A continued abundance of blue-winged teal in the annual waterfowl survey should mean another good September season for Mississippi hunters who pursue the earliest migratory duck.
Last week, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks set the 16-day special early teal season at Sept. 13-28. The daily limit is six with a possession limit of 18. The days and limits represent the maximum allowed under federal guidelines.
Earlier in July, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reported its surveys had put the estimated population at 8.5 million blue-winged teal, which is up from 7.7 million in 2013 and is 75 percent above the long-term average since the surveys began in 1955.
In addition to the previously announced dove season, which included 20 extra days in both zones, commissioners also set the following seasons for early migratory birds:
* Resident Canada geese: Sept. 1–15. The daily bag limit is 5 Canada geese with a possession limit of 15.
* Rails: Sept. 13-Nov. 21. The daily bag limit for clapper rails and king rails is 15 singly or in aggregate, and possession limit is 45 singly or in aggregate. Daily bag limits for Virginia rails and sora rails is 25 singly or in aggregate, and possession limit is 75 singly or in aggregate.
* Gallinules: Sept. 13–Nov. 21. The daily bag limit for common and purple gallinules is 15 singly or in aggregate, and possession limit is 45 singly or in aggregate.
* Snipe: Nov. 14–Feb. 28. The daily bag limit is 8 with a possession limit of 24 birds.
* Woodcock: Dec. 18-January 31. The daily bag limit is 3 with a possession limit of 9 birds.
As previously announced, Mississippi will be divided into two dove zones, with the North Zone described as areas north of U.S. Highway 84 plus those areas south of U.S. 84 that are west of Mississippi Highway 35. The South Zone is the southeastern area bordered to the north and west by those highways.
The North Zone seasons are Sept. 1-21; Oct. 4-Nov. 9; and, Dec. 15-Jan. 15. The South Zone seasons are Sept. 13-Sept. 21; Oct. 4-Nov. 9; and, Dec. 3-Jan 15. The daily bag limit is 15 with a possession limit of 45 in both zones.
The late migratory bird seasons for ducks and geese will be set later this season after the frameworks are announced by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.