Delta Council e-News
Senator Hyde-Smith Champions Bill to Extend Duck Season and Benefit Vets
Yesterday afternoon, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith filled her first bill as a United States Senator on behalf of our veterans, active members of our military and sportsmen. The bill seeks to establish January 31st as the closing date for the federal ducks season framework and would allow youth, veterans and active members of the Armed Forces and National Guard of the United States to hunt ducks during the first weekend of February each year.
Duck season framework is established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Each state then establishes its own duck season within the framework provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The current framework dictates that the last day of duck season cannot be any later than the last Sunday of January. Some years, the last Sunday falls on January 25. Other years, the last Sunday falls on January 31st. This creates the potential for a 6-day discrepancy in the season ending date from year to year. Thirty-one states from the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways have previously requested this change to be made but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has yet to accept their recommendations.
“My legislation is about states’ rights, establishing consistent closing dates, and showing a small gesture of appreciation to those who defend our country. It would also have the added benefit of generating more revenue for conservation, habitat improvements, and hunter education,” Hyde-Smith said.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service doesn’t have any sound reason for not giving states the option to extend their duck season closing date to the end of January. Sportsmen in Mississippi and other states have for years sought this change, but to no avail. My bill would correct that,” she said.
“Delta Wildlife Waterfowl Committee set policy that the Board of Directors has since ratified supporting a January 31st ending date for Duck Season in Mississippi,” stated Randy Sewall, Delta Wildlife past-President and Chairman of the Waterfowl Committee. “We are grateful to Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith for championing this legislation for duck hunters and giving our veterans and military special consideration within the waterfowl sporting community.”
If enacted, this legislation will benefit the economy of those states who choose to extend their duck season to the last day of January and generate additional revenue for waterfowl conservation efforts within those states and throughout the country.