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General Waterfowl Hunting Information

The Seasons and Regulations

Most migratory game bird seasons are set based on five hunting zones that have been approved by the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service. For written descriptions of these zones see the waterfowl zones page.

ALL New York waterfowl hunters are required to register annually for the Harvest Information Program (HIP). HIP is a federally mandated program which is used solely to survey migratory game bird hunters. For more information about HIP and how to register, see Harvest Information Program (HIP). HIP registration is valid from August 1 - July 30, annually.

Youth Waterfowl Hunt

Youth Waterfowl Hunt participants

DEC established youth waterfowl days in 1996. This special two-day hunt prior to the regular season in each waterfowl hunting zone provides young waterfowl hunters (ages 12-15) with the opportunity to spend time afield with an experienced adult hunter pursuing ducks, geese, and brant. The timing of the Youth Waterfowl Hunt allows for a break in hunting between the youth hunt and the beginning of the regular waterfowl season (usually 1-3 weeks depending on the zone). Holding the youth waterfowl hunt before the start of the regular season allows participants an increased opportunity to harvest local and early migrating waterfowl. Preseason Youth Days also tend to have milder weather and help young hunters develop the skills needed to be successful during the regular season.

Daily bag limits are equal to the maximum daily bag limit during the regular season. Junior hunters must be fully licensed and registered with HIP (see link for HIP above; a federal duck stamp is not required for 12-15 year-olds). The junior hunter must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter (including current HIP registration and duck stamp) in accordance with all New York State regulations. Only the junior hunter may take birds on these days, unless the respective regular season is open.

Migratory game bird hunting regulations are set by the Federal government in the spring and final waterfowl seasons and bag limits are announced in July. Be sure to visit the Waterfowl Hunting Seasons page or review the Waterfowl Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide prior to going afield.

Places to Hunt Waterfowl

Places to hunt waterfowl in New York based on zones: western, southeastern, northeasterm, lake champlain and long island

Click on a waterfowl hunting zone below for a list of places to hunt:

Western Zone

County Property Name Special Regulations Lottery For More Information Call
Cayuga Bear Swamp State Forest No No 607-753-3095 x247
Cayuga, Tompkins Cayuga-Tompkins Cooperative Hunting Area Yes Yes 607-753-3095 x247
Erie Beaver Island State Park (leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 716-773-3271
Erie Evangola State Park (leaves DEC website) Yes No 716-549-1760
Livingston Conesus Inlet FWMA No No 585-226-5380
Monroe Braddock Bay FWMA No No 585-948-5182
Niagara Fort Niagara (leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 716-795-3885
Niagara Golden Hill (leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 716-795-3885
Niagara Wilson-Tuscarora State Park (leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 716-795-3885
Onondaga Cross Lake Island WMA No No 607-753-3095 x247
Hamlin Marsh WMA No No 607-753-3095 x247
Three Rivers WMA No No 607-753-3095 x247
Ontario, Livingston Honeoye Inlet WMA No No 585-226-5380
Ontario, Yates High Tor WMA No No 607-776-2165
Orleans, Genesee Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 585-948-5445
Orleans, Genesee Oak Orchard WMA Yes Yes 585-948-5182
Orleans, Niagara, Genesee Tonawanda WMA Yes Yes 585-948-5182
Schuyler Catharine Creek FWMA No No 607-776-2165
Schuyler Waneta-Lamoka WMA No No 607-776-2165
Seneca, Wayne, Cayuga Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge (leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 315-568-5987
Tompkins Dryden Lake WMA No No 607-753-3095 x247
Wayne Galen FWMA No No 315-365-2134
Wayne Lake Shore Marshes WMA No No 315-365-2134
Wayne, Cayuga Northern Montezuma WMA No No 315-365-2134

