Wildlife officials set bird seasons

JACKSON — State wildlife officials have approved dates for the 2009-2010 early hunting seasons for migratory game birds.

Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases early season frameworks that provide a schedule of dates from which states may select specific seasons. This year, early season structures and regulations will be very similar to last year.

Mississippi hunters will again have a 70-day dove season with a 15-bird daily bag limit and possession limit of 30.

In the North Dove Zone, there will be three dove season segments: Sept. 5-27, Oct. 10-Nov. 3, and Dec. 25-Jan 15. The North Zone is defined as areas north of U.S. Highway 84 and areas south of U.S. 84 and west of Mississippi Highway 35.

The South Dove Zone seasons will run Sept. 5-13, Oct. 10-Nov. 4 and Dec. 12-Jan. 15. The South Zone is defined as areas south of U.S. 84 and east of Mississippi 35.

The resident Canada goose season will occur statewide from Sept. 1-15.The daily bag limit is five Canada geese with a possession limit of 10 birds.

The early teal season, Sept. 12-27, allows a daily bag limit of four teal with a possession limit of 8 birds. Legal species for early teal season include all species of teal.

Legal shooting hours for resident Canada geese and early teal seasons are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Hunting seasons for rails (sora, Virginia, clapper, and king rails), moorhens, and gallinules will occur simultaneously from Sept. 26-Dec. 4.

Daily bag limit for moorhens and gallinules is 15 singly, or in aggregate — a total of 15 regardless of species.

Daily bag limit for sora and Virginia rails is 25 singly, or in aggregate of the two species — total of 25 regardless of species.

For clapper and king rails, the daily bag limit is 15 singly, or in aggregate of the two species — total of 15 regardless of species.

Possession limits for rails, moorhens, and gallinules is double the daily bag limit, except for sora and Virginia rails, which have a possession limit equal to the daily bag limit of 25, regardless of species.

Snipe hunting season will occur from Nov. 14-Feb. 28. Daily bag limit is eight snipe with a possession limit of 16 birds.

Woodcock hunting season will occur from Dec. 18-Jan. 31 with a daily bag limit of three woodcock and a possession limit of six birds.

The Associated Press