The Final Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory Bird Hunting have taken effect. The Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) set the fall schedule, which you can view at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-23/html/2013-20607.htm.
States can choose the dates for the fall hunting seasons from the frameworks. FWS first proposed a framework in April and supplemented its plans several times after meeting with regional flyway councils. See stories linked to below for background.
FWS basically used the same frameworks as last year, modified based on what the councils recommended.
Despite considerable public opposition, FWS decided to allow the recommendation of the Mississippi Flyway Council for a three-year experimental 60-day sandhill crane season in Tennessee beginning in the 2013-14 season. The fall crane population would have to stay above 30,000 – in 2012 it totaled 87,796 and no more than 2,325 could be bagged. Only 775 hunters could get permission and none could bag more than three of the birds.
FWS denied a request from the Pacific Flyway council to reduce the daily bag limit from five to two for the interior population of band-tailed pigeons. FWS noted that no harvest strategy exists for the species and the Central Flyway Council did not concur with the Pacific request. FWS suggests the two councils discuss their differences and report back next March.