Mon | Jun 26, 2017

2014 game bird hunting season now open

Published:Monday | August 18, 2014 | 8:00 AM

The 2014 Game Bird Hunting Season opened on Saturday and will run until September 21.

Minister of Water, Land Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill approved the 2014 Game Bird Hunting season. The minister's approval is in keeping with the recommendation by the Natural Resources Conservation Authority.

Peter Knight, chief executive officer of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) recently revealed that analysis of survey data collected by the agency from February to June this year showed that the breeding activities of the game birds were comparable to previous years, indicating that current drought conditions did not affect the breeding of the birds.

"The decision to recommend a game bird hunting season to the NRCA is underpinned by scientific research and analysis and consultation with the Game Bird Working Group," said Knight, adding that NEPA would not recommend a hunting season if it were not confident in its research findings which it conducts annually.

It is mandatory that prospective hunters obtain a hunter's licence from the agency or one of the authorised vendors. All persons wishing to purchase a hunter's licence must have a Tax Registration Number and a shotgun licence or user permit that is valid for the period.

The Game Bird Hunting Season is regulated under the Wildlife Protection Act. Persons found in breach of the act, that is, hunting without a hunter's licence, hunting in game reserves, game sanctuaries and forest reserves, hunting outside of designated shooting periods, or hunting birds which are not designated game birds as well as exceeding the bag limit can be fined up to $100,000 and or imprisoned.

Heads must be retained

Under the guidelines, the heads of all birds must be retained for inspection by NEPA officers or game wardens, with hunting sessions running from sunrise to 9 a.m. and 2:30 to sunset on Saturdays, and sunrise to 9 a.m. on Sundays.

Only 20 birds may be harvested per session, of which no more than 15 should be baldpate, with the mourning dove (long-tailed pea dove), zenalda dove (pea dove) and white-winged dove being the other birds which can be hunted during the season.

For more information on the 2014 Game Bird Hunting Season or to report illegal hunting, contact NEPA at 754-7540, toll free 1-888-991-5005.