Southeastern Zone

County Property Name Special Regulations Lottery For More Information Call
Columbia Rogers Island WMA No No 518-357-2152
Columbia Stockport WMA No No 518-357-2152
Dutchess Tivoli Bays WMA No No 845-256-3098
Greene Vosburgh Swamp WMA No No 518-357-2154
Greene, Ulster Great Vly WMA No No 518-357-2154
Orange Stewart State Forest Yes No 845-256-3098
Saratoga Victory Mills WMA No No 518-623-1240
Saratoga Vischer Ferry Nature Preserve (leaves DEC website) Yes No 518-371-6681
Sullivan Bashakill WMA Yes Yes 845-256-3098

Northeastern Zone

County Property Name Special Regulations Lottery For More Information Call
Clinton Lake Alice WMA No No 518-897-1291
Franklin Chazy Highlands WMA No No 518-897-1291
Jefferson Perch River WMA Yes No 315-785-2261
Oswego Happy Valley WMA No No 607-753-3095 x247
Oswego Three Mile Bay WMA No No 607-753-3095 x247
St. Lawrence Upper and Lower Lakes WMA Yes No 315-265-3090
St. Lawrence Wilson Hill WMA Yes No 315-705-5539
Washington Carters Pond WMA No No 518-623-1240

Lake Champlain Zone

County Property Name Special Regulations Lottery For More Information Call
Clinton Ausable Marsh WMA No No 518-897-1291
Clinton Kings Bay WMA No No 518-897-1291
Clinton Montys Bay WMA No No 518-897-1291
Essex Putts Creek WMA No No 518-897-1291
Essex Wickham Marsh WMA No No 518-897-1291
Washington Maple Bend Island WMA No No 51-623-1240
Washington East Bay WMA No No 518-623-1240
Washington Poultney River Wetlands No No 802-229-4425

Long Island Zone

County Property Name Special Regulations Lottery For More Information
Suffolk Cedar Point County Park (leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 631-852-7260
Hubbard County Park (leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 631-852-8290
Montauk County Park (Leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 631-852-7878
Suffolk Multiple NYSDEC Tidal Wetlands Yes No 631-444-0310
Suffolk Southaven County Park (leaves DEC website) Yes Yes 631-852-1391

Snow Goose Conservation Order

Special Snow Goose Harvest Opportunity

Areas open: Western, Northeastern, Lake Champlain and Southeastern Waterfowl Zones
Areas closed: Long Island Zone
Season dates: January 16 - April 15
Shooting hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset when all other waterfowl hunting seasons are closed; shooting hours end at sunset if any other waterfowl season is open.
Bag limits: 25 snow geese per day, no possession limit
Special measures allowed: electronic calls and unplugged shotguns (more than 3 shells) when all other waterfowl hunting seasons are closed.
Non-toxic shot: required
Requirements to participate: current hunting privileges, federal duck stamp and registration in New York's Harvest Information Program (HIP). NO special permit is required but participants must provide harvest information if requested by DEC.

Snow Goose Conservation Order

Woman hunting snow geese

In addition to regular snow goose hunting seasons in each waterfowl hunting zone, waterfowl hunters in New York will have a special opportunity to harvest snow geese in most areas of the state, excluding Long Island.

In 2009, DEC implemented a "Conservation Order" for snow geese. A Conservation Order is a special management action authorized by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act to control certain wildlife populations when traditional management programs are unsuccessful in preventing overabundance. Federal and state regulations were amended in fall 2008 to allow this additional harvest of snow geese in response to concerns about their growing numbers across North America.

Artic Goose Habitat Working Group Report (PDF - link leaves DEC's website)

Snow Goose Population and Harvest Trends

New York has had a long hunting season for snow geese for many years. Until recently, federal regulations did not allow the season to be open after March 10, when large numbers of snow geese begin migrating north from their wintering areas. From mid March to mid April, more than 100,000 snow geese may spend time in New York, fueling up for their return to the arctic breeding grounds in May. Even larger numbers of snow geese congregate along the St. Lawrence River in southern Quebec. Annual surveys have documented the dramatic growth of this population (see chart below).

