MY PERSONNAL JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE AS A WATERFOWLER
My journey in life as a waterfowler, a hobby that has encompassed who and what I am in this world, began 48 years ago. Did I say 48 years? Man, am I getting old and getting old truly ain’t for sissies
My Grandfather, (Giuseppi Basilo Giordano) instructing from his wheelchair, when I was a youngster of 11 years, showed me how to shoot a brand new double barrel 410 shotgun. He had bought the gun to be passed down to all of his grandchildren as their first gun to use and learn how to hunt. When you master using a 410 shotgun at a young age such as that, to shoot waterfowl and squirrel, then graduating up to a 12 gauge is cake. It was an honor to be the first grandchild to use the gun and I soon became pretty handy with it, or so I thought, it in the back yard. Shooting cans and bottles as my Grand Dad tossed them out over the Marshyhope Creek became a snap. After two weekends of practice, squirrel season opened on Oct. 5th, 1965 and my first day that school was not in session so I could hunt was Oct. 7th. My Grand Dad pointed to the corner of the woods and said be there in the morning at day break and be ready to light ‘em up.
Sure enough, he was right. At day break, on that frosty morning, I was set up in the corner of the woods and the squirrels started moving. Ol’ Dead Eye took aim on the first furry bugger and pulled the trigger. Then I watched in total amazement as the squirrel scampered off. I am pretty sure that I heard him laughing too as he made his exit. In the next two hours I used up all 25 shells shooting at squirrels, only to come home empty handed. My Grand Dad said “I heard you shooting dead eye. How many did you get?” Ashamed and embarrassed I whispered to him in my softest voice, I missed. My Grand Dad, detecting that I was really depressed about the whole thing and concerned that I might be discouraged about hunting , said to me “Don’t be too hard on yourself, we all have to start somewhere. Just practice a little more. You’ll get the hang of it.”
The next weekend I didn’t get to go huntin’ but I did get to see my Grand Dad that Sunday. I talked to him and we schemed, while watching our favorite TV show “My Favorite Martian”, on how I could break the ice and get my first squirrel. I was ready for next weekend now. I couldn’t wait. That evening though tragedy struck my family. My beloved Grand Dad left me for “Greater Huntin’ Pastures in the Sky”. Grand Pop hadn’t seen me shoot my first furry or feathered thing before he passed but he gave me some good tools to work with. The main tool he shared with me is that hunting isn’t all about the killing. The peacefulness and beauty of your surroundings when hunting are certainly first and the harvest of game is only secondary. Now, I needed to get busy.
The days drug by, and days became weeks. Finally about two months later I went duck hunting for the first time with my Uncle Jerry. He knew what I needed. I needed to harvest something to prove to myself that I could be the hunter my grandfather wanted me to be.
At the ripe old age of 11, my uncle and I left the dock before light on a bitterly cold morning and headed for the blind about a mile or so down the river. When we arrived to the blind, He placed the dozen or so decoys to what he thought was perfection. That means he got then out before the ducks started flying. That’s perfection in his book. I wonder if the 12 pack my Uncle had the night before had anything to do with sleeping through the alarm and the rush job with the decoys. Nah couldn’t be. All of our decoys back in the day were cork with cedar plank bottoms painted jet black with a little tan on the cheeks of the wooden heads (None of That Plastic Junk Like We See on the Market Today). He then got me situated in the blind. With sunrise came the first duck in with a splash. He whispered “Shoot Him” as I raised my 410 double barrel Stevens Model 311A Savage Arms shotgun and took aim on one of the prettiest ducks I had ever seen in my life. A beautiful Canadian Black Duck. You don’t see these babies at the zoo getting fed by the tourists with bread crumbs. My shotgun roared, well maybe a pop since it is a 410, and as I rose my head in excitement, much to my amazement, the Black Duck(They were Purebred Back Then), was belly up kicking those gorgeous deep orange feet. Our old Black Lab Queenie swam out and retrieved the gorgeous Black Duck to my Uncle standing on the bank.
