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September 12, 2013

Outdoors: Water fowl seasons set, beginning October 2

The 2013-2014 fall and winter waterfowl seasons have been set. Following the guidelines outlined by the federal government, the Fish and Wildlife Board has decided on the following seasons and limits for our zone.

:Woodcock: Oct. 2-Nov. 16; five bag limit.

Geese: Early season is now- Sept. 2; seven bag limit.

Regular season is Oct. 16-26 and Nov. 15-Jan. 11; 2 bird limit.

Late season is Jan. 18-Feb. 15; five bag limit.

Sea ducks: Oct. 7-Jan. 31; 7 bag limit no more than four scoter, four eider(one hen), and four oldsquaw.

Brandt: Nov. 15-Nov. 30; two bag limit.

Ducks: Oct. 16-Oct. 26; Nov. 15-Jan.11. Bag limit is six of which there can be no more than one black duck, mottled, or fulvous whistling; two canvasback, hooded merganser, pintail, redhead, or scaup; three wood ducks; or four mallards.

As with everything else in life, their are a number of regulations that go with waterfowl hunting. Go to www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dfg/dfw/regulations/20143-14-waterfowl-abs-final.pdf for more information. Do not forget to get your HIP number with your license.

This should be a very good year for duck and goose hunting. The numbers being reported out of Eastern Canada seem to indicate the flights through later this fall should be high. The goose population just continues to grow. The problem on the North Shore is not the amount of birds available, but where can you get permission to hunt them.

More and more land is being posted or towns are passing increasingly difficult rules for hunting. Although you can take seven geese a day, it does no good if there is no place to hunt. More and more land is being leased and not open to the general public. Although state game managers all over New England want the population to be reduced substantially, even offering a seven bird a day limit, they are being frustrated by the lack of opportunity for hunters to harvest the excess.

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