Fish and Wildlife Commission previews migratory bird seasons

Friday, February 3, 2017

MEMPHIS -- The Fish and Wildlife Commission was presented a preview of the 2017-18 waterfowl and other migratory bird hunting seasons at its first meeting of 2017. The one-day meeting was held Friday (Jan. 13) at the Bass Pro Shops in the Pyramid.

The presentation in regard to waterfowl and other migratory birds was made at the January meeting due to recent changes in the timing of the federal regulation process. States will now set their waterfowl, dove and other migratory bird seasons early in the calendar year as compared to late summer in previous years.

Jamie Feddersen, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Migratory Game Bird Program leader, shared proposed season dates and bag limits for all migratory bird species. The TWRA is also reccemending an operational sandhill crane hunting season. For the past four years, an experimental sandhill crane hunting season has been held in a limited area in East Tennessee.

The agency is proposing a two-week shift in the American Woodcock season. Currently this season starts the last Saturday in October and the shift would have it beginning the second Saturday of November. Other seasons will remain intact with only date changes.

The commission will set the 2017-18 regulations at its next meeting on Feb. 17 in Nashville.

Ducks Unlimited representatives made their annual visit to a commission. DU’s Dave Kostersky and Tim Willis discussed Tennessee’s efforts with Duck Unlimited and prairie Canada to create and enhance wetlands.

A review of the big game tagging/harvest reporting was made by assistant chief of wildlife and forestry, Joe Benedict.