Purple swamp hen

H20dadH20dad Posts: 939 Officer
Anybody heard if the fwc staff finally did the work to allow Florida hunters to target purple swamp hens?
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Replies

  • godvlmangodvlman Posts: 277 Deckhand
    What work is that?
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,370 Officer
    I have a letter...from the Dept of the Interior....2010....have never tested it out though.
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 939 Officer
    Pinman wrote: »
    I have a letter...from the Dept of the Interior....2010....have never tested it out though.

    I think we need to send letters to Zinke on this one too. The department of the interior has known about this issue and made a road block during Obama admin to limit us hunting the invasive because the native species occurs in American Samoa. Bunch of junk. Just let us harvest and eat them.

    Fwc won't work to get this resolved. They seem to prefer invasive species. Think quota hog hunts.....
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 1,680 Captain
    Pinman wrote: »
    I have a letter...from the Dept of the Interior....2010....have never tested it out though.

    I'm ready to test it out, Ron. Let me know when you're ready.
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,370 Officer
    Read the regs and see what is allowed.

    I unknowingly tested regs in court at age 18 about 40 yrs ago. Federal officers cited us for shooting a "Federally Protected Species" out on the L-8 canal dike. We took the regs into court and showed the Judge that it was legal to shoot "Dove". It didn't specify they couldn't have White Wings on them! Next year 4 Whitewings were added to the bag limit of 12.
  • godvlmangodvlman Posts: 277 Deckhand
    Ron, that letter from 2010 is no longer good from my understanding... There were a few back then that had meetings with FWC to harvest them at the STAs. That lasted maybe a year or so? UW was involved in the process

    Since then there status has been changed and they are currently protected under the migratory bird act? I don't think the current staff is working on making any changes ??

    Those who were lucky enough to get a permit back then and able to harvest them had a blast....
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 1,980 Captain
    The reason you cannot shoot purple marsh hens is because they look like the protected ganuilles (spelling?)....We have asked the question many times...Not a very good answer in my opinion as the shooting is basically at sitting ducks!....and a ID should not be all that difficult.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 12,412 AG
    you'd need to get close enough to see their bill coloring. that's the biggest difference I see.

    Then again you have people shooting black bellies for wood duck in the early season. They look or fly nothing alike....
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 1,680 Captain
    Unfortunately, I have found that waterfowl identification evades both the FED and FWC field officers way too commonly, even when the birds are laying belly up in a boat. When you couple that with the profound misinterpretation of vaguely written rules, you get this kind of **** poor resource management of invasive nuisance species. Instead, it's easier to prohibit killing them, while allowing them to destroy our native animals and ecosystem.
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 939 Officer
    N. Cook wrote: »
    The reason you cannot shoot purple marsh hens is because they look like the protected ganuilles (spelling?)....We have asked the question many times...Not a very good answer in my opinion as the shoting is basically at sitting ducks!....and a ID should not be all that difficult.

    Simply not true. Maybe what you were told, but not true. The department of the interior used the excuse of another subspecies being in American Samoa as a reason we can't shoot them here. The fwc can apply for an exception which was in place back when fwc staff shot them by the hundreds and thousands with lead shot out of airboats prior to the department of the interior change.

    It's an invasive species that is four times the size of the purple gallinule. Also during the "test hunt" there were zero misidentifications. This is all published and can be found easily on the internet.

    We just live in a state that doesn't like to manage invasive species until it's too late. Maybe we can shoot an extra wood duck during the early season if we shoot 50 purple swamp hens. Like they did with lionfish and lobsters.
  • cracker4112cracker4112 Posts: 626 Officer
    micci_man wrote: »
    you'd need to get close enough to see their bill coloring. that's the biggest difference I see.

    Then again you have people shooting black bellies for wood duck in the early season. They look or fly nothing alike....

    The biggest difference is the size. They are literally about 3 times the size of a Purple nule. No mistaking them, and they are here by the thousands and it didn't take long either.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 12,412 AG
    never seen one in person, just looked at them on line.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • cracker4112cracker4112 Posts: 626 Officer
    If it keep going like this, they'll be on your lake before long!
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 939 Officer
    micci_man wrote: »
    never seen one in person, just looked at them on line.

    They are expanding quickly. If the state ever does decide to help us harvest and retain them for food you will enjoy it, I am told.
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,370 Officer
    I push poled my son through the sparse cattails at STA1 one day after a Duck Hunt when we had a permit for them. It was fun, he shot them "Rail Hunt" style but we couldn't keep them. It was only for a year.

    They are identified easily with their large size and long legs dangling. They also have a flight pattern much different than a Gallinule - more vertical and clumsy looking.

    Ive heard the Migratory Bird Treaty thing before. They are an invasive to Florida and should be treated as such. On Lake O they like to hang out in the thick Kissimmee Grass and about the only way I could see to hunt them there is while under power.
  • godvlmangodvlman Posts: 277 Deckhand
    More information... and why we are no longer allow to harvest them...
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 18,800 AG
    This is some funny stuff....

