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2019-20 Waterfowl & Migratory Game Bird Seasons

Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

News for 2019-2020:

  • Due to a slow, but steady decline in mallards across the northeastern United States, the mallard daily bag limit has reduced from 4 birds (2 hens) per day to 2 birds (1 hen) per day. Please see the Declining Mallards in the Atlantic Flyway (PDF) brochure for more information.
  • The Canada goose season length in the Northeast, West Central, East Central, Hudson Valley, and Lake Champlain zones has been reduced from 50 days to 30 days and the bag limit has been reduced from 3 per day to 2 per day. Please see the Status and Management of Atlantic Population Canada Geese (PDF) brochure for more information.
  • The northern pintail bag limit has been reduced from 2 per day to 1 per day.

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. 5 - Oct. 6 Sep. 21 - Sep. 22 Sep. 28 - Sep. 29 Sep. 21 - Sep. 22 Nov. 9 - Nov. 10
Ducksc, Coots,
Mergansers
Oct. 19 - Nov. 10
Nov. 30 - Jan. 5
Oct. 5 - Oct. 27
Nov. 2 - Dec. 8
Oct. 10 - Nov. 1
Nov. 23 - Dec. 29
Oct. 19 - Dec. 1
Dec. 7 - Dec. 22
Nov. 23 - Dec. 1
Dec. 7 - Jan. 26
Snow Geesed Oct. 1 - Apr. 15 Oct. 1 - Apr. 15 Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
Jan. 16 - Apr. 15
Oct. 1 - Apr. 15 Nov. 23 - Mar. 8
Brant Oct. 5 - Nov. 3 Oct. 5 - Nov. 3 Oct. 10 - Nov. 8 Oct. 5 - Nov. 3 Dec. 28 - Jan. 26
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 for all species are the same as those allowed during the regular season for all species (excludes September Canada goose bag limits). 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).

2019-20 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, see footnote b above for Canada goose bag limits

*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 2 mallards (1 of which may be a hen), 3 wood ducks, 2 black duck, 1 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 season. During September, shooting hours are extended to ½ hour after sunset, except when other waterfowl seasons are open (e.g. Youth Waterfowl Season).

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 and when all other waterfowl seasons are closed (including youth waterfowl season), hunters may use electronic calling devices and shotguns capable of holding more than three shells at a time. However, a semi-automatic shotgun capable of holding more than six (6) shells in the chamber and magazine combined may not be used at any time. "Other waterfowl seasons" include youth, snow goose, duck, coot, and brant seasons.

2019-2020 Canada Goose Season Map

2019-2020 canada goose season map

*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 2019-20
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)