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Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird Hunting

This is a summary of regulations about hunting migratory game birds. You can read the actual state and federal regulations on the Internet. The state regulations are in Title 6, New York Code of Rules and Regulations, Section 2.30. (link leaves DEC's website.) The federal regulations are in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20 (link leaves DEC's website.)

What is a "migratory game bird?"

  • All wild ducks, geese, and brant. (These also are "migratory waterfowl").
  • Coot, Virginia rails, sora rails, and gallinules.
  • Woodcock and snipe.
    Note: For hunting common crows, some migratory game bird hunting regulations do not apply. Please read the regulations in the Crow Hunting, General Hunting and Small Game Hunting sections.

Waterfowl Hunters: To stop the spread of aquatic invasive species, new regulations prohibit the launching and retrieving of watercraft at state boat launches and other state lands with any plant or animal part in, on, or attached.

The new regulations apply to the use of phragmites or other invasive plants for covering hunting boats and blinds. They do not apply to the use of non-invasive plants used for camouflage (such as cedar); dogs; and legally taken game and fish.

Help stop the spread of aquatic invasives

Watch a clip about duck decoy carving and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.

More about Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird Hunting:

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  • NYSDEC
    Bureau of Wildlife
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4755
    518-402-8883
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