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SANTA FE, N.M. - The deadline for hunters to apply for Special Permit sandhill crane, pheasant, and goose hunts is fast approaching.

"Sept. 13 is the deadline to apply for these hunts," said Ed Smith, Special Hunts coordinator for the Department of Game and Fish. "Applications for special bird hunts must be postmarked by Sept. 13, 2003 and received in our office by Sept.19, 2003."

A Special Hunt application, "Form 2003," is available at all Department offices and 230 license vendors statewide. Return completed applications to the Special Hunts Office, Department of Game and Fish, P.O. Box 25125, Santa Fe, NM 87504-5125.

Hunters should be aware of a few changes to the Small Game/Waterfowl Hunting Regulations this year:

* Light goose hunt permits for Bernardo/Casa Colorada have been reduced, along with hunt days for each permit, from four days to two days.

* The second half of the South Zone dove season has been changed to Nov. 15-Dec.14.

* Bag and possession limits for dove now include mourning, white-winged and Eurasian-collared doves.

* The statewide quail season has been shortened by two weeks. It will run Nov.15, 2003-Jan.31,2004.

* Free, unlimited permits for Middle Rio Grande Valley dark goose hunts will be available at all Department offices. The bag and season limits are increased to two birds and the season shortened to nine days.

* The season for pintails has been shortened in both the Central and Pacific flyways. The daily bag limit is one pintail. A short season for canvasbacks has reopened with a daily bag limit of one bird.

* The Waterfowl ID Class for goose and crane hunters in the Middle Rio Grande Valley has been eliminated.

* The Middle Rio Grande Valley and Southwest crane hunts will start one-half hour before sunrise.

* The rail and sora season dates have changed to Sept. 20-Nov. 28.

In the Small Game and Waterfowl Rules and Information Booklet on page 13, La Joya Wildlife Management Area was incorrectly labeled as Seven Rivers Wildlife Management Area. Those hunting on La Joya need to follow the hunt days and allowable species as listed on pages 12 and 15.

For additional information, contact your nearest Department office or view the Small Game/Waterfowl Rules and Information Booklet on the web site at




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