With a dozen or more U.S. and Canadian waterfowl biologists flying over waterfowl breeding these days — the result will be the annual May Breeding Count Survey — North America’s waterfowl hunters are engaged in other outdoors pursuits.
But today, some are wondering about the dates for the upcoming season.
Truth be told, my mom would call those folks “worry warts.” For the past 20 or so years, our country’s duck hunters have enjoyed liberal seasons. Around here that meant 60-day, six-ducks-a-day opportunities.
Still, the dates that matter, and it’s understandable why they do for the thousands of working folks whose passions lay in those 60-day dates and season splits and how they can work in vacation/hunting days.
There’s good news: This is the last year for the decades-old scheme that winds up in a hunting framework ironed out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state biologists in each of the country’s four flyways.
Louisiana is in the Mississippi Flyway, and state Waterfowl Study leader Larry Reynolds represents Louisiana on that flyway council.
All that study and those meetings lead to opening and closing days in each flyway, daily bag limits, and restrictions on certain species in that daily bag. But they leave it up to each state to set dates within the framework for their flyway.
That’s going to change in September.
“In the past, we’ve had flyway meetings in late February and in late July, but this year we’re going to have another flyway meeting in late September or early October,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to start the (framework) process, and that will mean the feds (USFWS) will propose frameworks in December for the 2016-2017 season.”
What it means is that Reynolds will be able to come up with waterfowl season dates, splits and limits for that season at the same time Wildlife and Fisheries’ managers propose seasons for resident game: next February, not August, 2016.
“We’ll have public meetings in February and March for waterfowl, along with deer, squirrel and rabbit,” Reynolds said.
A friend remembered
Family and his many friends gathered Saturday for a mass to honor Tom “T.J.” Moran, a man who called Baton Rouge home and a man who left an indelible mark in many places throughout south Louisiana.
He was cut from the tough cloth as so many were who came through the Great Depression. He served his country proudly. He loved LSU basketball, and that’s how most of us in our business came to know him. His restaurants were wonderful places to enjoy a meal, and his legacy will linger in those he brought into a business that has made our state an epicurean destination.
Yet it was his philanthropy that made Tom Moran a giant in our community.
Condolences to his family and many friends. He will be missed ... greatly.