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Federally Regulated Migratory Birds

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A separate publication with hunting regulations for ducks, geese, and other late-season migrants is distributed by the DNR, and available at gohuntgeorgia.comin late August.

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regulates the harvest of migratory birds by establishing framework (opening and closing dates, maximum season length, and maximum bag limits) within which states can set their migratory bird hunting seasons. Georgia annually proposes waterfowl and late-season migratory bird hunting season dates and bag limits that maximize opportunity within the framework adopted by the USFWS.

Migratory Bird Hunting License (H.I.P. License)

Migratory Bird Hunting License (H.I.P. License) is required for any person who purchases a license and hunts migratory birds (doves, ducks, geese, woodcock, snipe, coots, rails, or gallinules). This license is free and can be obtained by completing a migratory bird hunter questionnaire when purchasing a hunting license.


Electronic calls may be used. Crows may be taken outside of these dates only when causing agricultural damage.

Mourning Dove (including White-winged Dove)

  • Eurasian collared doves may be taken at any time; No limit.

Legal Hours

  • Dove: 12 noon until sunset on opening day of September season, and ½ hour before sunrise to sunset for the remainder of the season.
  • Other Migratory Birds: ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.

Federal Youth Waterfowl Days

Only youth 15 years of age or younger may hunt waterfowl or geese on these days. An adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth into the field but may not hunt. Dates available in late August at

Banded Birds

Hunters harvesting any banded migratory bird should call the Bird Banding Laboratory at 1-800-327-BAND or go to

Possession of Migratory Birds Harvested by Another

Persons possessing migratory birds harvested by another hunter must possess, in writing, the hunter’s signature, address, total number of birds harvested by species and dates of harvest.

Wildlife Restoration Program

What is the wildlife restoration program?

On September 2, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (now the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act.) This is the most successful effort for funding long-term wildlife conservation in the World. This Act fostered partnerships between Federal and State fish and wildlife agencies, the sporting arms industry, conservation groups, and sportsmen to benefit wildlife and has been key to implementing the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. The Wildlife Restoration Program that was authorized by the Act is the nation’s oldest and most successful wildlife conservation program. Through the purchase of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment this program is a successful user pay, user benefit program. The cycle graphic illustrates the funding process.

Wildlife Restoration Funds at Work in Georgia

Georgia receives approximately $7 million annually through the Wildlife Restoration Program and has received a total of nearly $146,000,000 since the program’s inception in 1939. The Wildlife Resources Division uses these funds for projects that promote conservation of wildlife and their habitats; provide public access to Georgia’s wildlife resources; hunter education and development; shooting range development and enhancement; wildlife research; and many other wildlife conservation projects. Examples of projects funded through the program include:

Successful restoration and management of white-tailed deer, wild turkey and black bear; Acquisition and/or management of more than 935,000 acres of public hunting lands on more than 100 Wildlife Management Areas statewide; Support and promotion of the National Archery in the Schools program; Construction, management and maintenance of Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center trap & skeet range and 17 other shooting ranges statewide; Assess the impacts of coyote predation on fawn recruitment; Population size, survival and reproductive ecology of the central Georgia black bear population; and many other important wildlife conservation projects.

To learn more about Wildlife Restoration in Georgia, visit and

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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