Possession Limits

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Possession Limits

Postby phutch30 » Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:38 pm

Just a heads up to everyone posting multiple day kills. The possesion limit for waterfowl is twice the daily bag limit. I have discussed this with the wardens on several occasions and FWP in Helena to clarify for my own sake how they interpret the law on this issue. I was told if you have more than 14 birds in your possesion i.e truck, porch, boat , or freezer. You are in violation of the law. Now I know we all have had more than 14 in "possesion" on occasion, but its not a real good idea to brag up a 20-30 or more bird week with alot of specific information such as "I shot x number today,x number yesterday and x numer the preceding days". It may bring down more interest than you were hoping for. I ws actually asked last year by a warden on the river that Im on really good terms with. What I was doing with all the ducks I was shooting. He had checked me 4 day in a row with limits. I simply told him I was keeping a limit in the freezer and giving the other limits away to co-workers. Well he actually asked some co-workers if Id given them ducks. Luckly I had been doing just as I said and was clean. So lets just think befor we give out tooo much detail. Sorry if I came across as a hard a** or something else.
Last edited by phutch30 on Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Duck Runner » Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:08 pm

Here's one we went round and round with back in Nebraska... So I have a limit of ducks at home, in hand, AND I have a bag of duck jerky that I made from ducks I shot last week - am I in violation? I like carrying a bag of jerky along for something to snack on... My interpretation is that I would not be in violation because the meat has been processed for consumption - but hard to say with some C.O..
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Postby phutch30 » Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:10 pm

I actually discussed this same thing with the wardens. He basically said he wasnt going to waste time on something like jerky but you better not have 20 frozen ducks or 40 duck breasts in your freezer without a really valid excuse.
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Postby marcbme » Wed Nov 30, 2005 3:40 pm

The temptation to exceed your bag limit faces us all. Therefore I have chosen to employ a simple yet VERY effective method to never exceed bag limits.

I chose to be a poor hunter. There is absolutely no way to exceed your bag limit that way. It's a small thing, but I do what I can to ensure more ducks live to breed for next season..
Lord......let me be as good a hunter as my dog thinks I am....amen
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Postby phutch30 » Wed Nov 30, 2005 4:10 pm

Ok marcbme, I stand corrected. SOME of us have had more than 14 birds in "Possesion" on occasion.LOL Ive never exceeded the daily bag limit. I have, until I was informed of the letter of the law, exceeded the possesion limit with birds in the freezer.
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Postby nemont » Wed Nov 30, 2005 6:14 pm

Couple of things to remember.

1. Processing ducks into jerky or sausage does not mean that they don't count towards your possession limits. Waterfowl that is processed for consumption but not consumed is technically still in your possession. Go read the regulations and it specifically states that. I don't think to many fish cops will check that but don't assume processing to jerky ends the definition of possession.

2. You are allowed to gift a possession limit of waterfowl to each member of your household, even if they do not hunt. Again go read the regulations and it specifically states that.

In Montana we have a unique situation as the state is in two flyways. Every year we have guys come over east who are used to hunting in western Montana and just assume they are still allowed 7 mallards a day but over here we are in the central flyway and only allowed 5 mallards a day. Happens every year to a couple of guys.

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Postby Leakydecoy » Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:32 am

Unfortunately, if you read the Montana waterfowl regs, you'll find that they're pretty lame when compared to those of other states. They do not include the complete standard list of federal regulations. The feds set the regs and the states tack on some of their own. They do not distinguish between processed (e.g., jerky, sausage) and unprocessed birds, nor will you find any discussion using the words "processed" or "consumption." The definitions of "field possession limit" (same as the daily bag limit) and "possession limit" (2 times the daily bag when you've reached your vehicle, motel or home) are pretty clear, and have been reinforced within me by a good buddy who is a FWS refuge manager and former Special Agent. If you got 'em, they're in your possession. If they were shot by someone else and they are not labeled as required, they're still in your possession.

A feller in Helena had his freezer inspected by a warden a few years ago after a tip that he had been overharvesting. Turns out he had more than a hundred ducks in there. Of course, that's the reason possession limits were implemented in the first place. Pig management.

So, yeah, if you've got more than 14 ducks in your freezer in the Pac Flyway, you're in violation. If you have 14 ducks in your freezer plus a bag of jerky and a container of duck gumbo, you're technically in violation. However, as mentioned earlier, agencies are unlikely to send the gumbo to the state lab for DNA analysis. They're more concerned (as am I) about nailing the slobs of the world.
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Postby Troutslayer » Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:48 pm

As a sidenote to this, it was clarified to me by a warden that your campsite is considered your home and you can have 14 ducks there.
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Postby notceaubrite » Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:47 pm

Crap! Looks like sausage sandwiches and jerkey for lunch and little ugly duckthings for dinner. :getdown:

I thought that once the birds were processed, they no longer counted against your posession limit. Guess I was wrong.

