Hunting season begins soon for Cayman’s game birds. The Department of Environment sent out a notice Tuesday alerting hunters that the blue-winged teal and white-winged dove will soon be on the menu.

Hunting for blue-winged teal is prohibited from May through August, and the white-winged dove is protected from April through September. There is a three-bird bag and possession limit for the teal, which can be hunted in September, and a 12-bird bag and possession limit for the dove.

Cayman’s game birds are regulated by the 2013 revision of the Animals Law and by the National Conservation Law, said John Bothwell, senior researcher at the Department of Environment. The law also applied to a third species – the bald pate – but that bird is no longer regulated in Cayman.

“It was previously part of the Animals Law and when they switched to the National Conservation Law, it came under our purview,” said Mr. Bothwell. “Bald pates, because the numbers were down, people hadn’t been hunting them a while. When the law changed over, they were removed from the list.”

The Animals Law and National Conservation Law does not stipulate what weapons hunters can use, and firearm registration is handled by the Royal Cayman Islands Police.

“We don’t deal with anything with that” said Mr. Bothwell. “How they choose to hunt them is between them and all the other regulators of the world. Obviously, with the Animals Law, people are encouraged not to torture animals when they’re hunting them, but they know how to hunt better than us.”

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