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Migratory Bird Regulations

The complete migratory bird regulations will be published in the New Jersey 2010–11 Migratory Bird Regulations booklet available in September at license agents, Fish and Wildlife offices and on the Fish and Wildlife Web site at Migratory bird season dates published in the Migratory Bird Regulations booklet supersede those printed in this Digest if there are discrepancies.

Migratory Bird Seasons




Daily Bag Limit

September Canada Goose*


Sept. 1–30


Rail and moorhen


Sept. 1 – Nov. 8

Sora & Virginia rail:
25 total or aggregate;

moorhen and clapper rail: 10

Sea Duck

Special Sea Duck Area

Sept. 23 – Jan. 25, 2011

7, except no more than
4 scoters



Sept. 17 – Jan. 1, 2011


(Mon., Thurs., Fri., Sat.)


Aug. 9 – Dec. 4 &
Dec. 13 – Mar. 19

No limit


North Zone

Oct. 14 – Nov. 6


South Zone

Nov. 6–27 &
Dec. 31–Jan. 1, 2011

Mourning Dove



No Season

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

North Zone

Oct. 2

As for regular season
for all species

South Zone

Nov. 5– 6

Coastal Zone

Oct. 30

* See special regulations only for September Canada goose hunting, below.

What Do I Need To Hunt Migratory Birds In New Jersey?

Species Hunted

Hunting License

HIP Certification

NJ Stamp Certification

Federal Stamp



Woodcock, rail, moorhen, snipe



Duck, brant, goose





Waterfowl Stamps: Both the New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp Certification and Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp are required for waterfowl hunters 16 years and older and must be signed in ink. New Jersey Stamp Certifications (the state stamp itself no longer exists) are available from license agents and from the Licenses and Permits button on Fish and Wildlife’s Web site. Federal stamps are available from some U.S. post offices and online .

Information For Migratory Bird Hunters

Important Reminder in Obtaining HIP Certification

Hunters, including youths, must purchase a Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification before hunting ducks, geese, brant, woodcock, rails, snipe, coot or moorhens (gallinules) in New Jersey and must always hunt with proof in possession in the license holder. HIP certifications are valid from Sept. 1, 2010 to March 10, 2011.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will use this confidential information only to conduct migratory bird harvest surveys. Only a small, random group will be surveyed.

Hunters may purchase an HIP certification via three sales outlets:

  1. License Agents
    HIP certification may be purchased at any license agent for a $2 fee. Hunters will have their HIP certification printed on their license.
  2. Internet Sales Site
    Hunters may purchase an HIP certification for a $2 fee on Fish and Wildlife’s Internet sales site then self-print the HIP certifications.
  3. Telephone Sales Site
    Hunters may purchase their HIP certifications using Fish and Wildlife’s telephone sales process (888) 277-2015. Hunters will receive a transaction number; record this number for immediate proof of completing an HIP certification. The actual HIP certification will be mailed to the hunter. Note: purchases made via telephone will incur an additional shipping and handling fee of $5.13.

Attention Waterfowl Hunters:

Special Regulations Permitted During September Canada Goose Season

At the recommendation of the Atlantic Flyway Council, the US Fish and Wildlife Service approved the use of special regulations to help curb the growth of resident population Canada geese. These special regulations are optional.

  1. Electronic calls are permitted.
  2. Unplugged guns are permitted. Magazine and chamber may hold up to seven shells.
  3. Hunting hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. This allows hunting one half hour later than past years.

Remember: these special regulations apply only to the September Canada goose season. Hunters who choose to use an unplugged gun during the September Canada goose season must remember to reinstall the magazine plug before pursuing other game species.

During all other waterfowl seasons, including duck, brant, regular and winter Canada goose, and snow goose, standard regulations apply. Standard regulations include: electronic calls prohibited, shotguns may not be capable of holding more than three shot shells and hunting hours end at sunset.


New Jersey Waterfowlers Clinic

Every year, experienced waterfowlers throughout New Jersey join together dedicating their time and energy to present the New Jersey Waterfowlers Clinic—an all day, free seminar covering “everything you ever wanted to know” about the traditions of waterfowl hunting in New Jersey. This year is no exception!

Thirty years ago, the clinic began as an opportunity to introduce young people to the world of waterfowl hunting. However, with the growing interest among men and women, as well as children, the event has been transformed into an opportunity for anyone 10 and up to spend a fun and interesting day learning about waterfowling!

Our full-day clinic covers waterfowling from A to Z, and includes bird identification, decoys, calling, guns and ammo, boats, safety, laws and ethics, do’s and don’ts, clothing and camo, and even a demonstration by working retrievers! The value of the day is priceless. It’s a unique chance to ask any question you’ve ever had about the sport—to be answered by the most experienced waterfowlers in New Jersey. Our instructors have a combined 300 years of experience!

  • Free breakfast and lunch to all attending!
  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010
  • Location: Tip Seaman Park, Tuckerton, NJ
  • Time: 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Please register in advance so we can plan accordingly. Call George Larson at (732) 859-6752 or write him at

We hope you’ll join us this year and share our enthusiasm for all that is waterfowling!


Hunters: Report Banded Birds

Hunters who recover banded migratory birds are asked to report the band number to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL), Washington, D.C. Banding data plays a critical role in migratory bird harvest management. There are three ways to report bands:

  1. Online:
  2. Call Toll Free: (800) 327-BAND
  3. Write: to the address inscribed on the band.

Online reporting provides instant access to the original banding information including the species, sex, location, date and age of the bird at banding. Band reporters will be able to print a certificate of appreciation on their home computer or have a certificate mailed to them which will include information about the bird which had been banded.

When contacting the BBL, be prepared to provide: band number, date the bird was recovered, exact location of the bird’s recovery as well as nearest town, and method of recovery, e.g., shot or found dead. Hunters may keep the bands.


Attention Waterfowl Hunters:

Important Change Regarding New Jersey State Waterfowl Stamp

dreamstime_13114425_waterfowl hunting.jpg

Beginning in 2009, the physical artwork for the New Jersey waterfowl or duck stamp was discontinued. However, waterfowl hunters 16 years and older are still required to comply with the law and purchase a state waterfowl stamp certification through New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s licensing system prior to hunting. State stamp certifications are available from license agents or from Fish and Wildlife’s online license page . When the stamp certification is purchased at the same time as a license, proof of purchase will print on the license. Those who purchase a stamp certification at a time other than when the hunting license was purchased will receive a separate, printed stamp certificate. Stamp certifications can also be purchased online and then self-printed. The price of the stamp certification remains $5 for residents and $10 for nonresidents.

In New Jersey, the physical artwork stamp was discontinued to save administrative costs allowing more funds to be dedicated to purchasing waterfowl habitat for conservation and hunting. Artwork and paper stamps have been discontinued in nearly half of the states that require duck stamps.


The New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp Program: Did You Know?

The New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp Program has been a success story for waterfowl and their habitat. Since its inception in 1984, the Stamp Program has raised over $2.9 million leading to the purchase of 16,184 acres, from Sussex to Cape May, nearly all of which is open to waterfowl hunting. The Stamp Program has also funded habitat improvement projects and research activities related to habitat carrying capacity research studies in New Jersey.

Monies in the New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp Account are specifically and legally earmarked “…only for funding acquisition, protection, maintenance, improvement and enhancement of waterfowl habitat and associated wetlands…and access sites for public use of waterfowl habitat areas.” New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp Account monies cannot be used by the general state treasury or even for administrative costs within the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

The Waterfowl Advisory Committee oversees the New Jersey Duck Stamp Program. This nine-member volunteer committee was established by the Waterfowl Stamp Act of 1984.



Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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