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Postby Fredito » Thu Dec 01, 2005 7:24 pm

Geez....this topic really exploded in the honey hole....wow
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Postby Duck Runner » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:41 pm

Exploded is right - a lot of folks running their mouths and getting nothing accomplished... I do remember reading something in the Montana regs SOMEWHERE that jerky was considered to be in posession limit, I forgot about that.. Anyway, considering I havn't taken a limit of ducks TOTAL this year I am not worried, but I will keep this in mind for future knowledge.

I do find it interesting that after food has been processed/prepared that it is still considered in posession. I suppose I can understand the reasoning, but still find a lack of reason behind it. I will have to chat with the director for the service in Wyoming and see what he says - I know him well.

So what if I would buy a duck at the store, or even a goose, does that count against my limit? I would hope not, BUT it is a duck and how EXACTLY would you determine where the line were drawn? All I did was have someone else prepare it and I bought it.. It is illegal to sell wild game, but a duck, is a duck, is a duck...
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Postby BigDog » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:27 am

phuch

You need to heed your own advise dude.
Your own post

"A buddy and I hunted Friday afternoon and did pretty good. We shot 6 drake mallards (one banded), a drake pintail, 2 widgeon and 3 gads in about 3 hours. Sat morning we went back to the same area and shot 11 drake mallards, a widgeon and 2 gads plus a bonus of 4 geese. The action died about 1030am but we hunted for a few hours more hopeing for more geese but they never showed. We tried it again on Sun but ended up in a fog bank so thick we couldnt see all the decoys in our spread. So we quit at about 10. That afternoon we hunted some grain and alfala fields I have been doing really good on. Myself, the landowner and my fatherinlaw limited with 18 mallards(one banded hen), 2 drake pintails and a really nicely plumed drake gad in less than 2 hours. There were several thousand ducks working the fields. They are roosting on private property and not heading to areas they have historicaly used to roost.On the plus side I saw my first two banded mallards of the year this weekend. On the negative side I didnt shoot either one. Postd fridays hunt in the photo area (grindage).
[/quote]
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Postby notceaubrite » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:55 am

There is way too much gray area in our regs. I read through with a fine tooth comb and couldn't find a darn thing that talks about what constitutes a posession limit. Leaves too much open to interpretation.

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Postby phutch30 » Fri Dec 02, 2005 8:34 am

Bigdog- There is nothing in the regs that says you cant shoot a million ducks.It just says you cant exceed 14 in possesion. I never have more than the possesion. If I get into alot of birds, I have developed a network of people who have been shown duck is good to eat. Now they hound me for birds.Anyway that weekend I shot 3 limits, but only one went into the freezer the others went to nonduckhunting duck eaters. This allowed me to continue hunting. I posted this for a reason. Some people were posting 30-50 bird weeks. Not smart. Its really hard to give away 30 birds.
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Postby Leakydecoy » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:00 am

Straight from the regs:
http://fwp.mt.gov/FwpPaperApps/hunting/2005MigratoryBirdRegs.pdf
Ducks: "The possession limit may not exceed twice the daily bag limit of
any species and sex."
Geese: "Possession Limit: twice the daily bag."

Gray????? :eek:

Duck Runner, you answered your own question. A domestic duck isn't a federally-managed migratory bird. Thankfully, a cow isn't a cow isn't a cow and buying a burger at a drive-thru doesn't punch my cow elk tag either. :thumbsup:

It's pretty frightening how some folks over in the Honey Hole are trying to rationalize their overharvests as if they were figuring out how fast they can drive before receiving a speeding ticket. I've always been amazed by the "hunters" I've met in the field who think that the mid-season days of taking fewer than a limit of birds somehow entitles them to taking more than a limit during the peak of migration later on.
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Postby BigDog » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:09 am

man it's to early for this stuf. Should be hunting. phuch you are a kick man. I really never post much but i read the reports on all the sites cause i injoy it. just cause its legal don't make it right. you are killin me man. excuse the pun

10-11-05 If you are heading to eastern MT, bring along your shotgun and lots of steel shot. We had a great two days of duck and goose hunting near Forsyth. All the potholes are full of water and most have ducks and geese on them. 3 of us shot limits of both on Sat and Sun. Ducks on the water and geese in the fields.The antelope hunting is great also. Lots and lots of goats.We all shot decent (13")antelope on Monday.

10-26-05 “My wife shot a decent antelope on Sat after a good morning of duck hunting ”

11-7-05 “Ive shot 3 whitetail does so far.”

11-7-05 “But I have 86 ducks and 9 geese to my credit.”

