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Midwest Region
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The Service Regulations Committee convenes, October 25, in Bloomington, Minnesota, to work with the States’ Flyway Councils to determine the recommended regulations for the 2017-18 game bird hunting seasons. Photo by Larry Dean/USFWS.

The Service Regulations Committee convenes, October 25, in Bloomington, Minnesota, to work with the States’ Flyway Councils to determine the recommended regulations for the 2017-18 game bird hunting seasons. Photo by Larry Dean/USFWS.

Midwest Region hosts Service Regulation Committee meeting to
determine proposed rules for 2017 migratory game bird hunting seasons

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regulations Committee took the next step in the new process for determining rules for the 2017 migratory game bird seasons at their Bloomington, Minnesota meeting October 25 and 26. This is the second year operating under the earlier schedule of setting these regulations.

Each year, we work in partnership with states from the four Flyway Councils (Pacific, Central, Mississippi and Atlantic) to establish regulatory frameworks for migratory game bird hunting season lengths, dates and bag limits. This meeting included flyway consultants from each flyway who presented the Flyway Council recommendations on hunting seasons to the Service Regulations Committee. As a result of this meeting and the decisions made, in mid-December 2016, we will publish our proposal for hunting season frameworks for public comment. Final federal season frameworks will be published as a Final Rule in late February 2017, from which individual States will select their 2017-18 hunting season dates and bag limits. State season selections will be published in June 2017.

This is the second year of the streamlined process by which annual migratory game bird hunting seasons and bag limits are set. Beginning with the 2016-17 hunting seasons, the previous two-cycle regulatory schedule was compressed into a single annual process. Biological data from the prior year was used to set hunting season dates and to determine appropriate harvest limits for each migratory game bird species. This successful change gives biologists more time to analyze biological data that is used in the Service’s regulatory decisions, and gives the public more time to weigh in on proposed rules. The change also ensures that administrative procedures do not delay the opening of state migratory bird hunting seasons.

By Larry Dean
Regional Office - External Affairs

Mallards in flight. Photo courtesy of ozz13x/Creative Commons.

Mallards in flight. Photo courtesy of Ozzy Delaney/Creative Commons. https://flic.kr/p/qCeTFi

 

Last updated: November 10, 2016