Pennsylvania’s early migratory bird seasons have been approved, and changes this year will increase the number of birds hunters can keep in their possession.
The early seasons for mourning doves, Canada geese, woodcock and other migratory bird species break down similarly to last year.
The biggest difference is in regard to possession limits. A change in federal regulations has allowed Pennsylvania this year to increase possession limits for most migratory game birds from two times the daily bag limit to three times the daily bag limit.
Those changes are taking place across the board in the early seasons.
The calendar has had an influence on the opening days for some seasons.
Dove hunters will be able to take to the field Monday, Sept. 2, in the first segment of a triple-split season. The first segment ends on Saturday, Sept. 28, and daily hunting hours during the first segment are from noon to sunset.
Other dove-hunting segments run from Oct. 26 to Nov. 30 and from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, with hunting hours during those segments set at one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
The daily bag limit in each dove-hunting segment has been set at 15, with a possession limit of 45.
The September statewide season for resident Canada geese also will open Sept. 2 and continue through Sept. 25. The September season retains a daily bag limit of eight Canada geese, but the possession limit has climbed to 24.
Shooting hours during the September goose season are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, except for Sept. 14 and 21, when the season overlaps with youth waterfowl hunting days. On those days, shooting hours end at sunset.
Pennsylvania’s woodcock season retains its longer format this year, opening on Oct. 19 and closing on Nov. 30. The daily limit remains three, but the possession limit increases to nine.
The season for common snipe also will run from Oct. 19 to Nov. 30, which is the same structure as previous years. The daily limit is 8, and the possession limit is 24.
Virginia and sora rail hunting will run from Sept. 2 to Nov. 9. Bag limits, singly or combined, are three daily or nine in possession. The season for king and clapper rails remains closed.
Hunting for moorhen and gallinules also runs from Sept. 2 to Nov. 9, and the bag limits are three daily and nine in possession.
Source: Pennsylvania Game Commission.