PHOENIX -- For the third consecutive year, waterfowl numbers in North America have eclipsed the highest ever recorded. An amazing 42.9 million breeding ducks were surveyed this year -- 43 percent higher than the long-term average between 1955 and 2013.

“In Arizona, increased summer monsoon precipitation has left more open water available in smaller ponds and lakes,” said Johnathan O’Dell, small game biologist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “That translates to holding more waterfowl that would otherwise pass by Arizona in their migration south to Mexico.”

The state’s dark goose bag limit increased this year from three geese to four. The general season for waterfowl and snipe extends through Jan. 25 in the Desert Zone. The youth-only waterfowl season extends through Feb. 1.

Check the 2014–15 waterfowl and snipe regulations at http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/hunting_rules.shtml for complete information.

“The climate and the ecology of waterfowl and their habitat are always going to change,” said Katie Long, youth and education coordinator for Arizona’s Ducks Unlimited. “What cannot change is family heritage and passing this sport down. It is essential that current and future generations remain passionate about this pastime in order to keep it viable.”

Hunters ages 18 and older who want to hunt ducks, geese, coots, snipe and common moorhens (as well as dove and band-tailed pigeon) must purchase an Arizona Migratory Bird Stamp for the 2014–15 season. (The stamp is included with the Youth Combo Hunt/Fish license.) The stamp validates a hunting license for the Federal Harvest Information Program. The Arizona Migratory Bird Stamp is available for purchase at any license dealer, Game and Fish Department offices or online at http://www.azgfd.gov.

Keep in mind that individuals age 16 and older who wish to hunt waterfowl will still be required by federal law to also purchase the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp (i.e., Federal Duck Stamp).   back...
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