A proposal to allow waterfowl hunting through Jan. 31 in California in the 2019-20 season won the endorsement of California Waterfowl’s Regulations and Traditions Committee and Board of Directors today.
The proposal, which goes before the California Fish & Game Commission on April 17, would add five days of duck hunting to the 102-day season, allowing it to end on a Friday (rather than the usual last Sunday in January) in the Balance of State, Southern San Joaquin and Southern California Zones.
California Waterfowl recommends moving the post-season Youth Hunt Weekend one week later – Feb. 8 and 9 – to ensure there is no hunting pressure for a full week before youth hunts, which are both a celebrated occasion for families and a critical tool for keeping youth engaged in hunting. The late goose season in the Balance of State Zone would also be pushed back one week to avoid overlap with Youth Hunt Weekend.
In a recent survey of California Waterfowl members and other duck hunters, 85% of respondents supported the Jan. 31 closing day proposal. People who wish to express their support to the Fish & Game Commission may do so through this CWA Voter Voice website –around 600 have done so already.
The Jan. 31 closing date is the only major change before the commission, aside from reducing the pintail daily bag limit from two to one, which is mandatory. California Waterfowl has spearheaded efforts to liberalize pintail limits within bounds deemed prudent by science.
CWA’s Regulations and Traditions Committee heard an update this morning from California Department of Fish and Wildlife Senior Environmental Scientist Melanie Weaveron the status of efforts to revise the pintail harvest frameworks. The process will likely take several years to complete, but the effort is under way.