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2018-19 Waterfowl & Migratory Game Bird Seasons

Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

***All dates are not final until published in the Federal Register in mid-summer. Please check this website prior to going afield this fall.

Waterfowl News for 2018-2019:

  • The Northern Pintail limit has increased from 1 bird per day to 2 birds per day.
  • The American black duck bag limit will remain at 2 birds per day for the upcoming duck season. For more information on black duck regulatory decisions and frequently asked questions, please see the black duck regulation change informational handout (PDF, 615 KB).
  • The Eastern Long Island Canada goose area season length and bag limit was reduced from a 70-day/3-bird bag limit to a 60-day/2-bird bag limit season. The reason for the decrease was a multi-year decline in the breeding population of North Atlantic Population Canada geese.

Shooting Hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset; see exceptions for Canada geese during September and snow geese during January 16 - April 15.

Non-toxic Shot: Required

Season Zones: Most waterfowl seasons in New York state are set based on five waterfowl hunting zones that have been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

NOTE: (1) You must register with HIP to hunt any of these species.

Map of the 5 waterfowl hunting zones
Species Western Northeast Lake
Champlain a
Southeast Long
Island
Youth Days b Oct 13 - Oct 14 Sept 22 - Sept 23 Sept 29 - Sept 30 Sept 22 - Sept 23 Nov 10 - Nov 11
Ducksc, Coots,
Mergansers
Oct 27 - Dec 8
Dec 26 - Jan 11
Oct 6 - Oct 28
Nov 3 - Dec 9
Oct 13 - Oct 21
Nov 10 - Dec 30
Oct 6 - Oct 14
Nov 10 - Dec 30
Nov 22 - Nov 23
Dec 1 - Jan 27
Snow Geesed Oct 1 - Apr 15 Oct 1 - Apr 15 Oct 1 - Dec 31
Jan 16 - April 15
Oct 1 - Apr 15 Nov 22 - Mar 8
Brant Oct 6 - Dec 4 Oct 6 - Dec 4 Oct 6 - Dec 4 Oct 6 - Dec 4 Nov 22 - Nov 23
Dec 1 - Jan 27
Canada Goose
Seasons
see below

a Hunting seasons for the Lake Champlain Zone are decided on by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Management Board following public meetings in Whitehall, New York and Burlington, Vermont.
b Youth Days are additional days for Junior Hunters only. Young hunters, 12 to 15 years of age, possessing a junior hunting license may hunt ducks, coots, mergansers, Canada geese, and brant on 2 special days in each zone. Daily bag limits for ducks are the maximum allowed during the regular duck season and 3 per day for Canada geese. Young hunters must be accompanied by a licensed (including current HIP registration and duck stamp) adult hunter. The adult may not shoot any birds unless the respective season is open for hunters of all ages (i.e. the regular Canada goose season).
c Crippled sea ducks may be taken under power in the special sea duck area, only.
d Snow goose seasons include both the regular hunting season and the Conservation Order that runs from January 16 - April 15 in all zones (except Long Island).

For a summary of the 2018-2019 Waterfowl Season Setting Task Force meetings and a rationale for the season dates selected by each task force, please visit the "2018-2019 Waterfowl Task Force Meeting Summaries" webpage.

2018-19 Waterfowl Bag Limits

The daily bag limit is the maximum number of birds of each species that any person may take or possess in the field during any one day. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit for all waterfowl species except snow geese. The possession limit is the maximum number of birds that any person may possess in total in the field, at home, in transit, or in storage.

Species Daily Limit Possession Limit
Ducks*, Sea ducks,
and Mergansers
6 18
Coot 15 45
Canada geese # see map
Snow geese 25 no limit
Brant 2 6
Youth Hunt Same as above, except junior hunters
may take 3 Canada geese/day

*The daily limit of 6 ducks includes all mergansers and sea ducks (scoters, eiders, and long-tailed ducks) and may include no harlequin ducks and no more than 4 mallards (2 of which may be hens), 3 wood ducks, 2 black duck, 2 pintail, 2 scaup, 2 redheads, 2 canvasback, 4 scoters, 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks, or 2 hooded mergansers. For all other duck species found in New York, the daily limit is 6.

# Cackling geese and white-fronted geese may be taken as part of the Canada goose daily and possession limits. Snow geese and Ross' geese may be taken as part of the snow goose limits.

Canada Goose Season

Shooting Hours: ½ hour before sunrise to sunset during regular and late seasons. During September, shooting hours are extended to ½ hour after sunset, except on Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days.

Bag Limits: The daily bag limit is the maximum number of birds that any person may take or possess in the field during any one day. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit for all waterfowl species except snow geese. The possession limit is the maximum number of birds that any person may possess in total in the field, at home, in transit, or in storage. See table below for specific bag limits for each Goose Hunting Area.

Non-toxic shot: Required

Other: You must register with HIP to hunt geese. During the September season hunters are allowed to use electronic calling devices and to use shotguns capable of holding more than three shells at a time, but no more than seven. The only time and place where these measures are not allowed is during the Youth Waterfowl Hunt weekend in the Northeastern and Southeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zones (federal regulations do not allow the special measures for Canada geese whenever any other waterfowl hunting seasons are open).

NYS map of the duck hunting regions and their Season Dates and Daily Limits

*Cackling geese and white-fronted geese may be taken as part of the Canada goose daily and possession limits.

Webless Migratory Game Bird Seasons

Woodcock, Crow, Snipe, Rail, and Gallinule Hunting Season Dates, Bag Limits, and Regulations for 2018-19
Regulations Woodcock Crow Snipe Virginia &
Sora Rails
Gallinules Clapper & King Rails
Upstate New York1,3 Oct. 1 - Nov. 14 Sept. 1 - Mar. 31 Sept. 1 - Nov. 9 Sept. 1 - Nov. 9 Sept. 1 - Nov. 9 Closed
Long Island2,3 Oct. 1 - Nov. 14 Sept. 1 - Mar. 31 Closed Closed Closed Closed
Bag Limit 3/day
9 in possession
None 8/day
24 in possession
8/day
24 in possession
8/day
24 in possession
n/a
Shooting Hours Sunrise to Sunset Sunrise to Sunset 1/2-Hr Before Sunrise to Sunset 1/2-Hr Before Sunrise to Sunset 1/2-Hr Before Sunrise to Sunset n/a
Non-Toxic Shot NOT Required NOT Required Required Required Required n/a
HIP Registration Required NOT Required Required Required Required n/a
Other Fed Migratory Bird Stamp NOT Required Hunting on Fri., Sat., Sun. & Mon. ONLY;
Fed Migratory Bird Stamp NOT Required; Rifles and electronically amplified bird calls or sounds permitted
Fed Migratory Bird Stamp NOT Required Fed Migratory Bird Stamp NOT Required Fed Migratory Bird Stamp NOT Required n/a

1 Upstate New York includes all of New York State north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary
2 Long Island includes all of WMUs 1A and 1C (Nassau and Suffolk counties)
3 Hunting season closed in New York City for all species listed in table; New York City includes all of WMU 2A (Bronx, Kings, Queens, New York, and Richmond counties)