Skip to main content


Waterfowl and Snipe Regulations

Synopsis of Federal Regulations

Applicable to Migratory Bird Hunting

Federal regulations regarding bird hunting are described in theCode of Federal Regulations (CFR). These can be found under “Title 50 – Wildlife and Fisheries.” The regulations below can be found at 50 CFR 20. unless otherwise noted.

WEAPON – Migratory game birds may be taken only with a 10 gauge or smaller shotgun capable of holding not more than three shells unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, inca- pable of removal without disassembling the gun, so the gun’s total capacity does not exceed three shells. Birds may also be taken by falconry, bow and arrow, or crossbow.

MOTOR-VEHICLE RESTRICTIONS – No person may take mi- gratory game birds from or by means, aid, or use of anymotor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft of anykind. Special regulations govern handicapped hunters.

WATERCRAFT RESTRICTIONS – Migratory game birds may not be taken from or by means of any watercraft or other craft having a motor attached, or any sailboat, unless the motor hasbeen completely shut off and/or the sails furled, and its progress there from has ceased. A watercraft under power may beused to retrieve dead or crippled birds but no shooting is permittedwhile the watercraft is underway. No person shall take migratorygame birds by means or aid of any motor driven land, water, or airconveyance, or any sailboat used for the purpose of or resulting inthe concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of any migratorybird.

DECOYS, CALLS AND BAITING – Migratory game birds may not be taken by the use or aid of live decoys, recorded or electronically amplified bird calls or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds. It is illegal to take birdsby the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area, where aperson knows or reasonably should know that the area is or hasbeen baited. An area is considered baited for 10 days after thecomplete removal of all bait. It is legal to take migratory gamebirds, except waterfowl, coots and cranes, on or over lands orareas that are not otherwise baited areas, and where grain orother feed has been distributed or scattered solely as the resultof manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the landwhere grown, or solely as the result of a normal agriculturaloperation.

RETRIEVAL AND TAGGING – No person shall kill or cripple anymigratory game bird without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the bird and retain it in his actual custody while in the field.Crippled birds must be killed immediately. Any birds given to orleft with another person must be tagged by the hunter with a tagshowing his signature, address, the number and species of birds, and the dates they were killed. Packages in which migratory game birds are shipped must show the names andad- dresses of the sender and receiver, and the number andspecies of birds contained in the parcel. (50 CFR 20.25, 20.36,20.44)

BAG LIMIT – No person may, during any one day, take more than one daily bag limit or possess more than one daily bag limit in the field, or whilereturning to the car, hunting camp or home. (50 CFR 20.24, 20.35)

IMPORTATION – For information regarding the importation of migratory game birds killed in another country, hunters should consult federalregulations. One fully feathered wing must remain attached to all migratory game birds being trans- ported between the port of entry and the hunter’shome or to a migratory bird preservation facility. No person shall import any migratory game birds from any country except Canada unless such birdsare dressed, drawn and the head and feet are removed. Special regulations govern consignment to an approved and licensed taxidermist. No person shall import migratory game birds belonging to another person. (50 CFR 20.61 through 20.66)

SEASON AND HOURS – No person may take migratory game birds during the closed season. Migratory game birds may be taken only during hoursopen to hunting. (50 CFR 20.22, 20.23)

ONE FEATHERED WING — Sportsmen should note that one feathered wing (or head for Sandhill crane only) must be left attached to allmigratory game birds until they reach their final destination.

NONTOXIC SHOT — No person may take ducks, geese (includ- ing brant), or coots while possessing shot (either in shotshells or as loose shot formuzzleloading) other than approved non- toxic shot. For a list of approved nontoxic shot, see

Monuments and military areas

The Grand Canyon-Parashant, Vermilion Cliffs, Sonoran Desert, Ironwood Forest, and Agua Fria National Monuments are open to hunting. CampNavajo in Unit 6B is open to hunting only to properly licensed members of the Arizona National Guard and Camp Navajo civilian personnel holding avalid Camp Navajo hunting permit. Season dates and regulations must be obtained from the Arizona National Guard. The Fort Huachuca ArmyGar- rison in Unit 35A is open to hunting only to properly licensed military and Fort Huachuca civilian personnel holding a valid Fort Huachuca posthunting permit. Season dates and special regulations must be obtained from Fort Huachuca.

The Florence Military Reservation (training areas B and D: the areas north and south of Cottonwood Canyon Road) in Unit 37B is subject to short-term closures due to military operations, including live fire operations, and requires coordination with the Florence Military Reservation for huntingaccess. For spe- cific closure dates or any other access concerns, contact the Florence Military Reservation at 602-267-2062.

Banded birds

Hunters can report recovery of banded birds by visiting

Waterfowl hunting information

Waterfowl hunting information is available by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s website at and selecting the “Game Species” button.


Be aware of changes to hunting at Roosevelt Lake listed in Note 23. Visit for a map and additional detailed information.

Arizona Migratory Bird Stamp required

Hunters ages 18 and older who wish to hunt ducks, geese, coots, snipe and gallinules(as well as dove and band-tailed pigeon) must purchase anArizona Migratory Bird Stamp for the 2022-2023 season. (The stamp is included with the Youth Com- bo Hunt/Fish license.) The stamp validates ahunting license for the Federal Harvest Information Program. The Arizona Migra- tory Bird Stamp is available for purchase at any license dealer, Gameand Fish Department offices or online at

To order by mail, please complete the form on the next page.

Remember: Hunters ages 16 and older who wish to hunt water- fowl are required under federal law to also purchase the Federal Migratory Bird HuntingStamp (i.e., Federal Duck Stamp).

Waterfowl Hunters – Arizona Bald Eagles Need Your Help

The bald eagle is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and various other state and federal laws. We are asking for your assistance to help avoid disturbing bald eagle breeding pairs while hunt- ing waterfowl. The noise from discharging your firearm near nesting bald eagles may cause a disturbance, placing you in violation of state and federal laws. The bald eagles are laying eggs and are very sensitive to human activity during the later part of the waterfowl season. Being aware of your surroundings and avoiding disturbance to bald eagles will help you comply with these laws.

At all bald eagle breeding areas, you are still responsible for maintaining compliance with federal and state laws protecting bald eagles. You can find a list of Bald Eagle Breeding Areas at For more information, contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department by email at [email protected] or call (623) 236-7575.

Hunt Zones

Hunt Zones