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Waterfowl & Migratory Game Bird Regulations

License Requirements

A general hunting license or mentored permit is required. To hunt waterfowl, persons 16 and older are required to have a federal duck stamp, and it must be signed across the face and carried by the hunter. The Electronic Duck Stamp, or E-Stamp, is valid in Pennsylvania, and stamps can be purchased through “HuntFishPA.”

In addition, all hunters must have a Pennsylvania Migratory Game Bird License to hunt ducks, geese, doves, woodcock, brant, coots, gallinules, rails and snipe. Mentored hunters can purchase migratory game bird licenses and use them to hunt any migratory game bird species authorized for mentored hunting. This license may be obtained from any license issuing agent, or through

To hunt light geese in the conservation season, hunters must purchase a conservation season permit and submit a mandatory report on their hunting activity and harvest. For more information, visit, or call 717-787-4250.

Arms & Ammunition

1) Manual and semiautomatic shotguns no larger than 10-gauge with a capacity limited to no more than three shells in the chamber and magazine combined; 2) Long, recurve and compound bows and arrows; and crossbows. Only non-toxic fine shot up to and including size T (.20 inches) is lawful for waterfowl. It is unlawful to hunt waterfowl with lead shot.

Fluorescent Orange

Not required for waterfowl and dove hunters.


No person shall take migratory game birds:

  • With a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler that is incapable of removal without disassembling the gun.
  • From a sink box (a low-floating device, having a depression affording the hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water).
  • From or with the aid or use of a car or other motor-driven land conveyance, or any aircraft.
  • From or by means of any motorboat or sailboat unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sail furled, and its progress therefrom has ceased.
  • By the use or aid of live decoys. By using records or tapes of migratory bird calls or sounds, or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls.
  • By driving, rallying or chasing birds with any motorized conveyance or any sailboat to put them in range of hunters.
  • By the aid of baiting (placing feed such as corn, wheat, salt or other feed to constitute a lure or enticement), or on or over any baited area. Hunters should be aware that a baited area is considered to be baited for 30 days after the removal of the bait.


Electronic decoys can be used to hunt waterfowl, doves and crows.

Hunting Parties

Waterfowl and dove hunters can hunt in a party of more than six persons as long as they are hunting from a blind or stationary position.