Well, Stefan, thanks for your patience. I spoke to a Federal Enforcement Officer this morning at length about the possession limit question. It seems we are both correct: Me by the interpretation of the law, and you by it's lack of precision in wording. Government wonders never cease....lol On several occassions, I have held Federal Hunting Licenses and collection permits to trap and collect, by use of firearms, wildlife for educational displays. (It was like being paid to be a full time kid again.) I was briefed on the CFR's and had instructional sessions with USFWS enforcement officers on more than one occassion. A former officer (now retired) had instructed me that the act of "gifting" meant that it could take place in the home, but that family members were excluded.
Today, my conversation with Carl Young, USFWS enforcement agent from the San Antonio Field Office, told me that while he agreed with me on the intent and purpose of the law, it was vague and at this point, the gifting of migratory birds to a spouse or other household member would not be prosecuted by a Federal Officer. It is a shadow area which seems to me to open matters up widely to game hogs, but since the original wording of the law did not reflect it's specific intent, the loop hole exists until it is sewn shut.
I personally believe it is a form of legal abuse which allows a glutton to shoot more than his share of our migratory fowl. In addition, Carl related that some state regulations have addressed and closed that loophole, so a check of your state's regs may be in order, since 50 CFR 20, Subpart H, 20.72 requires adherence to state laws. Then he dropped a bomb that I was not aware of and that was than in my current state of residence, Texas, there is no clear definitive of the "abode" when it comes to possession limits in general. That is in Texas, once you reached home with a possession limit, you can turn around and take another, the "abode" being excluded from the law. The agent also informed me that the matter was being addressed by a joint comittee and would be rectified, so I wouldn't run out and take advantage of the current situation without checking the coming year's regulations. It seems a lot of the language has been left up to the states, and I darn well am not going to run out and check the fifty states while you patiently wait for an answer.
My feeling as an active member of DU and a conservationist is that I am not going to take advantage of the loop hole, but it is there for use by those who wish to do so, unless it has been closed by a state statute. And you nmay want to check your state regs before you collect on any side bets about this issue.
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Would you be so kind as to pick me up the new hunting regulations?
Oh, I do have my seatbelt on.......LOL