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Migratory Game Bird Seasons & Limits

Hunting Regulations Icon Maryland Hunting

Migratory Game Bird Seasons, Bag Limits, and Locations

There is no open season for gallinules, harlequin ducks, moorhens or swans.

Migratory Canada Geese (Atlantic Population) and Resident Canada Geese have different hunting zones.

Early Resident Canada Goose Eastern Zone Season 2018

Season Dates:

  • Sept. 1–15

The Eastern Zone season is open in these counties:

  • Calvert
  • Caroline
  • Cecil
  • Dorchester
  • Harford
  • Kent
  • Queen Anne’s
  • St. Mary’s
  • Somerset
  • Talbot
  • Wicomico
  • Worcester; and
  • that part of Anne Arundel County east of Interstate 895, Interstate 97 and Route 3; and
  • that part of Prince George’s County east of Route 3 and Route 301; and
  • that part of Charles County east of Route 301.

Early Resident Canada Goose Western Zone Season 2018

Season Dates:

  • Sept. 1–25

The Western Zone season is open in these counties:

  • Allegany
  • Baltimore
  • Carroll
  • Frederick
  • Garrett
  • Howard
  • Montgomery
  • Washington; and
  • that part of Anne Arundel County west of Interstate 895, Interstate 97 and Route 3; and
  • that part of Prince George’s County west of Route 3 and Route 301; and
  • that part of Charles County west of Route 301

Early Resident Canada Goose Bag Limits and Rules:

  • The Eastern and Western Zone daily bag limit is 8 geese and the possession limit is 24.
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset for both zones.
  • Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells may be used to take resident Canada geese during the September seasons only.

Migratory Canada Goose (Atlantic Population) Season 2018-2019

Migratory Canada Goose (Atlantic Population) Season Dates:

  • Nov. 17–Nov. 23, Dec. 14–Feb. 2

The Atlantic Population Hunt Zone includes these counties:

  • Anne Arundel
  • Baltimore
  • Calvert
  • Caroline
  • Cecil
  • Dorchester
  • Harford
  • Howard
  • Kent
  • Queen Anne’s
  • Somerset
  • St. Mary’s
  • Talbot
  • Wicomico
  • Worcester;
    and
  • that portion of Carroll County east of Route 31 to the intersection of Route 97, and east of Route 97 to the Pennsylvania line; and
  • that portion of Prince George’s County east of Route 3 and Route 301; and
  • that portion of Charles County east of Route 301.

Migratory Canada Goose (Atlantic Population) Zone Bag Limits and Rules:

  • The daily bag limit is 2 geese (in the Atlantic Population Hunt Zone) and the possession limit is 6.
  • The bag limit may include Canada geese, cackling geese and white-fronted geese.
  • Shooting hours for this season and zone are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Late Resident Canada Goose Season 2018-2019

Late Resident Canada Goose Season Dates:

  • Nov. 17–Nov. 23, Dec. 14–Mar. 9

The Late Resident Goose Hunt Zone includes these counties:

  • Allegany
  • Frederick
  • Garrett
  • Montgomery
  • Washington;
    and
  • that portion of Carroll County west of Route 31 to the intersection of Route 97, and west of Route 97 to the Pennsylvania line; and
  • that portion of Prince George’s County west of Route 3 and Route 301; and
  • that portion of Charles County west of Route 301.

Late Resident Bag Limits and Rules:

  • The daily bag limit is 5 geese (in the Late Resident Goose Hunt Zone) and the possession limit is 15.
  • The bag limit may include Canada geese, cackling geese and white-fronted geese.
  • Shooting hours for this season and zone are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

September Teal Season 2018

Season Dates:

  • Sept. 17–29

The September Teal Season is open in these counties:

  • Calvert
  • Caroline
  • Cecil
  • Dorchester
  • Harford
  • Kent
  • Queen Anne’s
  • St. Mary’s
  • Somerset
  • Talbot
  • Wicomico
  • Worcester; and
  • that part of Anne Arundel County east of Interstate 895, Interstate 97 and Route 3; and
  • that part of Prince George’s County east of Route 3 and Route 301; and
  • that part of Charles County east of Route 301.

September Teal Bag Limits and Rules

  • The daily bag limit is 6 teal. The bag limit may include blue-winged and green-winged teal. The possession limit is 18.
  • Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for September Teal Season.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days 2018-2019

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days:

  • Nov. 3, 2018 and Feb. 9, 2019

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are for hunters age 16 or younger only.