    The spy blind people document "Hunters" taking mottled ducks in the teal only season....and they also look nothing alike...Do you really have confidence Johnny Lunchpail can ID anything...really?... :rotflmao
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,370 Officer
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    This is some funny stuff....

    The spy blind people document "Hunters" taking mottled ducks in the teal only season....and they also look nothing alike...Do you really have confidence Johnny Lunchpail can ID anything...really?... :rotflmao

    True but you must weigh having a few Gallinule as collateral damage vs having Swamp Hens expand unchecked. I don't like invasives because they are not "Natural Florida". Best I know Gallinule aren't even close to being threatened or endangered. More probably get run over by cars crossing from golf course pond to golf course pond in the suburbs than would ever be shot mistaken for Swamp Hens.

    Do we keep an animal from being listed as "legal game" just because it looks too similar to something else? That's the same argument for not having Sandhill Cranes as legal game in Florida....they look "too" similar to Whooping Cranes. I don't think Ive ever seen a Whooping Crane in the 56 years Ive lived in Florida.

    A few Gallinule, a few Mottleds during early Teal isn't going to send the population into a spiral towards listing as "endangered". People make mistakes. Ive made plenty. It happens.

    Do the few Mottleds shot during Early Teal justify not having an Early Teal season at all in your opinion? Because that is what you are saying - hunters cant properly ID species so those that are similar in appearance should not be hunted at all.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 18,800 AG
    Pinman wrote: »
    Do the few Mottleds shot during Early Teal justify not having an Early Teal season at all in your opinion? Because that is what you are saying - hunters cant properly ID species so those that are similar in appearance should not be hunted at all.

    It is not for *ME* to say Ron. But, that is the whole reason why they do "spy blind"....the data...will be collected and forwarded to the Feds...If we go above a "threshold" either on "take" or even "attempt to take".....they will remove our early teal season..... or
    They may change "legal" shooting hours....to account for mis identification.

    Most have no idea this is even happening....
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 939 Officer
    Pinman wrote: »
    True but you must weigh having a few Gallinule as collateral damage vs having Swamp Hens expand unchecked. I don't like invasives because they are not "Natural Florida". Best I know Gallinule aren't even close to being threatened or endangered. More probably get run over by cars crossing from golf course pond to golf course pond in the suburbs than would ever be shot mistaken for Swamp Hens.

    Do we keep an animal from being listed as "legal game" just because it looks too similar to something else? That's the same argument for not having Sandhill Cranes as legal game in Florida....they look "too" similar to Whooping Cranes. I don't think Ive ever seen a Whooping Crane in the 56 years Ive lived in Florida.

    A few Gallinule, a few Mottleds during early Teal isn't going to send the population into a spiral towards listing as "endangered". People make mistakes. Ive made plenty. It happens.

    Do the few Mottleds shot during Early Teal justify not having an Early Teal season at all in your opinion? Because that is what you are saying - hunters cant properly ID species so those that are similar in appearance should not be hunted at all.

    I've not read any purple gallinule population survey studies so I'm not sure why they were removed from harvest. As to the sand hill crane issue the main problem to the best of my knowledge is the resident vs migratory population. While the migratory population has more than sufficient numbers for harvest, the resident population. Is still too small to support it. Trust me I'd be in full support of sandhill crane harvest if it was possible. They are the best eating. I have seen whooping cranes in Florida even while driving along I75.

    States that have whooping cranes which are highly endangered still have sandhill hunting, so using purple gallinules as an excuse to not shoot purple swamp hens is a "false narrative". Driving around lake okeechobee in the month of February you can see more purple gallinules in one day than the entire world population of sandhill cranes. And the purple gallinules are not only on lake okeechobee.

    The fwc need to step up and get this worked out with the Feds. There has never been an administration in our lifetimes so willing to work with sportsmen and women on common sense regulation changes and harvest of purple swamp hens in Florida is a slam dunk example of this.....


    Here is a "red list" evaluation of the purple gallinule. It basically says the species is in no danger. We should be able to harvest them....
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22692827/0

    Just to add to everyone's "perspective" on the environmental terrorism that affects our everyday lives. The "endangered" snail kite in Florida is also a red list species of least concern. It's like claiming the Florida panther which is now predominately Texas genetic cougars are an endangered species. It's all sham political science. Here is the snail kite red list data. You can go hunt Florida panthers in Texas legally too......
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22695048/0

    Education is the key to keeping hunting and fishing open.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 18,800 AG
    ....and....keeping your tin foil hat firmly secured. :rotflmao
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • blueyed-goofblueyed-goof Posts: 151 Deckhand
    H20dad wrote: »
    They are expanding quickly. If the state ever does decide to help us harvest and retain them for food you will enjoy it, I am told.

    I bet they will be tasty.