  • Atlantic Flyway population of light geese, composed mostly of "greater" snow geese, increased from approximately 50,000 birds in the mid 1960s to more than one million birds in recent years.
  • Most of these birds pass through New York during spring and fall migrations and spend the winter in New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
  • Managers concerned about the impacts of too many snow geese have recommended a population goal of 500,000 - 750,000 in the Atlantic Flyway.
  • The only practical way to reduce the population to that level is to increase hunter harvest.
  • In recent years hunter harvest has averaged between 30,000 - 40,000 birds in the flyway, including about 5,000-10,000 in New York.

Results of New York's Spring 2019 Conservation Order Season Harvest (PDF)

International Concern

snow goose population chart increasing until 2020 then maintaining consistent numbers

Greater Snow Goose Population Estimates, 1965-2015

Concern about the overabundance of snow geese has been growing for years. An international "Arctic Goose Habitat Working Group" concluded in 1998 that action was needed to limit the greater snow goose population. A goal of 500,000 birds has since been established for the Atlantic Flyway. However, it took more than a decade to fully implement the recommendations of this group. Now, New York waterfowl hunters will be able to participate in this conservation effort.

  • In November 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized rules establishing a Conservation Order and allowing the use of special hunting methods to increase the harvest of light geese across the country.
  • Similar regulations have been in place in many Midwestern states and Canadian Provinces, including Quebec, since 1999.
  • Harvest of light geese has more than doubled in those areas and the population growth rate has been reduced.


  • Under current regulations, any person who has migratory game bird hunting privileges in New York, including a valid Harvest Information Program ("HIP") confirmation number, may take snow geese and Ross' geese (a smaller but nearly identical species) in the Western, Northeastern, Southeastern, and Lake Champlain Waterfowl Hunting Zones from January 16 through April 15.
  • This is in addition to the regular snow goose hunting seasons in each zone.
  • The daily bag limit is 25 snow geese, and there is no possession limit.
  • All migratory game bird hunting regulations and requirements apply to the taking of snow geese during this special harvest period.
  • However, shooting hours are extended, use of recorded or electrically amplified calls or sounds is allowed, and use of shotguns capable of holding more than three shells is allowed whenever all other waterfowl hunting seasons are closed.

Hunting Snow Geese

Snow goose hunting can be one of the most challenging and rewarding types of waterfowl hunting. Areas where large numbers of snow geese occur at this time of year include the Finger Lakes region, the St. Lawrence Valley, and the upper Hudson and Champlain Valley regions. A special season was not implemented on Long Island, because relatively few snow geese occur in huntable areas there during the spring. To help increase your chances for success, you can view or download the brochure developed by the Atlantic Flyway Council called "Successful Hunting Tactics for Greater Snow Geese (PDF)". We hope this is helpful and encourage you to share your hunting tips with others.

Permit and Reporting Requirements

Unlike some other states, no special permit is needed to participate in New York's special snow goose harvest program. Harvest reporting is not mandatory, but any person who participates must provide accurate and timely information on their activity and harvest if requested by the Department. DEC plans to survey a sample of program participants to estimate hunter activity and harvest, and the extent to which the special measures helped hunters take more birds. This is necessary for continuation of the program in future years.

Results of the Spring Snow Goose Conservation Order

Immediately after the close of the season we sent a harvest survey by mail to 3,000 hunters registered with HIP. "Non-respondents" were those that did not return the survey. We calculated two estimates of hunter participation and success. One assuming that all non-respondents did not participate, the second assuming that participation by non-respondents was half that of survey respondents.

Sample sizes from the survey were too small to estimate harvest on the county scale; however, of respondents that indicated the county of take, 90% of the reported harvest occurred in the Finger Lakes, St. Lawrence and Lake Champlain regions of New York State (see map below).

