Department of Environmental Conservation

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Migratory Game Bird Hunting

The state regulations for hunting migratory birds can be found in Title 6, New York Code of Rules and Regulations, Section 2.30 (leaves DEC's website). The federal regulations are in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20 (leaves DEC's website).

Migratory Game Birds Are:

  • all wild ducks, geese, and brant (these also are "migratory waterfowl")
  • coot, Virginia rails, sora rails, and gallinules
  • American 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, 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

Reporting Banded Migratory Game Birds

Please report band recoveries on-line or by sending your information to: Bird Banding Lab, 12100 Beach Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708. The call center for reporting bird bands was discontinued June 30, 2017. People calling this toll-free number will be directed to report their bird bands using the REPORTBAND website. Biologists in New York and throughout North America rely heavily on the encounters reported by hunters. We would like to thank you for your continued support in this effort.

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

More about Migratory Game Bird Hunting: