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Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon Florida Hunting

2017–2018 Florida Migratory Bird Hunting Season Dates and Bag Limits

Seasons and dates may not apply to wildlife management areas.


Season Dates

Daily Bag Limit

Possession Limit

Crow *

Aug. 12 – Oct. 29 (Sat. & Sun. only)

No limit

No limit

Nov. 11 – Feb. 18

Rail (King and clapper)

Sept. 1 – Nov. 9

15 (singly or in the aggregate)


Rail (Sora and Virginia)

Sept. 1 – Nov. 9

25 (singly or in the aggregate)


Common moorhen

Sept. 1 – Nov. 9



Canada goose W

Sept. 2 – 24



Nov. 18 – 26

Dec. 1 – Jan. 30

Duck W

Sept. 16 – 20 (teal and wood duck only)

6 (of which only 2 can be wood ducks)

3 times the daily bag

Sept. 21 – 24 (teal only)



Nov. 18 – 26

6 ducks, including no more than 4 mallards (of which only 2 can be females),
4 scoters, 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks,
3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 black ducks, 2 scaup, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail,
1 mottled duck (Florida duck) and
1 fulvous whistling-duck

3 times the daily bag

Dec. 9 – Jan. 28

Dove (Mourning and white-winged)

Sept. 23 – Oct. 23 **

15 (singly or in the aggregate)


Nov. 11 – Dec. 4

Dec. 12 – Jan. 15


Nov. 1 – Feb. 15




Nov. 18 – 26



Dec. 9 – Jan. 28

Light geese (Snow, blue and Ross’) W

Nov. 18 – 26

15 (singly or in the aggregate)

No limit

Dec. 9 – Jan. 28

Merganser W

Nov. 18 – 26

5 (of which only 2 may be hooded)

3 times the daily bag

Dec. 9 – Jan. 28


Dec. 18 – Jan. 31



Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

Feb. 3 – 4



2017-2018 Migratory bird hunting regulations

Daily bag limit: The maximum number of migratory game birds of a single species or combination (aggregate) of species permitted to be taken by one person in any one day during the open season in any one specified geographic area for which a daily bag limit is prescribed.

Possession limit: The maximum number of migratory game birds of a single species or a combination of species permitted to be possessed by any one person when lawfully taken in the United States in any one specified geographic area for which a possession limit is prescribed.

Personal abode: One’s principal or ordinary home or dwelling place, as distinguished from one’s temporary or transient place of abode or dwelling such as a hunting club, or any club house, cabin, tent or trailer house used as a hunting club, or any hotel, motel or rooming house used during a hunting, pleasure or business trip.

Tagging requirement: No person shall put or leave any migratory game birds at any place (other than at a personal abode), or in the custody of another person for picking, cleaning, processing, shipping, transportation, or storage (including temporary storage), or for the purpose of having taxidermy services performed, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter, stating his or her address, the total number and species of birds, and the date such birds were harvested. Migratory game birds being transported in any vehicle as the personal baggage of the possessor shall not be considered as being in storage or temporary storage.

Custody of birds of another: No person shall receive or have in custody any migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are properly tagged

Transportation of birds of another: No person shall transport migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are properly tagged.

Wanton waste of migratory game birds: No person shall kill or cripple any migratory game bird without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the bird, and retain it in his or her actual custody, at the place where taken or between that place and either (a) an automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b) a personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging; or (c) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (d) a post office; or (e) a common carrier facility.

Unlawful means and methods

No persons shall take migratory game birds:

  • With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance
  • With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells
  • From or by means, aid, or use of a sinkbox or any other type of low floating device, having a depression affording the hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water
  • From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft of any kind, except that paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs may take from any stationary motor vehicle or stationary motor-driven land conveyance
  • From or by means of any motorboat or other craft having a motor attached, or any sailboat, unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sails furled, and its progress there from has ceased
  • By the use or aid of live birds as decoys; although not limited to, it shall be a violation of this paragraph for any person to take migratory waterfowl on an area where tame or captive live ducks or geese are present unless such birds are and have been for a period of 10 consecutive days prior to such taking, confined within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audibility of their calls and totally conceals such birds from the sight of wild migratory waterfowl
  • By the use or aid of recorded or electrically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds. This restriction does not apply during dates States haves selected under the Conservation Order for light geese (i.e. greater and lesser snow and Ross’s geese) or those selected for the control of resident Canada geese. Taking or attempting to take any game species in Florida with recorded game calls or sounds is prohibited (68A-12.002).
  • By means or aid of any motor driven land, water, or air conveyance, or any sailboat used for the purpose of or resulting in the concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of any migratory bird
  • By the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area, where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited

Nontoxic shot

No person may take ducks, geese or coots while possessing shot (either shellshots or as loose shot for muzzleloading) other than approved non-toxic shot. For a list of approved non-toxic shot, see

If you have any questions about migratory bird regulations, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 850-488-5878.

For information on federal hunting regulations or violations, contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents: Groveland 352-429-1037; Ft. Myers 239-561-8144; Miami 305-526-2610; Vero Beach 772-562-3909 or Tallahassee 850-402-0573.

Dove Hunter’s Online Update

Information on Florida’s public dove fields is available in late September. Visit to get the latest information on special-opportunity dove hunts and dove fields on Florida’s WMAs. Information is updated throughout dove season.