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Waterfowl Hunting on Oak Orchard and Tonawanda

A special permit is required to hunt waterfowl on the Oak Orchard and Tonawanda Wildlife Management Areas in Genesee and Niagara Counties on Opening Day, the first Saturday, and the first Sunday of Duck Season because these days receive the greatest hunting pressure. This permit system has been developed to increase hunter safety and improve the quality of hunting on these areas. In recent years, the permit system has been used successfully at both Oak Orchard and Tonawanda.

If the Opening Day of the duck season falls on a Saturday, there will only be two permit days-the first Saturday (Opening Day) and the first Sunday. Waterfowl hunting season dates are not finalized until the federal regulations are adopted in late summer. Hunters are advised to confirm the final dates before hunting any waterfowl.

During the remaining days of the Duck Season, no permits are required for these areas. In addition, no special permits are required to hunt other game species at Oak Orchard or Tonawanda.

Reported waterfowl harvest at Oak Orchard and Tonawanda.


The waterfowl hunting permits for each day (100 for Tonawanda and 50 for Oak Orchard) will be distributed by a random lottery. These permits are non-transferable.

Permits will not be issued to hunters who have received a permit to hunt on the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. Therefore, cards from hunters who have been selected to hunt on Iroquois on the Opening Day/first Saturday will be excluded from the lottery for the Opening Day/first Saturday at Oak Orchard and Tonawanda.

Lottery Application Period
August 15 through September 15

On your postcard for the Lottery, please include the following information:

  • Your name and address (telephone number helpful, but not required).
  • Waterfowl ID Certificate Number, required.
  • Your top three choices, numbered in order of preference.

If Opening Day is on a Saturday, there will be FOUR options to choose from.
Select your top three choices, and number them in order of preference:

  • Oak Orchard first Saturday (Opening Day)
  • Oak Orchard first Sunday
  • Tonawanda first Saturday (Opening Day)
  • Tonawanda first Sunday

If Opening Day is on a day other than a Saturday, there will be SIX options to choose from.
Select your top three choices, and number them in order of preference:

  • Oak Orchard Opening Day
  • Oak Orchard first Saturday
  • Oak Orchard first Sunday
  • Tonawanda Opening Day
  • Tonawanda first Saturday
  • Tonawanda first Sunday

Mail your Lottery Postcard to:

NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife
1101 Casey Rd., Box B
Basom, NY 14013


Each permittee will be allowed to bring one companion. An additional companion, age 18 or younger, will be allowed as well. The companion(s) must be hunting within 50 yards of the permittee.


The permittee is responsible for completing and returning the questionnaire portion of the permit to the DEC Bureau of Wildlife by November 15. (This is why the permittee must have a Waterfowl Identification certificate, to improve reporting accuracy.) If the completed questionnaire is not received by November 15, the permittee will be ineligible for next year's lottery.

All hunters are reminded that, to legally hunt waterfowl, they must have a current Small Game hunting license and a signed Federal Duck Stamp, and be registered with the Harvest Information Program (HIP).

Season Dates

For information on waterfowl season dates, visit our Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons page.

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    6274 E Avon-Lima Rd
    Avon, NY 14414
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