Snow goose distribution of reported harvests in 2016
  • New York's tenth year in the special snow goose special Conservation Order season was again successful in harvesting a substantial number of snow geese during the spring migration.
  • Approximately 2,000-3,000 hunters participate annually.
  • During this special season, hunters harvest approximately 8,000-40,000 snow geese.
  • New York will continue to participate in and promote this special snow goose management program.


Populations of snow geese, also referred to as "light geese" because of their white plumage, have grown to historic highs. The overabundance of light geese, which nest in far northern regions of North America, is harming their fragile arctic breeding habitat. The damage to the habitat is, in turn, harming the health of the light geese and other bird species that depend on the tundra habitat. Returning the light goose population to sustainable levels is necessary to protect this delicate habitat, and every species dependent on it. Large numbers of snow geese feeding on natural vegetation can also destroy large areas of coastal marshland during migration and winter. Serious damage to agricultural crops, such as hay, winter wheat, barley and rye, occurs on migration and wintering areas as well.

Why have snow goose populations increased so dramatically? First, the availability of waste grains on agricultural fields provided a vast new food supply for these birds. Second, continuation of restrictive hunting regulations during the 1970s and 1980s allowed the population to grow while hunter harvest rates declined. These two factors resulted in a higher reproductive rate, a higher adult survival rate, and offspring that were in much better condition to survive.

Waterfowl Season Setting Process

Process for Setting Duck Seasons for 2019 and Beyond

Choosing the "best" duck season dates has long been a contentious topic amongst duck hunters. Depending on which species you're interested in pursuing or the types of habitat you hunt (e.g., shallow marshes, deep water, fields, etc.), the "best" dates for each zone can vary from person to person. DEC and the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University developed a new process that includes input from a greater number of duck hunters to determine the optimal duck season dates in each zone.

Surveys and Collaborative Research

Woman hunting ducks with her dog

Last fall, Cornell University surveyed about one-third of the duck hunters in New York State (6,000 of about 18,000; see below for more details). The survey was sent a random selection of duck hunters and aimed to identify what duck hunters value and what drives their duck hunting satisfaction. The survey asked hunters to rank, in order of importance, the following six key objectives that were developed by the Waterfowl Task Force and DEC biologists:

  • Seeing and shooting wood ducks and teal (being able to hunt when wood ducks and teal are most abundant)
  • Seeing and shooting mallard and black ducks (being able to hunt when mallards and black ducks are most abundant or most susceptible to decoying)
  • Seeing and shooting diving ducks (e.g., scaup, redheads, common goldeneye) (being able to hunt when diving ducks are most abundant or most susceptible to decoying)
  • Seeing and shooting any ducks (regardless of species) (being able to hunt when abundance of ducks (any species) is highest, or when the variety of duck species is greatest)
  • Having maximum opportunity to go hunting duck hunting (including the most weekend days and holidays in the season)
  • Minimizing overlap of waterfowl and deer hunting seasons (minimize duck season overlap with the first week of firearms deer season and avoiding opening duck season on the same day as youth big game seasons)

In addition to the hunter survey, DEC worked with the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to develop zone-specific migration information and relative abundance estimates for each week for 12 species of ducks that frequently occur in the hunter's bag. During the summer of 2018, DEC worked with the waterfowl task forces in each zone to develop 5-10 unique season date "alternatives" (i.e. different season dates that would accomplish each of the above objectives described above). DEC and Cornell University will use the results of the survey in conjunction with the migration and abundance data to determine which of the alternatives developed by the hunter task forces best matches the values of duck hunters in their zone.

2019-2024 Duck Season Structures

The season date structure for the next 5 duck seasons (2019-2020 through 2023-2024) in each zone, barring any changes to the number of days allowed by the federal framework (i.e. if the season length is shortened). For detailed information on how these season date structures were identified, please click on the handouts below for your specific zone.

