NEPA warns hunters to adhere to the bird-shooting guidelines
Published Date: August 28, 2023
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is reminding persons to adhere to the regulations for participation in the annual bird-shooting season or risk being prosecuted for breaches. This comes after NEPA cited two bird hunters for shooting in a game reserve in Clarendon on Saturday, August 26.
One of the hunters was also cited for shooting outside the prescribed time for hunting during the game bird-shooting season. A third hunter in the parish of Portland was issued a summons for hunting without a licence, also on the 26th of August while four hunters were issued warning for shooting near a residential area in St. Elizabeth on the 27th.
In their defense, the two hunters cited in Clarendon claimed that they were unaware that the area in question is a game reserve, however, they were advised that ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for the infraction. As such, the Agency is to begin the process of initiating documents for prosecution in the court.
In light of these developments, NEPA is issuing a warning to hunters who insist on flouting the law administered by the Agency to regulate the sport. Among the requirements for hunting under the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA) is a mandate to confine such activities to areas designated for shooting and to refrain from hunting within game-bird reserves. Hunters are also forbidden to shoot within 40 yards of residential dwellings and to adhere to the time restrictions granted for shooting. The season’s hunting sessions are from sunrise to 9:00 am and 2:30 pm to sunset on Saturdays, and from sunrise to 9:00 am on Sundays. It is also imperative that hunters adhere to the stipulated bag limit for the number of birds that they can shoot during each session.
Hunters must also bear in mind that they can only shoot the following game birds:
• Zenaida Dove/Pea Dove
• White-winged Dove
• White-crowned Pigeon/Baldpate
• Mourning Dove/Long-tailed Pea Dove
According to the WLPA, persons found guilty of breaching the game-bird shooting law may incur a maximum fine of $100,000 or face imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months. Information on the location of game reserves and other rules governing the staging of the annual bird shooting season, can be had from the hunter’s handbook, which is usually given to hunters when they purchase their licence at NEPA’s head office. Additionally, a copy of the handbook is obtainable from the Agency’s website at: https://websitearchive2020.nepa.gov.jm/new/services_products/publications/docs/hunters_handbook_2017.pdf.