Migratory Bird Regulations 2015-2016 - Seasons

Early Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons

 (Doves, Teal, Rails, Woodcock, Snipe, Common Moorhens, Purple Gallinules and Canada Geese)

Species Open Dates
(All dates inclusive)
Shooting Hours Daily Bag
Limit
Possession
Limit
Mourning Dove Sept.5-Sept. 7
Sept 8-Oct 17
Nov.14-Nov. 28
Dec. 15-Jan. 15
12 Noon until Sunset
1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
15
45
Marsh Hens/Rails (Clapper, King, Sora & Virginia) Sept. 26-Oct. 1
Oct.25-Dec. 27
1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset 15 (King & Clapper)

25 (Sora & Va.)
45 (King & Clapper)

75 (Sora & Va.)

Early Teal Sept. 11-Sept. 26 Sunrise until Sunset
6
18
Woodcock Dec. 18-Jan. 31 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
3
9
Common Snipe
(Wilson's)
Nov. 14-Feb. 28 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
8
24
Common Moorhens &
Purple Gallinules
Sept. 26-Oct.1
Oct. 25-Dec. 27
1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
15
45
**Canada Geese Sept. 1-Sept. 30 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
15
45

**This season is statewide!!

2015-2016 Late Migratory Bird Hunting Seasons

Species Open Dates
(All dates inclusive)
Shooting Hours Daily Bag
Limit
Possession
Limit
*Ducks (Excluding Sea Ducks), Coots, and Mergansers Nov. 21, 2015 – Nov. 28, 2015
Dec. 12, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016
1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset 6 total, including no more than 4 mallards (2 hens), 2 pintails, 1 fulvous whistling duck, 1 black-bellied whistling duck, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 2 scaup, and (1 black duck or 1 mottled duck) 18 total, including no more than 12 mallards (6 hens), 6 pintails, 3 fulvous whistling ducks, 3 black-bellied whistling ducks, 9 wood ducks, 6 redheads, 3 canvasbacks, 6 scaup and (3 black ducks or 3 mottled ducks or total of 3 of the species combined).
Coots Nov. 21, 2015 – Nov. 28, 2015
Dec. 12, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016
1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
15
45
Mergansers Nov. 21, 2015 – Nov. 28, 2015
Dec. 12, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016
1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset 5 (not to include more than 1 Hooded Merganser) 15 (not to include more than 3 hooded Mergansers)
There is no open season for harlequin ducks.
Canada Geese/ White Fronted Geese
(Late Seasons)
Nov. 21, 2015 – Nov. 28, 2015
Dec. 12, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016
Feb. 14, 2016 – Feb. 29, 2016

1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset

Revised Canada Goose Exclusion Zones

5 (not to include more than 2 white-fronted geese) 15 (not to include more than 6 white-fronted geese)
Blue and Snow Geese Nov. 21, 2015 – Nov. 28, 2015
Dec. 12, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016
1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
25
No Limit
Swans There is NO Open Season on Swans.
Brant Jan. 2, 2016 – Jan. 25, 2016 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset
2
6
Sea Ducks (eiders, scoters & longtailed ducks) Oct. 17, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset 7 (not to include more than 4 scoters) 21 (not to include more than 12 scoters)
Sea ducks taken outside of the regular duck season may be hunted only in Atlantic Ocean waters separated from any shore, island or emergent vegetation by at least one mile of open water. The shooting of crippled waterfowl from a motorboat under power in the designated sea duck zone is allowed.

Youth-Only Waterfowl Hunting Days

Daily and possession bag limits are as indicated above.

State Youth Day: Nov. 14, 2015. Only hunters 17 years of age or younger may hunt waterfowl (ducks, coots, & mergansers) on this day. The youth(s) must be accompanied by an adult of at least 21 years of age. The adult is not allowed to carry a gun or hunt, but must be properly licensed, including state and federal duck stamps. Youth who are 16 and 17 years of age who hunt on this day are not required to be licensed or have a state waterfowl stamp but must possess a Federal Waterfowl Stamp and Migratory Bird Permit.

Federal Youth Days: Feb. 6, 2016 & Feb. 13, 2016. Only hunters 15 years of age or younger may hunt waterfowl (ducks and geese) on these days. The youth(s) must be accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age. The adult is not allowed to carry a gun or hunt, and does not have to be licensed.