To hunt during these days:

  • Youth hunters must have a hunting license or be exempt from the license requirement (see Who May Hunt Without a License on Hunting Licenses).
  • These hunters must possess the printed validation showing proof of purchase of the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp and Harvest Information Program certification.
  • A Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp is not required of those under 16 years of age. This stamp is required of those who are 16 years old.
  • Youth hunters hunting on these days must be accompanied in the field by an individual who:
    • Is 21 years old or older;
    • Possesses a valid Maryland hunting license (an Apprentice Hunting License does not meet this requirement), or is exempt from hunting license requirements;
    • Is unarmed;
    • Is not participating in other waterfowl seasons that are open on the youth days; and
    • May assist with decoys, call waterfowl and retrieve downed birds.

Youth Waterfowl Days Bag Limits and Rules:

The daily bag limit for each Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day is:

  • 6 ducks, no more than:
    • 5 sea ducks (no more than 4 scoters, 4 long-tailed ducks or 4 eiders)
    • 4 mallards (only 2 can be hens)
    • 3 wood ducks
    • 2 black ducks
    • 2 canvasback
    • 2 hooded mergansers
    • 2 pintails
    • 2 redheads
    • 2 scaup
    • 1 fulvous tree duck
    • 1 mottled duck
  • 2 brant
  • 2 Canada geese in the Atlantic Population Goose Hunt Zone or
  • 5 Canada geese in the Late Resident Goose Hunt Zone
  • 15 coots
  • 25 light geese
  • Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days.

Regular Duck Season 2018-2019 (Including coots)

Statewide Season Dates:

  • Oct. 13–Oct. 20, Nov. 10–Nov. 23, Dec. 11–Jan. 26

Statewide Seasons Dates for Black Duck

  • Nov. 10–Nov. 23, Dec. 11–Jan. 26

Black ducks may only be taken during the Black Duck Season.

Duck Season Daily Bag Limits and Rules:

  • 6 ducks, no more than:
    • 4 mallards (only 2 can be hens)
    • 3 wood ducks
    • 2 black ducks (Black Duck Season only)
    • 2 canvasback
    • 2 hooded mergansers
    • 2 pintails
    • 2 redheads
    • 2 scaup
    • 1 fulvous tree duck
    • 1 mottled duck
    • 5 sea ducks (no more than 4 scoters, 4 long-tailed ducks or 4 eiders).
      NOTE – In the Special Sea Duck Zone, sea ducks may only be taken during Nov. 3–Jan. 11. In all other areas, sea ducks may be taken during the Regular Duck Season as part of the regular duck bag limit.
  • All other species of ducks may be taken up to the 6 duck limit.
  • There is no open season for harlequin ducks.
  • The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.
  • Shooting hours for all duck and coot seasons are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
  • In addition to the duck bag limit hunters may take 15 coots per day.

Sea Duck Season In the Special Sea Duck Zone 2018-2019

Sea Duck Zone Season Dates:

  • Nov. 3–Jan. 11
  • Sea ducks may only be taken in the Special Sea Duck Zone during the Sea Duck Season. Outside of the Special Sea Duck Zone, sea ducks may be taken as part of the regular duck bag limit when the Regular Duck Season is open.
  • Sea duck species are black scoters, eiders, long-tailed ducks, surf scoters and white-winged scoters.

Sea Duck Zone Bag Limits and Rules:

  • The daily bag limit is 5 for sea ducks in the Special Sea Duck Zone and may include no more than 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks or 4 scoters.
  • The possession limit is 15 for sea ducks taken in the Special Sea Duck Zone including no more than 12 scoters.
  • For more information on the Special Sea Duck Zone see: dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/hunt_trap/seaducks.aspx

Brant Season 2018-2019

Statewide Season Dates:

  • Nov. 8–Nov. 23, Dec. 10–Jan. 31
  • The daily bag limit is 2 brant and the possession limit is 6.
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Light Goose Season 2018-2019

Statewide Season Dates:

  • Oct. 1–Nov. 23, Dec. 10–Feb. 2 and Feb. 9

Statewide Season Bag Limits and Rules:

  • A Maryland hunting license (or resident Delaware hunting license) is required to hunt light geese in Maryland during the Light Goose Season (see Hunting Licenses and Prices).
  • The daily bag limit is 25 light geese and there is no possession limit.
  • The bag limit may include greater snow geese, lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese.
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for the light goose hunting season.