Western Zone - Beginning the 3rd Saturday in October, running 23 days, ending on a Sunday and a second split beginning on the last Saturday in November, running 37 days, and ending on a Sunday (e.g. Oct 19, 2019 - Nov 10, 2019 and Nov 30, 2019 - Jan 5, 2020). See more details in the Western Zone Structured Decision Making Analysis and Results (PDF).
Northeastern Zone - Beginning on the 1st Saturday in October, running for 23 days, ending on a Sunday, and a second split beginning the 1st Saturday following the closure of the 1st split, running 37 days, and ending on a Sunday (e.g. Oct 5, 2019 - Oct 27, 2019 and Nov 2, 2019 - Dec 8, 2019). See more details in the Northeastern Zone Structured Decision Making Analysis and Results (PDF).
Southeastern Zone - Beginning the 3rd Saturday in October, running for 44 days, ending on a Sunday, and a second split beginning the 1st Saturday following the closure of the 1st split, running 16 days, and ending on a Sunday (e.g. Oct 19, 2019 - Dec 1, 2019 and Dec 7, 2019 - Dec 22, 2019). See more details in the Southeastern Zone Structured Decision Making Analysis and Results (PDF).
Long Island Zone - Beginning on the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving, running for 9 days, ending on a Sunday, and a second split running for 51 days, opening on a Saturday, and ending on the last Sunday in January (e.g. Nov 23, 2019 - Dec 1, 2019 and Dec 7, 2019 - Jan 26, 2020). See more details in the Long Island Zone Structured Decision Making Analysis and Results (PDF).

Tentative season dates for all migratory game birds will be posed on the Waterfowl Hunting Seasons webpage in early April and finalized in federal regulation by mid-summer. Please check the DEC website prior to going afield for final season dates.

2017 New York State Duck Hunter Survey

During fall 2017, DEC and Cornell University sent out a survey to 6,000 randomly-selected New York duck hunters to better understand factors that influence hunter preferences for the timing of waterfowl hunting seasons. Duck hunters seized the opportunity to provide their feedback on what they value with nearly 50% completing the survey (2,791 duck hunters). Hunters in all zones consistently ranked seeing and shooting mallards and black ducks as the most important factor influencing their satisfaction with duck season dates in their zone, followed closely by seeing and shooting any duck (regardless of species). Click on the figure to the right for detailed information on hunter preferences in each zone.

For more information, please see the complete Cornell University report of the 2017 Duck Hunter Survey - Understanding Factors that Influence Hunter Preferences for Timing of Waterfowl Hunting Seasons (PDF). This survey gave a representative, large number of duck hunters direct input into how season dates will be selected. Their input will be used in the decision-making process for selecting the optimal duck season in each zone.

Waterfowl Season Task Forces

Below is the contact information for the task force members in the Western, Southeastern, Northeastern and Long Island Waterfowl Hunting Zones. The names and contact information for current task force members can be found below. Task Force members act as representatives of all duck hunters in each zone, and they meet each spring to make suggestions to DEC for Canada goose, brant, youth, and other special season dates.

There is no task force for the Lake Champlain Zone because seasons there are set by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Management Board, with consultation from DEC and input from hunters in New York and Vermont. Although there is no formal task force for this zone, interested hunters may send their input directly to DEC for consideration.

You can provide input on Canada goose, brant, youth season dates or any other general comments about waterfowl hunting in New York by:

  • directly contacting one of the task force members in your zone - the list of members can be found on the DEC website, or
  • sending an email to the Waterfowl Season Input Mailbox - suggestions sent to this inbox will be forwarded to all task force members in the zone

