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Migratory bird hunting frameworks finalized for 2014-15

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The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has finalized the frameworks for migratory bird hunting seasons for 2014 and 2015. FWS announced the final rules in the Federal Register of Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. The frameworks set the dates states and territories can choose from to allow hunting. The rules take effect immediately.

If you have any questions, contact Ron W. Kokel, FWS, Department of the Interior, MS: MB, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803, (703) 358-1967. The final rules reflect the latest available data on bird population and suggestions received this spring and summer from a series of proposed regulations and meetings with the four flyway councils.

After an environmental review, FWS decided on a 16-day September teal season in the Atlantic, Central, and Mississippi flyways for 2014. Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee will get four additional teal-only days, though. But the four additional days must be consecutive and hunters must be alerted in advance that they can only shoot at teal.

A few extra days were added or dates changed for specific birds in specific areas. And the experimental sandhill crane season will be continued another year in Kentucky, as not all the data has come in to evaluate the experiment, FWS says.

The Pacific and Central flyway councils disagree on the bag limit on band-tailed pigeons. So FWS says more investigation is needed. Pacific wants to reduce the daily limit from five to two while Central wants no change. FWS asked the councils to try again to reach consensus by next June.

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