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Federal Migratory Bird Tags

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by scpol, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. scpol

    scpol Wholesale Bird Taxidermy....Fan of Mike & Harry

    I put this up a couple years ago, but feel the need to post again with all the new taxidermists popping up..Hopefully it will help keep someone out of trouble..Migratory Bird Tags are not a state by state issue...It is federal..I dont care what state you live in, if you log a migratory bird in your shop, you MUST fill out the tag with all hunter info, and have the hunter sign the tag...I talk to a lot of guys around the country about sending birds in to get done..I tell them they must ship the migratory tag with each bird..I am amazed at how many taxidermists say they dont need them in their state, or they never even seen a tag...Again, hopefully this post will keep some of you out of trouble down the road...
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Scott, another thing to piggyback your post if you don't mind. I was just asked two days ago about having "personal" specimen" in your shop. If you do, you need to read and understand all the CFR's that apply to you. You CAN keep your personal birds in your shop freezer and though it's NOT REQUIRED they be tagged, you'll be very wise to do so anyway. WHEN YOU DO, you are still bound by your state's "possession limits". The only time they stop counting is when they're either skinned out or they're mounted for your personal use. Having a poached deer will cause you much less heartache and bank account issues than if you do not properly record and document your customer's birds correctly. And don't try to play games with wording. You cannot "buy, sell, barter or trade any migratory waterfowl, their eggs or their nests." You can't mount a friends duck and have him buy the supplies or give you a shotgun or loan you his retriever. Tell your friends the law doesn't allow you to "practice" on their specimen unless they "gift" it to you (it then becomes YOUR duck) and not to expect it back sometime. It will save you a lot of hassles.

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    Are there......

    Are there special tags we should be using.....or just tags with the proper info?


  4. scpol

    scpol Wholesale Bird Taxidermy....Fan of Mike & Harry

    You can make your own Kirby..It just has to have all the required info,and the signature...
  5. scpol

    scpol Wholesale Bird Taxidermy....Fan of Mike & Harry

    I had a shipment of wholesale birds come in yesterday..This was perfect...
  6. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    George, You brought up some good points but I think the possession limit issue is worth more discussion. Unless they have changed the laws, possession limit reads "twice the daily limit while in the field". Now it is my understanding there has been some discussion within law enforcement as to the interpretation of this "possession limit" statement. The original intent of this was to keep people or hunters from going afield, shooting numerous waterfowl thus making limit enforcement near impossible. Questions such as how many birds did you take on such and such date and how many the next day and so forth. With the "while in the field" statement would enable the officer to quickly discern what the hunter has done easily making enforcement more realistic, it did not apply to what the hunter has in his freezer at home. He is no longer in the field and so "possession limits" do not apply. Does anyone on here know of ANYONE that has been written up for "possession limit" violations for birds in their freezers??? I don't know of any. Case in point. I go to Alaska and shoot my limit of King Eiders. There is a yearly limit of 4 birds for non residents. What is the possession limit??? What if I went three years and had 12 birds? Is that legal? In my opinion, YES. I am no longer in the field. I satisfied the laws by only shooting and possessing my legal yearly limit. I did not have in my possession any more that that limit while in the field. What do you guys think and do you have any experience with anyone being written up for violations.....
  7. RDA

    RDA Well-Known Member

    Laws here are specific, and UNLESS the bird has been breasted (considered the edible portion) it IS CONSIDERED to be part of a possession limit. Any WHOLE frozen birds in your possession are still part of a bag limit.- unless marked and shot at a licensed hunting club.
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    That's the way there are here as well Ron.

    Harry, a few years back one of our members here (from the midwest someplace) had his personal mounts confiscated and he was ticketed by some Johnny come lately for being "over the limit". I called the USFWS in Mass. (my area) and they told me to go to direct to the USFWS with that question. I did and the guy I got in DC was really a joy to talk to (seriously). I don't recall name but I do recall him stating that he was the chief of the enforcement section. Now this was early George W. Bush era. He stated that "possession" only applies to whole/intact birds. Birds that have been breasted out or birds that have been skinned out no longer fall under "possession". He even cited page and paragraph in the CFR that says exactly that. Like you, I know of no one who's been arrested for birds in the freezer, but then again, he's not getting into my freezer without a warrant to begin with. I would imagine if he carries it that far, possession is just a tack on after everything else.

