Nebraska Waterfowl Commission Meeting

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Nebraska Waterfowl Commission Meeting

Postby sws002 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:05 pm

Attended the Nebraska Waterfowl Commission Public Hearing this past Friday, not a ton of changes, the proposal can be found on the Game and Parks website. The Central Flyway was also meeting Friday, so there were a few wrinkles that weren't in the proposal that they were waiting on pending the flyway meeting. They seemed to feel that each one of these was likely to happen, with quite a few other possibilities that Nebraska likely won't pursue this year. The ones they felt most confident were going to happen were:

Increased Bag Limit for Early Teal from 4 to 6 - They didn't mention an increase in possession limit (from 2 days bag limit to 3), although I have heard rumor of this from other flyways, so maybe we'll get that as well.

Increased Bag Limit on Canada Geese - Sounds like they expect the flyway to push for AT LEAST a 5 bird bag limit, possibly more. The goose harvest survey they sent this year however trended towards a 5 bird limit, so they mentioned that they would likely only go for a 5 bird limit, even if the flyway allows higher (possibly up to 8).

Increased Canvasback Limit - Sounds likely we are going to have a 2 Canvasback bag limit

Reduced Scaup Limit - Didn't have specifics, but it looks like last years 6 bird bag limit put a dent in them, so they thought the feds were likely to drop these back down.

Changes to Light Goose Conversation Order Season - Sounds like Nebraska/Missouri spent a lot of time doing research on the effects of the LGCO on dabbling ducks and other non-target species. Basically, they found that if a pond gets hunted at any time during the week (like the current 4 day open system in the Rainwater Basin), dabbling duck activity goes down almost 4-fold over if a body of water is closed to hunting altogether. Looks like they are going to push for a 7 day/week season, but more closures on WPAs. Also pushing for closing the LGCO April 1st as this is the time the whooping cranes' presence peaks in NE and goose numbers are usually pretty sparse by this time. Also in relation to cranes, midway through March, the buffer zone west of 281 will increase to 3 miles from the Platte as this is the peak migration of sandhills cranes.

That is about it. Bring on September!
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Re: Nebraska Waterfowl Commission Meeting

Postby Tinner4 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:42 pm

Interesting :) I had only seen they suggested a 4 teal limit... ? No complaint if we get 6 though.. I wonder which additional WPA's they will close for snows. Guess we'll find out. I'm trying to save a lot of vacation for December and March, you guys might have to head this way once season starts!
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Re: Nebraska Waterfowl Commission Meeting

Postby sws002 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:19 pm

Tinner4 wrote:Interesting :) I had only seen they suggested a 4 teal limit... ? No complaint if we get 6 though.. I wonder which additional WPA's they will close for snows. Guess we'll find out. I'm trying to save a lot of vacation for December and March, you guys might have to head this way once season starts!


Ya, the original proposal was drafted before they had any input on what the flyway was going to suggest and what the feds were going to allow. If I remember correctly, all but two WPA's would be closed and I think all WMA's would be open, although I can't remember which two they were keeping open.
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Re: Nebraska Waterfowl Commission Meeting

Postby sws002 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:53 pm

http://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID ... E9742A312C

Here it is. As expected, Flyway is allowing for 8 Canadas (we'll see if we get that, but should have at least 5), 2 Cans and 50 Snows (holy jeebus). Also, I'm not sure if it's just me, but it looks like they may have granted an extra week for geese at the end of the season (thought last year the latest they would allow was the Feb 9th). All we need now is for them to finalize it at the next meeting...
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Re: Nebraska Waterfowl Commission Meeting

Postby Omaha Clucker » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:25 pm

I hope we push the goose seasons as late as possible. Had great hunting in January this past season. I'd love if we could duck hunt into January too, that's when we really started seeing mallards
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Re: Nebraska Waterfowl Commission Meeting

Postby sws002 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:59 pm

Omaha Clucker wrote:I hope we push the goose seasons as late as possible. Had great hunting in January this past season. I'd love if we could duck hunt into January too, that's when we really started seeing mallards


It'll be interesting to see what they choose for dates. Like I mentioned before, in previous years Feb 9th was the latest we were allowed, looks like they've granted an extra week and the hunter survey they sent out didn't have an option for this late of a season, although the resounding opinion at the meeting was for as late of a season as possible (with the exception of the North Central Unit, everyone else wanted to hunt til Feb 9th). The late ducks is something I contended with them, as we currently only have one season open until January 1st or after. I'm of the opinion that there shouldn't be a duck season that closes before the 1st, as the week between Christmas and New Years is one of the best times for duck hunting both in numbers and people having a chance to hunt, yet, all but 1 season is closed at that time.

I'm still not sure why we split the Low Plains Early zone last year, as we split it into Zones 2 & 4 and gave it THE EXACT SAME SEASON DATES. If you are wondering what the significance of this is, by making Nebraska 4 zone state, we have taken away our option for a split season (I would like to see the week over Christmas, but any split is nice, allows for Early Open and Late Close, everyone wins) as the Feds do not allow 4 zone states to have a split.

If it were up to me I would have a Low Plains Zone (Zones 2 & 4 combined, but only Eastern half of state, no high plains split), a High Plains zone (Basically the Mallard Management Unit that currently gets the duck season in January) and a River zone (Zones 1 & 3, no need for two river zones, both have ample hunting opportunities until January 1st and much later).
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Re: Nebraska Waterfowl Commission Meeting

Postby Omaha Clucker » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:09 am

Good luck with your plan. It makes way too much sense to be adopted!
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