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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. (See map Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons & Bag Limits.)

Choosing the “Best” Duck Season Dates

Choosing the “best” duck season dates has long been a contentious topic among duck hunters. Depending on which species you’re interested in pursuing or the types of habitat you hunt (shallow marshes, deep water, fields, etc.), the “best” dates for each zone can vary from person to person. DEC, the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University, and the center for Conservation Social Sciences developed a new process that includes input from duck hunters and the best available data on duck abundance to determine the optimal duck season dates in each zone. Last fall, we began the process by surveying about one-third of the duck hunters in New York State to identify what duck hunters in each zone value and what drives their duck hunting satisfaction.

With information on duck hunter values in hand, DEC worked with Cornell University and the Lab of Ornithology to develop zone-specific, weekly estimates of migration and relative abundance for 12 species of ducks that frequently occur in the hunter’s bag (the map to the right is an example of the data used for Wood Duck abundance during the week of October 11th). After estimating duck abundance and migration trends at the zone scale, DEC worked with the waterfowl task forces in each zone to develop 5-10 unique season date “alternatives” that would create opportunity for different species groups (e.g., a duck season geared toward mallards and black ducks) or to capture more opportunity (e.g., a season that includes the maximum number of holidays and weekends). Finally, to determine the optimal season, DEC and Cornell University used the results of the hunter survey in conjunction with the migration and abundance data to determine which of the season alternatives developed by the hunter task forces best matched the values of duck hunters in each zone.

Below are the optimal duck season date structures identified for each zone. DEC intends to implement these date structures for the next 5 hunting seasons (2019-2020 through 2023-2024), barring any changes to the number of days allowed by the federal framework. For detailed information on season dates for a specific zone, please visit the DEC website: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40737.html.

Northeastern Zone

Western Zone

Southeastern Zone

Long Island Zone

Beginning on the 1st Saturday in October, running for 23 days, ending on a Sunday, and a second split beginning the 1st Saturday following the closure of the 1st split, running 37 days, and ending on a Sunday (e.g. Oct 5, 2019–Oct 27, 2019 and Nov 2, 2019–Dec 8, 2019). Beginning the 3rd Saturday in October, running 23 days, ending on a Sunday and a second split beginning on the last Saturday in November, running 37 days, and ending on a Sunday (e.g. Oct 19, 2019–Nov 10, 2019 and Nov 30, 2019–Jan 5, 2020). Beginning the 3rd Saturday in October, running for 44 days, ending on a Sunday, and a second split beginning the 1st Saturday following the closure of the 1st split, running 16 days, and ending on a Sunday (e.g. Oct 19, 2019–Dec 1, 2019 and Dec 7, 2019–Dec 22, 2019). Beginning on the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving, running for 9 days, ending on a Sunday, and a second split running for 51 days, opening on a Saturday, and ending on the last Sunday in January (e.g. Nov 23, 2019–Dec 1, 2019 and Dec 7, 2019–Jan 26, 2020).