Duck populations are the highest since North American surveys began in 1955, and as a result Texas will enjoy for the 20th consecutive year the most liberal waterfowl hunting season framework allowable.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved waterfowl seasons for Texas at its Thursday, Aug. 21 public hearing in Houston.
Good news of record-setting waterfowl populations, with nearly all species numbering above the long term goals identified in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, sets the table for the 2014-15 hunting season in Texas.
“Waterfowl are doing well,” Dave Morrison, Small Game Program Director for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told commissioners. “This is the 20th straight year we’ve been in a liberal framework for waterfowl seasons. That’s unheard of.”
The commission retained a staggered split between the North and South Zones to allow for the opportunity of an additional week for those duck hunters who travel between zones.
In the only change in bag limits this season Texas waterfowlers can take only one canvasback daily.
The possession limits for all migratory game birds is three times the daily limit. For ducks, including teal during the early Sept. 13-28 season, the possession limit is 18.
Following are the adopted season dates and limits for the 2014-15 migratory game bird seasons:
- High Plains Mallard Management Unit: Youth: Oct. 18-19; Regular: Oct. 25-26 and Oct. 31 — Jan. 25; “Dusky” Duck: Nov. 3 — Jan. 25.
- South Zone: Youth: Oct. 25-26; Regular: Nov. 1-30 and Dec. 13 — Jan. 25;“Dusky” Duck: Nov. 6-30 and Dec. 13 — Jan. 25.
- North Zone: Youth: Oct. 25-26 ; Regular: Nov. 1 — Dec. 7 and Dec. 20 — Jan. 25;“Dusky” Duck: Nov. 6 — Dec. 7 and Dec. 20 — Jan. 25.
Bag Limit: 6/day in the aggregate to include no more than 3 wood ducks, 3 scaup, 5 mallards, of which only 2 may be hens, 2 redheads, 2 pintail , 1 canvasback, 1 “dusky duck” (mottled, black or Mexican-like) after the first 5 days. Mergansers: 5/day with no more than 2 hooded merganser. Coots: 15/day
- East Zone: Light Geese Nov. 1 — Jan. 25, Canada Geese Nov. 1 — Jan. 25; White-fronted Geese: Nov. 1 — Jan. 11; Light Geese Conservation OrderJan. 26 — Mar. 22.
Bag Limit: 3 Canada geese, 2 White-fronted geese, 20 light geese (no possession limit).
- West Zone: Light Geese Nov. 1 — Feb. 1; Dark Geese Nov. 1 — Feb. 1; Light Geese Conservation Order Feb. 2 — Mar. 22.
Bag Limit: 5 dark geese with no more than one white-fronted goose, 20 light geese (no possession limit)
- Zone A: Nov. 1– Feb. 1.Bag Limit: 3.
- Zone B: Nov. 21–Feb. 1. Bag Limit: 3.
- Zone C: Dec. 20 –Jan. 25. Bag Limit: 2.
- North and South Duck Zones: Jan. 26 — Feb. 9.