Finally, I had become a hunter, a man, and I didn’t shoot my eye out in the process like my mom always said I would do with my trusty Daisy Air Rifle. I sat on the bench in the blind and stroked the Black Ducks feathers in total awe of the softness of his feathers and the beautiful purple hues in the wing spectrum. Hope my Grand Dad got to see that. I tallied up 4 ducks that year. I was happy with myself, I felt like pounding my chest to have accomplished such a feat. Not a lot of birds by any means, but a grand accomplishment for me at that age.
The following year, I went squirrel hunting again. I shot at 6 squirrels that year and never missed. I wanted my grand dad to see them so bad that I held every one of them up to the heavens to make sure that he got a good look at them. He did too.
In my third season as a “Veteran Waterfowler”, yeah right, I recall a fond moment with my uncle when 5 Green Wing Teal came in and touched down on the water in the same spot that I had shot my first duck two seasons ago. I had hunted two full seasons with my uncle and had learned to get busy with the gun when the birds came in, or my uncle would kill ‘em all with his humpback Belgium Browning 12 Gauge. I jumped up to shoot without hesitation. Good thing too. My uncle was already blasting away in his corner of the duck blind with his Browning when I took aim on my first bird. My uncle had three shots and my trusty double barrel 410 shotgun had two of course so they had to count. When the smoke cleared, 5 birds lay dead on the water. No cripples either. All stone dead except the usual kicking of feet in the air from the expiring birds floating on the water.
At the age of 14, my Dad, not a hunter, decided that he needed to take up hunting with my uncle and myself. He dove right in to the sport head first and learned all he could as quickly as he could; because he knew that it was important to me. He hunted with me until I got a drivers license and could get my own self to the marsh at those God awful hours of the morning and then he quit hunting. He always said that duck hunting required getting up way to early in the morning and normal, sane people just didn’t do things like that.
At the age of 55 now I think I get it. My Dad never really enjoyed hunting but he enjoyed being my Dad. So he took up hunting just to carry me around and hunt. What a father. And what a man.
Ever since those years of waterfowling, I have been addicted. As a young man I was addicted to the number of birds that I could kill. I needed bragging rights to feel good about myself and my abilities as a man. Then as I matured, it became obvious that I had missed the whole point of the hunt. The point was certainly to watch in awe as the birds came in with cupped wings, to hear the soft quack as they descended out of the golden sky and touch down gentle on the water. Look at that bird in the golden sunrise. What a masterpiece of nature. So many people live an entire life and never get to see such a beautiful sight. Wait a minute. What am I thinking? Shoot, Shoot. Oops, instincts kicked in again.
As the years have gone by I have raised and shown four sons, a nephew and a daughter the beauty and thrill of nature. We all have shared special moments in the woods. Memories that will be with us ‘till the end. I still yearn for the days again in the near future that we get to have our own personal hunting, fishing and camping adventures again. I can’t wait to gather memories with the grandchildren.
At my stage in life now, I have become a professional outfitter, taking people on all sorts of hunting adventures for all sorts of creatures. Wild Boar, Black Bear, Bobcat, Whitetail, Turkey, Ducks and of course, my personal favorite, Snow and Canada Geese. Lord knows I don’t do it for the money. I just do it to see the look in that next 11 year olds eyes when he kills his first duck, or his first snow goose, or that 22 year olds eyes when he sees his first flock of 5000 snow geese coming at us in the early morning golden sky landing in our decoy spread. Now that’s a sight to behold.
And let’s not forget the Old timer who has a Jack Nicholson “Bucket List” to fill before he breaths his last breath. In my opinion, those are the things that make a hunt as rewarding as it can ever be. On your next hunt, bring a camera and a family member . After all you haven’t really been on the hunt of a life time until you do it for someone else’s enjoyment in life and their memory of a lifetime.
PLEASE REMEMBER “It’s not the Wild Meat but the Heart Beat, That’s Why We Do It.”
We insist on it. Contact Joe Austin today at 410-603-1400 or 315-889-1790 ( Cell ) to book your next hunt.
