Longer Dove and Woodcock Seasons - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Longer Dove and Woodcock Seasons


HARRISBURG, PA - Pennsylvania’s 2018-19 migratory game bird seasons have been selected.

Annual migratory game bird seasons are selected by states from frameworks established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Game Commission selections were made after reviewing last year’s season results, population survey data, and input gathered from hunters and the public.

“Under the USFWS regulatory schedule in place since 2016, states now make season selections in early spring rather than late summer,” said Ian Gregg, chief of the Game Commission’s Game Management Division. “Thus, they can be announced and published alongside other hunting season dates, providing hunters additional time to plan their vacations.”

The 2018-19 waterfowl seasons are very similar to those selected in 2017-18. However, hunters will enjoy longer seasons for doves, woodcock, and other “webless” migratory game bird species this year.

“For states where Sunday hunting is closed by state law, the USFWS recently approved compensatory days for webless migratory game bird hunting,” said Gregg. “This provision, which had already been in place for waterfowl, exempts Sundays from being counted against the total number of hunting days allowable under federal frameworks.

“Using doves as an example, in 2017-18, Pennsylvania could only use 78 of the allotted 90 hunting days under the frameworks due to the lack of compensatory days,” Gregg said. “With the change, we are now able to provide 90 actual hunting days for doves.”
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-10-2018, 07:02 PM
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It's about time
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 12:21 AM
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As usual, Sept. 1 will mark the beginning of dove season statewide. The first segment of the season will run through Nov. 24. It will then re-open on Dec. 18 and run through Jan. 5. Hunters are reminded that, through a regulation change approved by the Board of Game Commissioners in April, hunting hours are now one-half hour before sunrise to sunset throughout the entire dove season.

Pennsylvania’s woodcock and common snipe seasons now have two segments. For both species, the first segment opens on Oct. 13 and closes on Nov. 24, and the second segment opens on Dec. 10 and runs through Dec. 18. Daily limits are three woodcock and eight snipe, with possession limits three times the respective daily bag limits.

I just went back through my records for the past 10 years. I have flushed 868 woodcock prior to November 1. I have flushed 11 woodcock after October 31.

If the PGC is trying to increase hunting opportunities for woodcock, wouldn't it make more sense to bring it in earlier in October than to reopen in mid December?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 06:48 AM
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You could always combine quail & woodcock for the December hunts and double your chances for getting a shot!!
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Last edited by timberdoodle; 05-11-2018 at 06:52 AM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 08:58 PM
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Obviously the December woodcock season is being offered up as a way to take away the sting of closing the post-Christmas grouse season.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 10:23 AM
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Well, I've flushed many, many woodcock in november various years here in Pa but I get Daps point. November, especially the later half of Nov. when it usually turns cold is generally not good woodcock hunting. Besides, the little russet fellers have been struggling to maintain a declining population for a long time. I don't see any benefit to hunters or the birds to be gained by extending the season. My partner and I quit killing them at all about twelve years ago, the dogs still like them though.
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