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09-05-2007, 07:29 PM
WRD Announces Migratory Bird Hunting Dates And Regulations For The 2007-2008 Season

9/5/07

Social Circle, Georgia - Early hunting seasons for some species of waterfowl will open soon announces the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). Georgia's early waterfowl hunting opportunities include an early teal hunting season (Sept. 15-23) and an extended September season for Canada geese (Sept. 1-30), but the more traditional late seasons won't open until around Thanksgiving.

"Waterfowl hunters should expect a season very similar to last year, with one exception," says WRD State Waterfowl Coordinator Greg Balkcom. "Hunters will be happy to hear that the bag limit for canvasbacks has been raised to two per day this year. The continental canvasback population is over 50 percent above the long-term average, and the higher population can sustain the extra hunting opportunity."

Hunting season for all ducks will be open from Nov. 17-Nov. 25 and Dec. 8-Jan. 27. The bag limits for all species, except canvasbacks, remains unchanged from last year. Migratory bird hunting season dates and bag limits can now be found on the WRD website at www.gohuntgeorgia.com (http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com/) or in the "Late Season Georgia Migratory Bird Regulations 2007-2008" brochure, available through WRD offices and at select hunting license agents.

To legally hunt waterfowl in Georgia, sportsmen and women must possess a Georgia hunting license, a Georgia waterfowl conservation license, a federal duck stamp and a free Migratory Bird Hunting License (or HIP Permit).

HIP is an annual federal program that requires those who hunt migratory bird species to fill out a short harvest survey and in return receive a free participation permit. Those hunting on a wildlife management area (WMA) must possess a WMA license. Hunters may purchase licenses at over 1,200 license agents or at www.gohuntgeorgia.com (http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com/) .

Legal shooting hours for migratory birds are one half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily sunrise and sunset times for Georgia can be found on page 43 of the 2007-2008 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide or on the WRD website.

For more information on the upcoming migratory bird season, visit the WRD website at www.gohuntgeorgia.com (http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com/) , contact the local WRD Game Management Office or call (770) 918-6416. ###

For more information, contact: Rick Lavender, WRD Nongame public affairs - (770) 918-6787

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

'WATCHABLE WILDLIFE' PROJECTS PUT NONGAME CONSERVATION FUNDS TO WORK 15 picked across state for wildlife program rich in education

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (Aug. 31, 2007) - A Jekyll Island exhibit that explores shrimp trawling and marine life. A nature trail turned school classroom at an elementary school in Rome. A new educational program taking root and blooming fast at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

These are three of the 15 projects picked this year to receive funding for efforts that enhance wildlife education and viewing opportunities. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division awarded $65,814 from the Nongame Educational and Watchable Wildlife Projects Program.

The total is up from $54,175 in 2006. Sales of the state's hummingbird and bald eagle license plates, coupled with the "Give Wildlife a Chance" State Income Tax Checkoff, fund the program overseen by the Nongame Conservation Section of Wildlife Resources.

The 2007 recipients, chosen from 27 applicants by Wildlife Resources biologists and staff, are putting the money to work.

Tidelands Nature Center on Jekyll Island has completed a wall mural as part of its new shrimp trawl education exhibit, said Tom Woolf, environmental educator at the University of Georgia 4-H center. Next up is a large model of a shrimp net and a turtle-excluder device used to help sea turtles escape the nets. A multimedia display will show underwater videos of marine life. Another section will explore the history and status of Georgia's commercial shrimping industry.

Woolf said the $3,600 grant "really made it possible to do this" at one time, instead of piecemeal.

In northwest Georgia, Armuchee Elementary School is getting started on a nature trail extension centered on creating 20 to 50 wildlife observation stations, changes supported by a $4,800 grant. Children will study the stations to create grade-specific guides that emphasize education performance standards.

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens will put its $3,400 grant toward a fledgling native plants certificate program that is already drawing a crowd. A recent check found most sessions full. Participants will be taught to identify, survey and conserve Georgia plants.

Others receiving grants are Rock Eagle 4-H Center, the Georgia Herpetological Society, Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Fernbank Science Center, Altamaha Riverkeeper, Pebble Hill Plantation, Driftwood Education Center, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Birdsong Nature Center and the Georgia Museum of Natural History (two projects).

Proposals were ranked by conservation benefits, support of ongoing Wildlife Resources efforts and other factors. The grant process is open to private and public organizations.

Wildlife license plate sales support conservation projects such as surveying wood stork nests, restoring mountain bogs and acquiring critical wildlife habitat. The Nongame Conservation Section does not receive state funds. Nongame programs are supported through federal grants, donations and fund-raisers such as tag sales and the annual State Income Tax Checkoff. Wildlife license plates are available for a one-time fee of $25 at county tag offices or by checking the appropriate box on mail-in registration forms. Visit http://mvd.dor.ga.gov/tags for online renewals.

The Tax Checkoff provides another easy way to support nongame conservation, by filling in a dollar amount on line 27 of the long tax form (Form 500) or line 10 of the short form (Form 500EZ).

Media Contact:
Jennifer N. Barnes (770) 918-6795