DEC just announced Canada goose season opens in our area and throughout most of the state on Tuesday, September 1st and closes September 25th. They also noted that Harvest Information Reporting (HIP), required for hunting migratory game birds, has for the first time been incorporated into the DECALS licensing system.
DECALS reportedly experienced some glitches early on when licenses first went on sale on August 10th but the bugs seem to have been worked out as I had no trouble buying privileges and registering for HIP online this week.
Customers who were unable to register for HIP through DEC’s online system or encounter other problems can contact the DECALS licensing hotline (1-866-933-2257) and speak to a representative to assist with the process. Just a reminder that to hunt early geese, other waterfowl and any migratory game, those 16 and up must have in their possession, a current, signed duck stamp.
The generous limit of 15 birds per day for resident geese during the early season in most areas is in stark contrast to the restrictive 2 goose limit for most zones later this year for true migratory, non-resident Canada Geese.
The later season length will remain the same in 2020-2021 as the last few seasons for the Northeast, West Central, East Central, Hudson Valley, and Lake Champlain zones. For those zones, it remains a total of 30 days with a limit of two Canada geese per day.
According to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, “New York’s resident Canada goose population remains above our population goal throughout the state ... the state’s goose hunters are partners in DEC’s efforts to manage the resident goose population and reduce their negative impacts on property owners and public health.
“Over the past 25 years, New York’s estimated resident Canada geese population has grown from 80,000 birds in 1995, to more than 360,000 today.”
“Non-local” populations of Canada geese that actually migrate from northern latitudes have been on a continued decline. If you would like further details about migratory Canada geese, DEC has a PDF publication available on their website, (www.dec.ny.gov), entitled, “Status and Management of Atlantic Population Canada Geese.”
A similar population challenge faces mallards in the Atlantic Flyway. Due to a steady decline in mallards in the northeast US, the bag limit will remain at two mallards per day with only one hen on the mix.
For more information on this issue DEC also has a link on their website to a PDF entitled, “Declining Mallards in the Atlantic Flyway”
As for scaup, the bag limit will once again vary throughout the duck season this year.
Due to declines in the scaup population, the limit will be one scaup per day for 40 days, and two scaup per day for 20 days.
The first half of the duck season in the Southeast Zone opens on October 17 and closes November 29 with the second half opener on December 5 closing on December 20.
For the Northeast Zone, opening day is October 3rd and runs through October 25 with the second half opening on Halloween, October 31, and closing December 6.
Youth waterfowl hunting weekend in both the Southeast and Northeast Zones will take place on September 19th and 20th.
The complete 2020-2021 waterfowl and migratory bird regulations including all season dates, bag limits, legal ammunition and hunting implement requirements, is available at www.dec.ny.gov. It’s also in the printed hardcopy version of the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Guide available at your local license issuing agent.
Happy Hunting, Fishing and Trapping until next time.
Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.
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