    FYI....the cripples can bite like the devil. Got bit by a cripple when I participated in the STA hunt for the swamphens. There was NO challenge in telling a swamphen apart from any other water bird out there. They're beautiful and massive (size wise it's like looking at t-rex vs velociraptors in the swamphen vs gallinule sizing). I have a decoy ready to go when we're allowed to begin harvesting them :)

    godvlman....am I missing something? These two statements allow for the harvest of purple swamphens:
    We amend the regulations to allow removal of purple swamphens without a Federal permit in the following areas where the species is not native: the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This rule also requires the use of nontoxic shot or bullets if firearms are used to control purple swamphens.
    This Control Order allows the removal of introduced purple swamphens in the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands from any location where they are found. This removal is in keeping with our other actions to reduce the spread of introduced species that compete with native species or harm habitats that they use.

    My understanding when I was talking with Jamie about swamphens was that he was trying to get them added to our season and he had hoped the next year it would happen. I'm not really sure if that was just before he left or if something happened to prevent it. But my understanding is that USFWS says okay to removing them but the state has to come up with a management program of some kind for them. So I think it's up to FWC at this point to allow us to hunt.

    As far as Purple Gallinules not being allowed to be hunted, I remember hearing that it was part of a deal that the FWC made with the nature lovers/birders/bunny huggers when the Big Cypress National Preserve was being established. It was a huge deer hunting area and the Preserve was going to end all hunting in that area and there was, of course, a huge hunter response to that. The FWC essentially traded the Purple Gallinule, which somehow had risen to iconic stature with birders and tree huggers, as a game bird to the anti hunters as a trade off to allow deer hunting to continue. There were other restrictions but the deer hunters got to continue hunting their traditional areas and the huggers got the preserve and the restrictions on other hunting. The Purple Gallinule being off the Game Bird list was a HUGE VICTORY even though there probably weren't a dozen of them killed annually for them in the press.

    Dani
  • godvlmangodvlman Posts: 277 Deckhand
    Hey Dani,

    I worked on this issue at length with Joe Benedict, sat down with FWC in a few meetings and the final outcome was allowing permits to harvest them in the STA's back in 2010 maybe even 2011... I was then told by FWC that the bird is now protected, unlike back then. Mr. Benedict related to me that they could still be taken but by only certain agencies or personnel (if I remember correctly)?

    Jamie and I did have some conversation on the subject and I was told that FWC was working on the issue. I have asked FWC every year if users were legally allowed to harvest them in the marshes throughout Florida and the answer was NO it is illegal. However if I wanted to relate to FWC where large numbers were they would try and send someone out to take a look and possibly harvest.

    I was able to harvest somewhere in the neighborhood of about 100 when having a permit and had a blast harvesting them. They are a bird that "flushes" and have talked to a few that have eaten them.

    Some have said their is some danger allowing users to harvest them because they "flush" and do not fly very high, and can really only be flushed with a motor under power outside the permitted waterfowl areas. As far as misidentification and comparing them to a gallinule, FWC has mentioned a few times however I do not think that is the main reason??
  • blueyed-goofblueyed-goof Posts: 151 Deckhand
    Interesting. I had the chance to sit down and reread your link more thoroughly last night and at the end there was something about how agencies, employees and their agents could only be the people to take care of the swamphen problem. And the methods of disposal were pitifully limited. So, I guess that's where the restrictions come in. It's legal to remove them, just not legal to have a season for it where we could keep the meat.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 12,412 AG
    illegal to kill an invasive species, interesting but sounds about par for the course.... FWC doesn't even have enough bodies to patrol a lake I fish/hunt (didn't see the first officer all Summer) let alone go look for big purple birds.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 939 Officer
    Interesting. I had the chance to sit down and reread your link more thoroughly last night and at the end there was something about how agencies, employees and their agents could only be the people to take care of the swamphen problem. And the methods of disposal were pitifully limited. So, I guess that's where the restrictions come in. It's legal to remove them, just not legal to have a season for it where we could keep the meat.

    That was the position of the department of the interior under the Obama administration. If the Zinke led department of the interior was made aware of this it would be resolved.

    This issue is solely government bureaucracy.

    To the point. There are six subspecies of purple swamp hen. The one in Florida is not the same sub species as in American Samoa. For those not following along, the department of the interior changed a rule blocking harvest using the excuse that the species occurred in US territory naturally so the migratory bird treaty blocked its harvest as the subspecies in American Samoa is threatened.

    So the government uses the Florida panther subspecies, the cape sable seaside sparrow subspecies, and the snail kite supspecies are used by the Feds to push their agenda. But when the subspecies doesn't help in the case of the purple swamp hen, it is ignored.

    For the record. I don't think the fwc will ever do anything to fix this invasive species issue. But I like to point out clear examples so you know what they could be doing but refuse.
  • ironeyesironeyes Posts: 127 Deckhand
    There's two species of swamp hen found in Florida. Gray headed and blue headed
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 939 Officer
    Bump
  • H20dadH20dad Posts: 939 Officer
    Could they spray for these darn birds?
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 1,370 Officer
    § 21.53 Control order for purple swamphens.

    (a) Control of purple swamphens.

    Federal, State, Tribal, and local wildlife management agencies, and their tenants, employees, or agents may remove or

    destroy purple swamphens (Porphyrio

    porphyrio) or their nests or eggs at any

    time when they find them anywhere in the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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