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COMMENTS ON PROPOSED WATERFOWL SEASONS ACCEPTED

02/23/2024

HARRISBURG, PA - Hunters and members of waterfowl organizations have several options to ask questions and voice opinions on the 2024-25 proposed migratory game bird seasons.

Questions or comments can be submitted to waterfowlcomments@pa.gov, or a letter can be mailed to Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

An online question-and-answer session will be held on the proposed seasons on Thursday, March 7 at 1 p.m. on the Game Commission’s Facebook page. The briefing will be recorded, and a link will be available to view at www.pgc.pa.gov.

“The Facebook Live event will include summaries of recent federal framework changes and other ‘hot topics’ with the opportunity for viewers to submit follow-up questions for real-time response,” said Game Commission waterfowl biologist Amanda Hoyt. “It’s a convenient option for hunters statewide to catch up on all things waterfowl without leaving home,” she added.

Those submitting questions or comments by email or mail should provide the species, zone (if applicable), and county or counties they’re referring to. The comment period closes March 22.

A Waterfowl Open House will take place at the Game Commission’s Northwest Region Office at 1509 Pittsburgh Road, Franklin, PA 16323, on Saturday, March 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with Game Commission staff and view proposed seasons presented.

“For those able to travel to Franklin, the Waterfowl Open House will provide a weekend opportunity for more extended in-person discussion with Game Commission staff carrying out the research, regulation setting, habitat, and law enforcement elements of the agency’s waterfowl management program,” Hoyt said.

Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with the states in the Atlantic Flyway meet to establish federal frameworks for migratory game bird seasons. These frameworks form the side boards that each state must set their season within. States can be more restrictive – fewer days or lower bag limits – but cannot be more liberal than the federal frameworks allow.

Generally speaking, frameworks do not vary widely from year-to-year, but changes in habitat conditions or populations of migratory game birds may cause them to change. For the 2024-25 seasons, there is one change. The Atlantic Population Canada goose season has been reduced from 45 to 30 days.

“The Game Commission annually considers various types of public input when selecting waterfowl seasons within the parameters established by the federal frameworks,” said Game Commission Wildlife Operations Chief Ian Gregg. “Results of periodic hunter surveys provide data on the general opinions of a broad cross section of hunters, while annual written comment periods and interactive events allow individual hunters to provide their specific preferences and concerns in more detail,” he added.

With public comments and results of surveys considered, Game Commission staff will prepare and present the recommended 2024-25 waterfowl and migratory bird seasons, bag limits and related criteria to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for final approval. Final seasons will appear in the 2024-25 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, which hunters receive with the purchase of a license.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission manages and protects wildlife and their habitats and promotes hunting and trapping for current and future generations. Visit www.pgc.pa.gov for more information about Pennsylvania hunting, trapping and wildlife. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

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