Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird Hunting
This is a summary of regulations about hunting migratory game birds. You may also download a copy of the 20016-2017 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide (PDF, 222 KB), or 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
- Check, Clean, Drain, Dry, and Disinfect your boat and hunting equipment after each hunt
- Pay special attention to boat trailers, decoy anchors & lines, decoy bags, and waders.
- Drain, dry and disinfect aqua keel decoys as the water trapped inside could contain nearly invisible aquatic invasive species such as spiny water flea or zebra mussel larvae.
More about Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird Hunting:
- Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations - General Regulations for Migratory Game Bird Hunting.
- Final 2016-17 Waterfowl Seasons and Zone Descriptions - Season dates and bag limits for ducks, snow geese, and brant for each waterfowl hunting zone in New York.
- Final 2016-17 Canada Goose Seasons - Map of New York State showing the final Canada goose hunting season dates, bag limits, and other regulations. Canada goose seasons are set based on Goose Hunting Areas rather than the five waterfowl hunting zones.
- Other Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons - Hunting Seasons for woodcock, crow, snipe, rail, and gallinule.
- Waterfowl Hunting Information and Season Rationale - Most migratory game bird seasons are set based on five hunting zones that have been approved by the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service.
- Falconry Regulations - Summary of special State and Federal rules for taking of migratory game birds by falconers when hunting with trained raptors
- Why We Don't Have a Dove Hunting Season in New York - A summary of issues associated with establishing a mourning dove hunting season in New York.