DEC Waterfowl Season Setting Team

Name DEC Region Address & Telephone

Kelly Hamilton

Region 1 50 Circle Road - SUNY
Stony Brook, NY 11790

Kevin Clarke

Region 3 21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561
Joe Nelson
Region 4 1130 N. Westcott Road
Schenectady, NY 12306
John O'Connor
Region 5 1115 Route 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Steve Heerkens
Region 6 207 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501
Tom Bell
Region 7 1285 Fisher Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045
Mike Wasilco
Region 8 6274 E. Avon Lima Rd.
Avon, NY 14414
Connie Adams
Region 9 700 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14209
Joshua Stiller
Central Office 625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-4754
Western Zone Task Force
Name Address Telephone & E-mail
Mike Wasilco
6274 E. Avon-Lima Rd.
Avon, NY 14414
Dave Erickson
(NYSCC - R7)
18 Second Avenue
Auburn, NY 13021
315-224-4494 (c)
Ron Falkowski
(Central NY Wildfowlers)
767 Nichols Point Road
Bridgeport, NY 13030
Jay Forster
(Lake Plains Waterfowl Assoc)
98 True Hickory Run
Rochester, NY 14615
585-865-8986 (h)
585-314-0566 (c)
Randy Holden
(South Central Area)
219 Breesport Road
Horseheads, NY 14845
607-739-6735 (h)
607-742-9886 (c)
Paul Niedzielski
(Canandaigua Lake Duck Hunters)
3896 Chatham Lane
Canandaigua, NY 14424
585-729-6600 (c)
Bill Howell
(Niagara Frontier Area)
5859 Stinson Road
Arcade, NY 14009
Darin J. Katta
(Southwestern New York)
10 Westerly Drive
Fredonia, NY 14063
Keith Tidball
(NYSCC - R8)
3735 N Hoster Rd.
Seneca Falls, NY 13148
Bill Kalwas
(Finger Lakes & WNY Waterfowl Assoc)
1264 School Road
Victor, NY 14564
Ken Zolnowski
(NYSCC - R9)
30 Danbury Drive
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
Jim Adriance 1930 Cole Place
Vestal, NY 13850
Southeastern Zone Task Force
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Bill Alexander
(Hudson River)
170 Clinton Corners Road
Salt Point, NY 12578
Tim Barnard
(NYSCC - R4)
21 Balsam Way
Albany, NY 12205
Josh Stiller
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, NY 12333-4754
Vince Olechnowicz
(Catskill Area)
258 Braymer Lane
Delhi, NY 13753
Luke Capria
(Central NY Wildfowlers)
970 Smith Ridge Road
Bridgeport, NY 13030
Nathan Pieruzzi
(Hudson River Waterfowlers)
58 Salvino Drive
Athens, NY 12015
Mike Podgorski
(NYSCC - R7)
2287 Ferndell Road
Cazenovia, NY 13035
Chuck Law
(Saratoga Lake - Upper Hudson)
1027 Hudson Avenue
Stillwater, NY 12170
Gary Will
(Chenango Valley area)
1019 River Road
Hamilton, NY 13346
Dan Spigner
(Waterfowl Improvement Assoc.)
9 Academy Street
Greenwich, NY 12834

