Pennsylvania only two hooks are legal hence anglers using the rig can rig jig bodies, for example, but no hooks in a teaser type formation.
Well BOOYAH Bait Company has taken the umbrella concept a step further by adding a crankbait to the rig. According to BOOYAH, it allows you to fish crankbaits at any depth and keeps them in the strike zone nearly 100 percent of the cast. It also gives anglers the ability to customize their presentation to fish any desired lure at any depth, all the while displaying the “bait-chase” characteristics that made castable umbrella rigs one of the most effective fishing techniques.
BOOYAH’s set up allows casting ultra light lures long distances or running a lipless crankbait on the bottom in 30-feet of water.
Anglers, say BOOYAH, can create their own personal spinnerbait with anything from a weightless Texas-rigged swimbait to a deep-diving crankbait or for even deeper fishing, a weedless jig.
To check out this new rig visit www.booyahbaits.com.
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