SOCIAL CIRCLE — Waterfowl hunters can begin making season plans now that the 2019-2020 migratory bird season hunting dates and regulations were recently approved by the Board of Natural Resources.
“The 2019-2020 waterfowl hunting season has changed compared to previous years,” Greg Balkcom, state waterfowl biologist for the Wildlife Resources Division, said in a news release. “The duck hunting season will end on the fixed date of Jan. 31 each year, not the last Sunday in January. The daily bag limit for mallards dropped to two this year, with no more than one hen, and the pintail bag limit dropped to one. These bag limit changes are responsive to population levels for these species.”
Behind the scenes, the process used to select the waterfowl hunting regulations in the Atlantic Flyway also changed.
“Rather than select regulations based on the status of Eastern mallards, we now look collectively at the status of four species: wood ducks, ring-necked ducks, American green-winged teal, and common goldeneye,” Balkcom said.
Information about the changes to the migratory bird regulatory process, and about the status of mallards, is available at georgiawildlife.com/hunting/waterfowl.
Some need-to-know dates and details for waterfowl season are the September Canada goose season (Sept. 7-29) and the September teal season (Sept. 14-29). Canada goose hunting has three additional seasons: Oct. 12-27, Nov. 23–Dec. 1, and Dec. 12-Jan. 31. Hunting season for ducks is Nov. 23-Dec. 1 and Dec. 12-Jan. 31. A complete summary of migratory bird hunting season dates and bag limits is online at www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations.
Youth Waterfowl Days are Nov. 16-17, 2019. On these two days, youths ages 17 or younger may hunt specific migratory birds, such as ducks, Canada geese and mergansers, as long as they are accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age (only the youth may hunt).
State license fees help support wildlife conservation in Georgia. The state receives federal funds from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program, based on a number of factors, including the number of paid sporting licenses. In Georgia, these funds are approximately $14 million a year and have helped restore habitat and improve wildlife populations, among other conservation efforts. Hunters may purchase licenses online at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com, by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at more than 800 license agent locations.
For more information, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations.
State DNR officials also announced that there are still a few spaces left at two “wild” summer camps at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield.
These camps are available to kids from age 9-13 and topics will vary based on the focus of the camp.
($135 per camper)
iCAN — Conserving Animals in Nature — July 16-18 (ages 10-12): Campers will explore the many ways citizen scientists help to conserve animals in nature. Campers will learn how to use technology in the outdoors to discover what biologists do in the field. Hiking, nature play, live animal presentations, and other outdoor skills are just a sampling of the fun activities planned for this camp.
OVERNIGHT CAMP ($250 per camper)
Outdoor Adventure Team Challenge Camp — June 24-28 (ages 11-13): Teamwork and team spirit abound as campers work together to complete challenges utilizing the outdoor skills they’ve learned and developed throughout the week. This is a fast-paced, high-energy camp. Campers’ days will be brimming with outdoor pursuits such as hiking, canoeing, fire building and wilderness survival. Trained counselors will guide campers along their journey culminating in an all-out, every-team-for-themselves competition.
More details about each camp can be found at www.georgiawildlife.com/camps. Interested parents or guardians should complete and submit all application forms and camp fees at least two weeks prior to the camp session.
For more information about summer camps at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, call (770) 784-3059 or visit www.georgiawildlife.com/camps.