Northeastern Zone Task Force

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Kevin Bodmer
(Central Adirondacks)
236 Keese Mills Road
Paul Smiths, NY 12970
Doug Carr
(Central NY Wildfowlers)
109 Roosevelt Avenue
Canastota, NY 13032
George Gedney
(Waterfowl Improvement Assn)
15 Stonehurst Drive
Queensbury, NY 12804
Tom Humberstone
(North Central Area)
2766 County Route 6
Hammond, NY 13646
Steve Heerkens
207 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501
Nick McNamara
(Northern WMAs)
1125 County Route 14
Rensselaer Falls, NY 13680
Kurt Snyder
(Oneida Lake Assoc)
6429 Long Point Road
Brewerton, NY 13029
James Tracy
(Upper Mohawk Area)
5525 Marsh Road
Lee Center, NY 13363
Long Island Zone Task Force
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
John Adams
(South Shore Waterfowlers Assoc)
30 Diane Drive
Manorville, NY 11949
Robert Christensen
(Oyster Ponds Rod & Gun Club)
PO Box 14
Orient, NY 11957
Kelly Hamilton
50 Circle Road - SUNY
Stony Brook, NY 11790
William Spadafora
(Peconic River Sportsmans Club)
26 Croyden Avenue
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
Ron Kee
(Smith Point Fish & Hunt Club)
11 Skyhaven Drive
Patchogue, NY 11772
Steve Laurino
(Manhasset Bay Sports Club)
9 Corchaug Avenue
Port Washington, NY 11050
Warren Ferdinansen
(Suffolk Co Alliance of Sportsmen)
10 Rockhall Lane
Rocky Point, NY 11778
Ron Sineo
(NYSCC - R1)
10 Rutherford Street
St James, NY 11780
Curt Matzinger
(Nassau Co Fish & Game Assoc)
32 Magro Drive
North Babylon, NY 11703
James Jankowski
(Pattersquash Gunners Assoc)
19 Woodland Park Road
Bellport, NY 11713
Frank Lopez
(Member at Large)
59 Radio Avenue
Miller Place, NY 11764
Sab Caponi
(Matinecock Rod & Gun Club)
2708 Elm Drive
North Bellmore, NY 11710
(Long Island Wildfowl Heritage Group)
Jack Passie
(Windy Guide Service)
8 South Fulton Street
Montauk, NY 11954

Task Force Membership

The Bureau of Wildlife develops and maintains the TF membership lists of avid waterfowl hunters the represent the values and interests of duck hunters in the State.
To establish a membership list, the SST first looks to organized groups to provide a member to serve on a TF. Examples of types of these groups include:

  • organized, long-standing waterfowl hunting organizations;
  • NYS Conservation Council regional Waterfowl Committee representative;
  • county sportsmen's federations;
  • waterfowl interest groups; and
  • sportsmen's organizations with waterfowl hunting interests within their membership.
  • "At-Large" members may be chosen by several methods. Hunter interest groups may be asked to provide the SST with a person to serve on the TF (they may be asked for several names from which the SST may choose). The SST may select a member on their own, based on prior contacts with local hunters.

Duties of Task Force Members

  • The names, addresses, phone, and e-mail are made available to the public.
  • TF members are expected to actively solicit the opinions and desires of hunters in their zone.
  • They should be available to any and all hunters to receive their opinions.

Objectives and Expectations of the Annual Task Force Meeting

  • TF members are representatives for all hunters within the zone. They must be willing to sit with other members to discuss issues, negotiate and, ultimately, compromise in order to recommend season dates that all members can live with and that are satisfying to the majority of hunters in the zone.
  • All decisions are by consensus; there is no voting.
  • TFs will develop Recommendations for:
    • dates for youth waterfowl hunt dates; and
    • regular Canada goose hunting dates.
  • In all cases the final decisions for season dates and regulations are made by the BOW Chief and Commissioner.
  • The TFs may also be asked for opinions on waterfowl management issues (for example, preferences for alternative bag restrictions on a specific species) and used as a sounding board for hunter interests and concerns.

Responsibilities of Bureau of Wildlife

  • Develop the annual TF membership lists.
  • Provide public communications (news release, website) on the TF process, including names and contact information for all TF members.
  • Accept public input to be shared with all TF members.
  • Provide a facilitator to oversee the TF meeting.
  • Provide TF meeting locations.
  • Be available to answer all questions concerning the TF process and waterfowl management.
  • Provide a SST member to participate in the meeting to provide information and insight.
  • Provide harvest and management information to TF members.

Timing of Annual Meetings

  • Each TF meets one time, usually on a Saturday in February, March or April. TFs base their discussions on the anticipated upcoming federal frameworks. Recommendations from all TFs are reviewed by the SST and subject to approval by the Bureau Chief and Commissioner.
  • DEC submits final season dates to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for approval annually by late April.