Light Goose Conservation Order Season 2018-2019

Conservation Order Season Dates:

  • Nov. 26–Dec. 8, Feb. 4–Feb. 8, Feb. 11–Apr. 15
  • The Light Goose Conservation Order Season provides additional hunting opportunities and methods to help reduce light goose over-population.
  • A Maryland hunting license (or resident Delaware hunting license) is required to hunt light geese in Maryland during the Light Goose Conservation Order Season (see Hunting Licenses and Prices).
  • Hunters must possess the printed validation showing proof of purchase of the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp and Harvest Informatin Program certification to hunt during the Maryland Light Goose Conservation Order Season (see General Migratory Bird Hunting Rules).
  • A $5 Maryland Snow Goose Conservation Order Hunting Season Permit is required to participate in the Light Goose Conservation Order Season. Hunters must possess the printed validation showing proof of the purchase of this permit while hunting.
  • A Federal Duck Stamp is not required when hunting during the Conservation Order Season.
  • The Light Goose Conservation Order Season Zone includes these counties:
    • Anne Arundel
    • Baltimore
    • Calvert
    • Caroline
    • Cecil
    • Dorchester
    • Harford
    • Howard
    • Kent
    • Queen Anne’s
    • Somerset
    • St. Mary’s
    • Talbot
    • Wicomico
    • Worcester; and
    • that portion of Carroll County east of Route 31 to the intersection of Route 97, and east of Route 97 to the Pennsylvania line; and
    • that portion of Prince George’s County east of Route 3 and Route 301; and
    • that portion of Charles County east of Route 301.

Conservation Order Season Zone Bag Limits and Rules:

  • The Light Goose Conservation Order Season and Zone does not include the Special Sea Duck Zone.
  • There is no bag limit or possession limit for the Light Goose Conservation Order Season.
  • Hunters may take greater snow geese, lesser snow geese and Ross’s geese.
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to one half hour after sunset during the Light Goose Conservation Order Season.
  • Shotguns capable of holding more than three shells and electronic calls of light geese may be used during the Light Goose Conservation Order Season.

Mourning Dove Season 2018-2019

Statewide Season Dates:

  • Sept. 1–Oct. 20, Oct. 27–Nov. 23, Dec. 18–Jan. 12

Statewide Bag Limits and Rules:

  • The daily bag limit is 15 for doves. The possession limit for doves is 45.
  • Shooting hours for the Sept. 1–Oct. 20 dove season segment are 12 noon to sunset. For season dates after Oct. 20 the hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset

Woodcock Season 2018-2019

Statewide Season Dates:

  • Oct. 24–Nov. 23, Jan. 7–Jan. 26

Statewide Bag Limits and Rules:

  • The daily bag limit is 3 woodcock and the possession limit is 9.
  • Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for woodcock.

Rail Season 2018

Statewide Season Dates:

  • Sept. 1–Nov. 21

Statewide Bag Limits and Rules:

  • Clapper and King Rails: The daily bag limit is 10 (with no more than 1 king rail). The possession limit is 30 clapper and king rails (with no more than 3 king rails).
  • Sora and Virginia Rails: The daily bag limit is 25 and the possession limit for these rails is 75.
  • Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for rails.

Common Snipe Season 2018-2019

Statewide Season Dates:

  • Sept. 29–Jan. 31

Statewide Bag Limits and Rules:

  • The daily bag limit is 8 common snipe and the possession limit is 24.
  • Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for common snipe.

Extended Falconry Seasons 2018-2019

  • Hunting with birds of prey (here referred to as Falconry) is permitted one half hour before sunrise to sunset, Monday through Saturday. No Sundays are open to hunt migratory birds.
  • A valid hunting license, migratory game bird stamps and a Falconry Permit are required to hunt migratory game birds with birds of prey.
  • A bird of prey may be used to hunt migratory game birds during any open season.
  • In addition to the regular open seasons, the Extended Falconry Season dates are as follows for hunting migratory game birds:
    • Mourning Doves: Jan. 14–Jan. 31
    • Rails: Nov. 22–Dec. 26
    • Woodcock: Oct. 1–Oct. 26, Feb. 4–Mar. 10
    • Ducks: Jan. 30–Mar. 10
    • Brant: Feb. 1–Mar. 10
    • Light Geese: Feb. 11–Mar. 10

Bag limits for each species is 3 per day, with a possession limit of 9.

 

All requirements of a Junior Hunting License or Apprentice Hunting License apply for these special pheasant hunting events.

Mail the completed application to:
MD DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service
12512 Pleasant Valley Rd NE
Flintstone, MD 21530

Applications must be received by November 10, 2018.