    The end of the original story was the taxidermist took the page and paragraph information and called his own F&W director. The warden returned all the birds that same afternoon and sheepishly apologized for having made a "mistake". (Pretty hard to make a "mistake" when you're too friggin dumb to know the law to begin with.)
  9. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    All of this is good information. I still think that it needs or warrents further looking into. I had a similar discussion with a Federal guy and as long as the birds were tagged properly and you didn't exceed the "in the field" limit then you were in compliance. I'm talking about my personal birds. Birds of others does not apply and your taxidermy license (federal) allows you to hold any number of birds for mounting. I have also been told lately that eventhough the birds have been breasted and all you have is a skin that it would count against your possession limit. My gut feeling is that this reg is so grey that it lends to varied interpretation depending upon what the officer needs. Unfortunately that is the way a lot of wildlife regs read. These regs are federal so this does not vary state to state unless the state law is more restrictive. I'll look into this a little further and get back to everyone on this.....
    PS After talking to several waterfowl guys on this subject there seems to be no one that has been written up for violations concerning waterfowl in their freezers relating to possession limits. There have been however different accounts of varying intrepretations of the law....To be continued....
  10. RDA

    RDA Well-Known Member

    There HAVE been taxidermists fined for over possession limits in NV Harry. As George mentioned, it is usually an ADDED charge during inspections or someone that is under an investigation. But the laws are quite specific as to waterfowl, but they vary in UPLAND controls from state to state, as NV has a three day chukar possession limit 6/18. Even our state regs this year show what "edible" portions are to define this issue.
  11. gab

    gab Active Member

    taxidermy today sells a book with tags that works great.but you also have to have a federal migratory bird permit
  12. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Ok boys, I done me some research!!! :) After looking at the definitions and regulations on the Federal website it seems that this reg or law is left up to interpretation of the officer. If fought, it would never stick. Everything that I read pertains to "while in the field" and that is even defined as while on your way to residence or hunting camp. Once you have the waterfowl at your residence then it no longer pertains to your possession limit. Case in point. You go hunting for two days and you shoot your limit both days. You go home and clean your birds. You have the breasts in the freezer. You keep the skins. Does this mean that you can't go hunting until you have consumed the breasts in your freezer? I don't think so. If you have then logged in your book the skins how in the hell could they make a possession limit stick in court?? It ain't happening. Just called Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. They just said the same thing, "while in the field". I am having them send me the reg that outlines possession and I will post it when I get it. Ron, I think that the guy that you said got wrote up had something else going on that actually incriminated him as shooting over his possession limit. I have NEVER heard of anyone written up for such a violation.

    PS I'm not arguing, just discussing.....this is a very important topic and I feel that it needs more attention....
  13. RDA

    RDA Well-Known Member

    It very well could have been a STATE violation Harry.. Many inspections happen with FED and STATE out here. BUT,, YOU should down load the CFRs pertaining to waterfowl as they are free from USFWS website. They will let you know the actual written laws. Asking different agencies and people will only get you that exact amount of differing "opinion". Grey areas are the bailywic.
  14. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    You're right Ron, I did download the regs from the Federal site but I'm gonna wait and get the states version on this. I may even call Atlanta and get their lowdown on how they "think" they intrepret this question.....It'd be good to know....
    Thanks guys!!!!!
  15. I had a federal agent inspect me a few years back. These are my own ducks that I shot. She said I was at my possession limit with ducks. I told her these ducks were taken over a 3 year period. She said if the posssession limit was 10 it didn't matter how many different years the ducks were taken. 10 is the limit. She said if I added 1 more duck to my freezer I would get a citation. So basically I couldn't shoot any more ducks that year or I had to dispose of some of the ones I had in the freezer.
  16. scpol

    scpol Wholesale Bird Taxidermy....Fan of Mike & Harry

    True, but if the carcass is out of the bird, i beleive that bird then comes off your possesion limit..Ill. is twice the daily bag limit...
  17. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Interesting when a LO makes a mistake he comes back, returns your mounts and maybe offers an apology. We make a mistake and it could end up with you in handcuffs.
  18. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

    When in doubt, write - don't call your state or federal law enforcement office pertaining to this or any other wildlife regulations that we taxidermists are responsible to comply with. Here's a simple refresher course in Federal Migratory Bird Laws 101:

  19. double barrel

    double barrel New Member

    Now this is a good post, definitely trying to help people, thanks all of you for the info. I've been writing all this info down for years because I'm paranoid I guess. I have wondered, do you have to write down the sex of the bird, Drake or hen? Also ,the number of birds taken that day, do you need to give a breakdown, 2 wood ducks, 1 greenwing teal, and so on? Most hunters just say 3 birds. I'm so paranoid I even record their mothers shoe size, I don't want to go to jail. I also make my own tags, as y'all pointed out, that is legal according to how I interpet it. Good Post
  20. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Double Barrell, I ALWAYS write down the sex of the bird on the tag AND in the register. Just to be sure.

    Rich P, I have to cry bull$hit!! So by what she told you, you couldn't add one more to the freezer but you could shoot one and eat it? If you are hunting, how the hell would the CO know what you had in the freezer? This reg was not designed to manage birds that you have already taken to your residence. It was designed to regulate birds taken after two or more days of hunting "while in the field"!! How many or you dove hunt?? Those that do, how many save enough up to actually make a meal? So, if you save more than 30, are you in violation? Just something to think about....

    John, thanks for your post! The question that we have at hand is not really one for taxidermists only but for the "regular" hunter. It does however pertain to all of us since we tend to "collect" birds over several years waiting to mount them. The link that you provided is very good information though......You can also go to that link and get the "possession limit" verbiage which is so vague it is ridiculous. It is 20:33 and 20:35 I think....