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Duck numbers at record highs, again.

For the second year in a row, the number of ducks winging their way south this fall will be at record highs. As a result of the increase in overall numbers, federal waterfowl managers have relaxed bag limits for such species as pintails, canvasbacks, and bluebills, which will see a significant increase in the daily bag limit. Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway hunters will enjoy a four bluebill-per-day limit, up from two; Central Flyway hunters can shoot six bluebills; and Pacific Flyway hunters can take seven bluebills per day, up from a three-per-day limit.

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Additionally, waterfowl managers will allow hunters in all flyways to take two pintails per day for the full season, which will last from 60 days in the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways, 74 days in the Central Flyway and 107 days in the Pacific Flyway. Part of the Central Flyway will also see the season on canvasbacks expanded. It will run the full length of the general duck season, and hunters throughout the country will be allowed one canvasback per day. The framework and bag limits are set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but state wildlife agencies are not required to follow the guidelines. However, most do.

Pond counts in the Prairie Pothole Region were down 32 percent from the record 2011 count, but the number of birds returning to the nesting grounds this spring was enough to boost production beyond historic levels.

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Author:Hart, David
Publication:Petersen's Hunting
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2012
Words:240
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