2010-11 HUNTING SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS
These are the seasons and bag limits for hunting and trapping from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011. Licenses for 2010-11 will go on sale beginning June 14, 2010. For seasons and bag limits for the current year ending June 30, 2010, please see this page, or consult your 2009-10 Digest.
SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license, and mentored youth –
Oct. 9-15 (6 daily, 12 in possession limit after first day). SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined):
Oct. 16-Nov. 27; Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27-Feb. 5 (6 daily, 12 possession). RUFFED GROUSE:
Oct. 16–Nov. 27, Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27-Jan. 22 (2 daily, 4 possession). RABBIT (Cottontail) Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license:
Oct. 9-16 (4 daily, 8 possession). RABBIT (Cottontail):
Oct. 23-Nov. 27, Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27-Feb. 26 (4 daily, 8 possession). PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license –
Oct. 9-16 (2 daily, 4 in possession). Male pheasants only in WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B. Male and female pheasants may be taken in all other WMUs. There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas in any WMU. PHEASANT: Male only in WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B –
Oct. 23-Nov. 27. Male and female may be taken in all other WMUs – Oct. 23-Nov. 27, Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27-Feb. 5 (2 daily, 4 in possession). There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas in any WMU. BOBWHITE QUAIL:
HARES (SNOWSHOE RABBITS) OR VARYING HARES:
Oct. 23-Nov. 27 (4 daily, 8 possession). (Closed in WMUs 4A, 4B, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D.) Dec. 27–Jan. 1 (1 daily, 2 possession). WOODCHUCKS (GROUNDHOGS):
No closed season, except: Sundays; during the antlered and antlerless deer seasons; and during legal hunting hours of the spring gobbler turkey season. CROWS:
July 2-April 10, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. No limit. STARLINGS AND ENGLISH SPARROWS:WILD TURKEY (Male or Female): Wildlife Management Units 1A, 1B and 2A (Shotgun and bow and arrow) –
Nov. 13-19 and Nov. 25-27; No closed season, except during the antlered and antlerless deer seasons and during legal hunting hours of the spring gobbler turkey season. No limit. WMU 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow) – Nov. 6-19 and Nov. 25-27; WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 4A, 4B and 4D – Nov. 13-19 and Nov. 25-27; WMUs 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4E – Nov. 6-19 and Nov. 25-27; WMU 5A – Nov. 16-18; WMUs 5B, 5C and 5D – CLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING. SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with required license, and mentored youth
– April 23, 2011. Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt. SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only):
April 30-May 31, 2011. Daily limit 1, season limit 2. (Second spring gobbler may be only taken by persons who possess a valid special wild turkey license.) From April 30-May 14, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon; from May 16-31, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. BLACK BEAR (Statewide) Bow and Arrow only:
Nov. 15-19. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year. BLACK BEAR (Statewide):
Nov. 20, and Nov. 22-23. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year. ELK (Antlered or Antlerless):
Nov. 1-6. Only one elk may be taken during the license year. ELK, EXTENDED (Antlered and Antlerless):
Nov. 8-13. Only one elk may be taken during the license year. Eligible elk license recipients who haven’t harvested an elk by Nov. 6, in designated areas. Elk, Special Conservation Tag (Antlered or Antlerless):
Sept. 1-Nov. 6. One elk tag for one antlered or antlerless elk will be auctioned at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation annual banquet. DEER, ARCHERY (Antlerless Only) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D:
Sept. 18-Oct. 1 and Nov. 15-27. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D:
Oct. 2-Nov. 13 and Dec. 27-Jan. 29. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide:
Oct. 2-Nov. 13 and Dec. 27-Jan. 15. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 2F, 3A, 3B, 3D, 4A, 4C, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D:DEER (Antlered Only) WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E:
Nov. 29-Dec. 3. One antlered deer per hunting license year. Nov. 29-Dec. 11. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. (Holders of valid DMAP antlerless deer permits may harvest antlerless deer on DMAP properties during this period.) DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E:
Dec. 4-11. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. DEER, ANTLERLESS (Statewide):
U.S. Armed Services or in the U.S. Coast Guard only, with required antlerless license. Also included are persons who have reached or will reach their 65th birthday in the year of the application for a license and hold a valid adult license, or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
Oct. 21-23. Junior and Senior License Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in DEER, ANTLERLESS MUZZLELOADER (Statewide):
Oct. 16-23. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide):
Dec. 27-Jan. 15. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (WMUs 2B, 5C, 5D):
Dec. 27-Jan. 29. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. DEER, Antlerless (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D):
Dec. 27-Jan. 29. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. DEER, ANTLERLESS (Military Bases):
Hunting permitted on days established by the U.S. Department of the Army at Letterkenny Army Depot, Franklin County; New Cumberland Army Depot, York County; and Fort Detrick, Raven Rock Site, Adams County. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. ADOPTED 2010-11 FURBEARER HUNTING SEASONS
COYOTES:RACCOON and FOXES:
Oct. 23–Feb. 19, unlimited. No closed season. Unlimited. Outside of any deer or bear season, coyotes may be taken with a hunting license or a furtaker license, and without wearing orange. During any archery deer season, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting deer or with a furtaker license. During the regular firearms deer and any bear seasons, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting deer or bear, or with a furtaker license while wearing 250 square inches of fluorescent orange. During the spring gobbler season, may be taken by those with a valid tag and meet fluorescent orange and shot size requirements. OPOSSUM, SKUNKS & WEASELS:
No closed season, except Sundays and during legal hunting hours of the spring gobbler season. No limits. BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4D and 4E):
Dec. 18-Jan. 8. One bobcat per license year, but all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit. ADOPTED 2010-11 TRAPPING SEASONS
MINK and MUSKRAT:
Nov. 20–Jan. 9. Unlimited. COYOTE, FOXES, OPOSSUM, RACCOON, SKUNKS and WEASELS:
Oct. 24–Feb. 20. No limit. COYOTE and FOXES (Statewide) Cable Restraints:
Dec. 26-Feb. 20. No limit. Participants must pass cable restraint certification course. BEAVER (Statewide):
Dec. 26–March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU). BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4D and 4E):
Dec. 18-Jan. 9. One bobcat per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit. FISHER (WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E and
Seasons and Bag Limits 2010-11
Ducks, Coots, Mergansers
Duck, Sea Duck, Coot & Merganser Zones
Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day (Ducks, Mergansers, Canada Geese,
Coots and Moorhens): September 18.
See Early Resident CanadaGoose Season for area description.
: 6 daily, 12 in possession of any species except for thefollowing restrictions: daily limit may not include more than 4 mallards
including 2 hen mallards, 1 black duck, 2 pintails, 1 mottled duck, 1
fulvous tree duck, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 1 canvasback, 4 scoters
and 2 scaup. Possession limit may not include more than 8 mallards
including 4 hens, 2 black ducks, 4 pintails, 2 mottled ducks, 2 fulvous
tree ducks, 6 wood ducks, 4 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 8 scoters and 4
: 5 daily, 10 in possession, not more than 2 hoodedmergansers daily or 4 in possession.
: 15 daily, 30 in possession.
Lake Erie Zone –
Lake Erie, Presque Isle and the area within 150 yardsof the Lake Erie shoreline.
Northwest Zone –
The area bounded on the north by the Lake ErieZone and including all of Erie and Crawford counties and all of Mercer
and Venango counties north of I-80.
North Zone –
The area east of the Northwest Zone and north of I-80to Route 220, north from I-80 to I-180, north and east of I-180 from
Route 220 to I-80, north of I-80 from I-180 to the Delaware River.
South Zone –
All of state not in the Lake Erie, Northwest and NorthZones.
Lake Erie Zone
Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers – Oct. 25- Jan. 1.
Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers – Oct. 9 – Oct. 23 &
Nov. 11-Jan. 4.
Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers Oct. 9 – Oct. 23 &
Nov. 6 – Dec. 30.
Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers – Oct. 9 – 16 &
Nov. 17 – Jan. 17.
No Open Season: Tundra and Trumpeter Swans and Harlequin Ducks.
Mute swans are non-native and not protected under state or federal
law. Hunters may harvest mute swans. Mute swans have an orange
bill with a black fleshy knob on top at the feather line.
Oct. 9-Dec. 6 (2 brant daily, 4 in possession).
Nov. 6-Feb. 19 (25 daily, no possession limit).
Conservation Season: Feb. 21-April 16 (25 daily, no possession
limit) permit required.
Atlantic Population Canada Goose Hunting Zone
Nov. 17-27 & Dec. 21-Jan. 29 (3 geese daily).
Note: on SGL 46(Middle Creek) 1 goose daily, 2 in possession
Southern James Bay Population Canada Goose Hunting Zone
Oct. 23-Nov. 27 & Dec. 13-Jan. 26 (3 geese daily)
Resident Population Canada Goose Zone
.Oct. 23-30, Nov. 8- 27 & Dec. 18-Feb. 19 (5 daily)
Early Resident Population Canada Goose Season – Statewide
September 1- 25 (8 daily, 16 in possession)
In the SJBP zone the daily limit is 3, possession limit 6.
In the area south of SR 198 from the Ohio state line to intersectionof SR 18, SR 18 south to SR 618, SR 618 south to US Route 6,
US Route 6 east to US Route 322/SR 18, US Route 322/SR 18 west to
intersection of SR 3013, SR 3013 south to the Crawford/Mercer County
line. The daily bag limit is 1, possession limit 2;
except on SGL 214where the season is closed to September goose hunting.
Canada geese may be taken on Pymatuning State Park Reservoirand an area to extend 100 yards inland from the shoreline of the reservoir,
excluding the area east of SR 3011 (Hartstown Road). The daily
bag limit is 3, possession limit of 6.
In the area of Lancaster and Lebanon counties north of the PennsylvaniaTurnpike I-76, east of SR 501 to SR 419, south of SR 419 to
Lebanon-Berks county line, west of Lebanon-Berks county line and
the Lancaster-Berks county line to SR 1053 (also known as Peartown
Road and Greenville Road), west of SR 1053 to Pennsylvania Turnpike
I-76, the daily bag limit is 1, possession limit 2;
except on SGL 46(Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area) where the season is closed.
Note: 2 and 4 do not apply to youth participation on youth waterfowl
day Sept. 18, when regular season regulations apply.
Snow Goose Conservation Season
(and white-fronted geese)
At the time of the publication of these regulations, the PGC planned
to again hold a conservation season for snow geese in 2011. Season
dates will be Feb. 21-April 16, with a daily bag limit of 25 snow geese
and no possession limit. Additional hunting methods of electronic calls
and extended hunting hours to 1/2 hour after sunset will again be permitted.
A free permit is required for hunters to participate in the Conservation
season, along with a federal duck stamp, migratory game bird
license and general PA hunting license. Further information on when
and how to apply for permits will be announced in the news media and
on the PGC website.
Atlantic Flyway Geese
Southern James Bay Population (SJBP) Zone
The area north of I-80 and west of I-79 including in the city of
Erie west of Bay Front Parkway to and including the Lake Erie
Duck zone (Lake Erie, Presque Isle and the area within 150 yards
of Lake Erie Shoreline).
Atlantic Population (AP) Zone
The area east of route SR 97 from Maryland state line to the
intersection of SR 194, east of SR 194 to intersection of US
Route 30, south of US Route 30 to SR 441, east of SR 441 to SR
743, east of SR 743 to intersection of I-81, east of I-81 to intersection
of I-80, south of I-80 to New Jersey state line.
(AP) Canada geese nest across a broad areaof Northern Quebec with highest densities occurring in the
Ungava Peninsula, and along the Hudson Bay coast. Spring temperatures
in 2010 were normal and nesting success was near average.
