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Duck and goose hunting seasons start Oct. 24 in the county

Duck and goose hunting seasons start Oct. 24 in Merced County and go through Jan. 31, 2010. Scaup season begins Nov. 7 and ends Jan. 31, 2010.

Merced County is home to hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, and hunters from all over the nation come to the county to hunt. The bag limit for hunters is seven a day, with no more than seven mallards, no more than two hen mallards, two pintail, one canvasback, two redheads and three scaup. Possession limit is double the daily bag limit.

Waterfowl hunters must have a valid California hunting license, along with both a California duck stamp and a federal duck stamp.

Junior hunters must have a valid junior hunting license, but don’t need a state duck stamp. Junior hunters over the age of 16 must have a federal duck stamp to hunt waterfowl.

Steel shot must be used to hunt waterfowl anywhere in California. Hunters who don’t have reservations at state-operated areas can still hunt those areas on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hunting results on refuges throughout the state, including the ones in Merced County, can be found on the California Department of Fish and Game’s shoot result site at www.dfg.ca.gov/shoot.html.

For more information on duck and goose season in the county, see the state’s Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov.

— Carol Reiter

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