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Waterfowl Hunting Zone Descriptions

Hunting Regulations Icon New York Hunting

NY State Goose Hunting Areas

See road boundaries at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28510.html

  1. The Lake Champlain Goose Hunting Area is the same as the Lake Champlain Waterfowl Hunting Zone (see below).
  2. The Northeast Goose Hunting Area is the same as the Northeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zone (see below).
  3. The West Central Goose Hunting Area consists of the following WMUs: 7A, 7H, 8A, 8C, 8F, 8H, 8J, 8R and 8S. The West Central Goose Hunting Area also includes: that part of WMU 6K lying west of a continuous line extending along the north shore of the Salmon River from US Route 11 to Interstate Route 81, then south along Route 81 to Route 49; those parts of WMUs 7F and 7J lying west of Route 81; and that part of WMU 8G lying north and east of a continuous line extending along the New York State Thruway from Crittenden-Murrays Corners Road (near the Erie-Genesee county line) to Exit 48 in Batavia, then south along Route 98 to Route 20.
  4. The East Central Goose Hunting Area consists of the following WMUs: 4A, 4F, 6P, 6R, 6S, 7M and 7P. The East Central Goose Hunting Area also includes those parts of WMUs 7F and 7J lying south of Route 31 and east of Route 81.
  5. The Hudson Valley Goose Hunting Area consists of the following WMUs: 3F, 3J, 3M, 4B, 4C, 4J, 4K, 4L, 4S, 4T, 4U, 4Y, 4Z, 5R; that part of WMU 5S lying south of a continuous line extending east along Route 29 to Route 22, north along Route 22 to Washington County Route 153, then east along Route 153 to the New York–Vermont boundary; and that part of WMU 3G lying in Dutchess County.
  6. The South Goose Hunting Area consists of the following WMUs: 3A, 3C, 3H, 3K, 3N, 3P, 3R, 4G, 4H, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4W, 7R, 7S, 8M, 8N, 8P, 8T, 8W,8X, 8Y, 9A, 9C, 9F, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M, 9N, 9P, 9R, 9S, 9T, 9W, 9X and 9Y. The South Goose Hunting Area also includes: that part of WMU 8G lying south and west of a continuous line extending along the New York State Thruway from Crittenden-Murrays Corners Road (near the Erie-Genesee county line) to Exit 48 in Batavia, then south along State Route 98 to State Route 20; that part of WMU 3G lying in Putnam County; and that part of WMU 3S lying north of Route I-95.
  7. The Western Long Island Goose Hunting Area is that area of Westchester County and its tidal waters southeast of Interstate Route 95 and that area of Nassau and Suffolk counties lying west of a continuous line extending due south from the New York-Connecticut boundary to the northernmost end of Sound Road (just east of Wading River Marsh); then south on Sound Road to North Country Road; then west on North Country Road to Randall Road; then south on Randall Road to Route 25A, then west on Route 25A to Sunken Meadow Parkway; then south on Sunken Meadow Parkway to the Sagtikos State Parkway; then south on the Sagtikos Parkway to the Robert Moses State Parkway; then south on the Robert Moses Parkway to its southernmost end; then due south to international waters.
  8. The Central Long Island Goose Hunting Area is that area of Suffolk County lying between the Western and Eastern Long Island Goose Hunting areas, as defined above and below.
  9. The Eastern Long Island Goose Hunting Area is that area of Suffolk County lying east of a continuous line extending due south from the New York-Connecticut boundary to the northernmost end of Roanoke Avenue in the Town of Riverhead, south on Roanoke Avenue (which becomes County Route 73) to State Route 25, west on Route 25 to Peconic Avenue, south on Peconic Avenue to County Route (CR) 104 (Riverleigh Avenue), south on CR 104 to CR 31 (Old Riverhead Road), south on CR 31 to Oak Street, south on Oak Street to Potunk Lane, then west on Stevens Lane, then south on Jessup Avenue (in Westhampton Beach) to Dune Road (CR 89), then due south to international waters.

Waterfowl Hunting Zones

Western Zone – That area west of a continuous line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to Interstate Route 81 and then south along Interstate Route 81 to the New York-Pennsylvania boundary.

Northeastern Zone – That area north of a continuous line extending from Lake Ontario east along the north shore of the Salmon River to Interstate Route 81, south along Interstate Route 81 to Route 31, east along Route 31 to Route 13, north along Route 13 to Route 49, east along Route 49 to Route 365, east along Route 365 to Route 28, east along Route 28 to Route 29, east along Route 29 to Route 22, north along Route 22 to Route 153, east along Route 153 to the New York-Vermont boundary, exclusive of the Lake Champlain Zone.

Lake Champlain Zone – That area east and north of a continuous line extending along Route 11 from the New York-Canada boundary south to Route 9B, south along Route 9B to Route 9, south along Route 9 to Route 22 south of Keeseville, south along Route 22 to the west shore of South Bay along and around the shoreline of South Bay to Route 22 on the east shore of South Bay, southeast along Route 22 to Route 4, northeast along Route 4 to the New York-Vermont boundary.

Southeastern Zone – That area east of Interstate Route 81 that is south of a continuous line extending from Interstate Route 81 east along Route 31 to Route 13, north along Route 13 to Route 49, east along Route 49 to Route 365, east along Route 365 to Route 28, east along Route 28 to Route 29, east along Route 29 to Route 22, north along Route 22 to Route 153, east along Route 153 to the New York-Vermont boundary, and northwest of Interstate Route 95 in Westchester County.

Long Island Zone – That area consisting of Nassau and Suffolk counties and their tidal waters, and that area of Westchester County and its tidal waters southeast of Interstate Route 95.

Special Sea Duck Area – All coastal waters and all waters of rivers and streams in New York State seaward from the first upstream bridge.

Accessing Great Waterfowl Hunting in New York State

New York boasts a variety of waterfowl hunting opportunities on private lands, public lands, and public waterways. As a “pinch point” in the Atlantic Flyway, almost all species found in the flyway can be found or hunted in New York (33 species to be exact!). Hunters can experience duck and goose hunting in diverse habitats from tidal marshes on the south shore of Long Island, to small beaver ponds in the Adirondacks and Catskills, to large open waters of the Finger Lakes and Great Lakes. DEC divides the state into five hunting zones with independent season dates to maximize hunting opportunity that overlaps with waterfowl migration, weekends, and holidays. The result is that hunters can find an open waterfowl season somewhere in the state from September through April!

Although the many waterways across the state provide great hunting opportunities, goose hunters will typically need access to private lands where fields can be very productive hunting locations. Approaching landowners can be an intimidating experience, but keep in mind that Canada geese can damage agricultural plantings and hunting can be a useful management tool to reduce damage. As a result, many farmers and property owners are open to allowing hunting. Taking the time to scout and politely ask permission can greatly improve your odds of having a successful hunt.

Aside from field hunting opportunities, waterfowl hunters have the distinct advantage that many of the best hunting areas and waterways around the state are publicly owned. Hunters without access to private lands can concentrate on larger bodies of water such as Lake Ontario, Lake Champlain, Great South Bay, or the Finger Lakes in Central New York. If hunting from shore, hunters should be aware that most shorelines above the mean low tide mark are private property and hunters may not hunt from or anchor on private property without permission from the landowner. On these larger bodies of water, housing or other developments often are near high quality waterfowl habitats and the State Legislature determined that special considerations were warranted. As a result, hunters pursuing waterfowl on public property or private property with the permission from the landowner may discharge their firearm over open water within 500 feet of a dwelling, provided there is not any dwelling, public structure, livestock, or person within 500 feet of the shooter in the direction they are shooting. When hunting ducks or geese that congregate on near-shore waters, it is safer for a hunter to shoot away from shore than to shoot toward shore from open water. DEC encourages hunters to be considerate of residents living along shorelines who may not be knowledgeable about duck hunting seasons and methods. Abusing this exemption from the 500’ setback distance could result in areas being permanently closed to hunting.

If hunters do not have access to the necessary equipment to hunt larger bodies of water, there is an abundance of opportunity on DEC managed wetlands that can be accessed on foot and by canoe or kayak and with minimal equipment. On many Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), DEC manipulates water levels to maximize food availability for waterfowl and to provide migratory and breeding habitat for a variety of game and non-game species throughout the year. Places like Northern Montezuma, Tonawanda, Oak Orchard, Perch River, and Wilson Hill WMAs provide excellent viewing and hunting opportunities.

For a list of public properties with waterfowl hunting opportunities in each waterfowl hunting zone, visit: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/103606.html

Waterfowl Blinds for Hunters with Disabilities

Duck hunting is available for people who require easier access to hunting locations. DEC and cooperating state and federal partners have developed blinds on WMAs accessible for people of all abilities:

  • Region 1: Otis Pike Preserve
  • Region 4: Vosburgh Swamp WMA
  • Region 6: Upper and Lower Lakes WMA
  • Region 7: Hamlin Marsh WMA
  • Region 8: Northern Montezuma, Tonawanda, John White WMAs
  • Region 9: Spicer Creek WMA, Chautauqua Lake FWMA

For more information on hunting at these locations contact the regional wildlife office. To see the full list of accessible duck hunting blinds and other recreation opportunities visit: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/34038.html