The estimated number of breeding pairs (154,000) was
similar to average, while the total population estimate (breeding
pairs and grouped birds) was 776,000, down 29 percent from
2009, likely a result of poor production of juveniles in 2009.
The forecast is for average production. An average fall flight,
with more juveniles than last year is expected from this population.
Southern James Bay Population
(SJBP) Canada geese nest onAkimiski Island, Nunavut and the James Bay lowlands of Ontario.
The SJBP is the predominant migratory goose population in
western Pennsylvania. The spring population estimate of 87,300
Canada geese was similar to average. Nesting studies on Akimiski
Island indicated good nesting conditions due to an early spring
in James and Hudson bays. However, poor production is expected
on Akimiski Island due to high nest depredation rates from polar
bears. Ontario nesting areas should produce better.
Atlantic Flyway Resident Population
(AFRP) breeds locallythroughout the AF extending into southern Ontario and Quebec.
The AFRP overlaps both SJBP and AP geese during the fall
and winter periods. The spring breeding population estimate was
970,000, similar to 2009, and field reports indicate average or
better gosling production. Expect another large fall flight with
many juveniles this hunting season.
Greater Snow Geese
nest principally on Bylot, Axel Heiberg,Ellesmere and Baffin islands in the Canadian Arctic. The size of
the 2010 spring population (814,000 geese), counted during staging
in southern Québec, was 43 percent below the 2009 estimate.
Breeding conditions of greater snow geese were favorable.
Nesting success was high and clutch sizes were above average.
Therefore, expect a good fall flight for greater snow geese, probably
Webless Migratory Bird Seasons
and Daily Limits
Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.
Migratory Game Bird License (HIP) is also requiredto hunt other migratory game birds, including doves, woodcock,
coots, moorhens, rails and snipe. If you purchased a HIP license
last year, be sure to provide your last year’s migratory game bird
harvest results when asked. By answering these questions you
will be entered into a pool of hunters from which samples for
federal harvest surveys are drawn. Your responses to the questions
improve efficiency and the quality of the information used
to monitor the harvest of migratory birds for management purposes.
Species Open Season Daily Limit
A Sept. 1 – Sept. 28 15Oct. 23 – Nov. 27 15
Dec. 27 – Jan. 1 15
Woodcock Oct. 16 – Nov. 13 3
Common Snipe (Wilson’s) Oct. 16 – Nov. 27 8
Rails (Sora and Virginia only)
B Sept. 1 – Nov. 9 3CMoorhens, Gallinules Sept. 1 – Nov. 9 3
During the Sept. 1-28 portion of the dove season, hunting hours arenoon to sunset. During the other seasons, hunting hours are one-half
hour before sunrise to sunset.
No open seasons on other rails.
Singly or aggregate combinations.
What about Avian Influenza?
No evidence of the highly pathogenic, H5N1 strain of avian influenza
has been detected in North America. Waterfowl hunters, nonetheless,
should wear latex or rubber disposable gloves when cleaning
and handling birds, equipment or surfaces that come in contact with
game birds. All avian influenza viruses are killed by heat, so the use of
a meat thermometer is recommended to be sure the internal temperature
of the birds reaches 160 degrees F. Visit www.pgc.state.pa.us for
in addition to a Pennsylvania hunting license, to hunt ducks and geese:
Persons 16 and older – Federal Duck Stamp, signed in ink
across its face, and
Migratory Game Bird License (HIP).Persons 12 through 15 –
Migratory Game Bird License(HIP)
Pennsylvania Duck Stamp – helps finance wetland acquisition and development and waterfowl education.
To minimize potential health impacts, mergansers should not be
eaten. Other waterfowl should be skinned and the fat removed before
cooking. Discard stuffing (if prepared in this manner) after cooking.
Mergansers are diving ducks; they consume fish and other aquatic
organisms that may cause a concentration of contaminants in body tissue.
New York officials have found unhealthy levels of PCBs in mergansers
taken in the area of Lake Erie. Mergansers from the Lake Erie
area could migrate to areas of Pennsylvania.