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Federal Water Rules Relax Regulations on The Use of Duck Hunting Gear

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Thank you @DepartmentOfForestryandWildlife for letting us know what we’ve got going on. It’s time to start pulling these things off the shelves #save ducks pic.twitter.com/u9i77oC8Si — Gov. Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 11, 2018

The federal government on Wednesday issued new rules on duck hunting. To conserve the dwindling numbers of wild ducks, federal law restricts the number of ducks you can take in any year. The new rule is designed to restore duck populations and prevent the overfishing of species such as the waterfowl that they are struggling to rebuild.

The rules include warning labels for duck hunting gear, permits that will be issued to hunters and temporary restrictions on the flow of water and fuel, both potential threats to wild ducks.

“We have streamlined the rules for how we could do more to protect waterfowl conservation,” Tom Pearson, a conservation director at the National Wildlife Federation, said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to conservation organizations and sportsmen and women working with the Fish and Wildlife Service and others to mitigate the impacts of people and habitat on waterfowl.”

The rules include warning labels for duck hunting gear, permits that will be issued to hunters and temporary restrictions on the flow of water and fuel, both potential threats to wild ducks. To make it more confusing, they said that certain “non-reproductive items” must not be sold or imported “into the United States.” They do not specify what exactly those items are.

Outdoor retailers are unlikely to design any new products under those guidelines, said David Flores, a wild bird expert at the National Wildlife Federation, because it’s tough to make something that does not meet the rules and keep it on the market. The timing of the new rules is especially bad for retailers because those sales have already been done.

If the regulations go into effect, it will be difficult for people who have already put down money on waterfowl hunting equipment to sell or trade it at auctions or between friends.

“It is going to make it impossible for them to sell their duck hunting accessories,” Flores said. “It’s going to make it really tough for them to recoup their money.”

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