11-20-05 I did drop a mulie doe this morning. Just to make sure my rifle was still on.

11-26-05 “My wife shot a 130's 4x4 on Wed night

11-28-05 “I took a really pretty 129 1/8 whitetail buck with my bow last night”
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Postby Hart » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:48 pm

Man take a few days away for meetings in Seattle and I come back to this. Hutch what the heck did you start here.

Big Dog you are way off on Hutch. I know the man. You don't. He's not the way your trying to make him out to be. He is a very proficent hunter and for that he should not be chastized. I have hunted with him quite a bit over the last few years and I can assure you that he is always well within the law and the ethics of our sport. Paul plucks most of his birds and cooks them on a rotisery. They are good eating Trust me on that.

Now let me weigh in on this subject real quickly as I'm supposed to be working right now. We all have one thing in common. We all love to hunt. Try to remember that before you judge another waterfowling brother in text or in public.

I kill a lot of ducks and geese every year but I can assure you that none of it is wasted. I have developed a in season ritual that I repeat on a weekly basis during the season every year. Every Wednesday night during the season we have duck for dinner. I smoke the remainder of my birds during the week into what my kids call duck candy. It's a salt/sugar dry brine I learned while living in Alaska and it is killer on waterfowl. By the end of every week I don't have any birds left to worry about because it's consumed by my family, my friends, and my co-workers. The answer to this problem is fairly simple. Learn to properly care for and cook your game. It took me a while to find a way to cook my birds that everyone seemed to like. It takes some work but it's owed to the creature who's life you ended. Problem solved.

I also want to add one thing about the importance of practicing ethical hunting and good conservation of our resources.- Stay within the limit, don't shoot unless they are cupped over decoys and well within range, try to finish every hunt with nothing but drakes in your bag, etc. If we all do these types of things, our kids will be out enjoying the same things we've all come to love as waterfowlers. God Bless and Good Hunting, Mark
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Postby Fredito » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:56 pm

Guys I gotta say it....
Please becareful about bashing one another...This is a heated topic among hunters and is bound to have alot of different views on the interpretation of the law. Its great that we are talking about it, just becareful on the bashing
Thanks Guys :thumbsup:
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Postby fun4jake » Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:22 pm

I second the motion. The last thing us Moderators want to do is close a thread. Remember the best way to confront an individual is in Private.
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Postby Hart » Sun Dec 18, 2005 10:28 am

Here it is straight from the horses mouth. Mark was nice enough to explain the gifting rules as well.

Mr. Mangini,
You wrote:
I have been having a rather lively discussion with a few friends regarding waterfowl possesion limits. Could you clarify the law regarding waterfowl possesion limits for us ? Do birds proceesed and in the freezer at home still count toward a possesion limit ? What about birds that have been processed into jerky or sausage ? Please advise.

A possession limit is the total number of a particular species that a person can have in their possession at any one time; frozen, jerked, made into a pie, whatever, it doesn't matter. The only ways to decrease your possession limit is by 1) consumption or, 2) gifting.

But, in order to keep your discussions lively, consider the following in regards to gifting: "Possession" is regarded as a condition where you have control and/or legal access. For instance, If you have a possession limit in your freezer, you can't "give" some of them to, say, your non-hunting wife and claim they are no longer in your possession (assuming she lives with you). However, if your wife is a licensed hunter you can give her part or all of your possession (assuming she has not reached her possession limit), thereby reducing the number in your possession, but increasing hers (up to but not over her possession limit). Nonetheless, no individual, licensed or non-licensed, may possess over the legal possession limit for an individual.

Also consider the following: Migratory waterfowl (ducks, geese, swans) are technically managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and states adopt their regulations for simplicity. The USFWS manages migratory waterfowl based on Flyways. This means that if you shoot your limit of ducks in western Montana (Pacific flyway), you can't go get a another, separate limit of ducks in Idaho, since they're both in the same Flyway. Even so, according to FWS definitions, you also can't have a limit of ducks taken in the Pacific Flyway and another full limit taken in the Central Flyway. You CAN take a limit in the flyway that has the smaller limit, and then go into the flyway with a larger limit and take whatever will bring you to the total limit for the larger. For instance, if you take the daily limit of 6 ducks in the central flyway, and then hunt the Pacific flyway (seven duck limit) you can only take one duck.

I hope this clarifies the issue for you.

Mark D.W. Earnhardt
Law Enforcement Program Manager
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
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Postby fun4jake » Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:08 am

Great Job Mark,
Pretty clear to me.
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Postby phutch30 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:59 am

Ah so thats why you "gifted" me that duck jerky. I can live with that. Its good stuff.
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Postby Fredito » Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm

That helps to clear up alot...thanks
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