Waterfowl hunting to begin in October

September 05, 2004

ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the final 2004-05 late waterfowl hunting seasons for Maryland.

This year's waterfowl hunting seasons include a 45-day hunting season for migratory AP (Atlantic Population) Canada geese. The AP goose season will be split into two parts, from Nov. 18-26 and from Dec. 18 to Jan. 29.

The daily bag limit will be a goose per day for the first 25 days of the season, and two geese per day starting Jan. 7 for the last 20 days of the season.

A 60-day duck season will be held from Oct. 9-16, Nov. 13-26 and Dec. 14 to Jan. 29. The daily bag limit will be five ducks. In addition to the basic five-duck daily bag limit, hunters may take one additional teal (blue-winged or green-winged) duck during any of the three split seasons.


As in past years, the taking of black ducks during the first split of the duck season (Oct. 9-16) is not permitted. The measure provides protection to local breeding black ducks. Black ducks may be taken only during the last two splits of the regular duck-hunting season when northern-breeding black ducks have arrived in the Chesapeake region and have mixed with local birds.

Dry conditions in southern Canada and the north-central United States this spring led to a slight reduction in the breeding population of northern pintails. Harvest restrictions implemented for this species in 2002 and 2003 will be continued this year.

In Maryland, the 30-day pintail season will be during the first split duck season (Oct. 9-16) and the last 23 days (Jan. 4-29) of the third split season. The bag limit will be one pintail per day.

This year's duck hunting season also will include an opportunity for waterfowl hunters to harvest canvasbacks. With an improvement in the canvasback breeding population, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has authorized a 30-day canvasback-hunting season in Maryland.

The canvasback season will open Dec. 27 and run through Jan. 29. Hunters may take one canvasback as part of their five-duck regular daily bag limit.

The National Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day will be Nov. 6. Hunters 15 and younger who are accompanied by an unarmed adult 21 or older may take ducks, coots, mergansers, snow geese, brant and two Canada geese on this day.

The 2004-05 late waterfowl season dates and bag limits will be published in the annual migratory game bird season synopsis that will be distributed to DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service offices and sport license agents in mid-September. The information also is available by accessing the Maryland DNR Web site at

All migratory game bird hunters, including landowners who are license exempt, are required to obtain the HIP (Harvest Information Program) permit and the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp.

Migratory bird hunters no longer are required to sign and attach the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp to their hunting licenses. However, hunters now must possess the printed receipt showing proof of purchase of the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp while hunting migratory game birds.

All waterfowl hunters 16 and older also must possess the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp). Hunters still are required to sign and affix the Federal Duck Stamp to their hunting licenses. Hunters may obtain federal duck stamps at U.S. Post Offices, National Wildlife Refuges and some DNR sport license agents.

Waterfowl hunters are reminded that nontoxic shot is required for hunting waterfowl and coots. Hunters may not possess or use nontoxic shot shells containing shot larger than size No. T or use or possess any lead shot shells while waterfowl hunting.

Hunters are encouraged to report banded migratory game birds by calling 800-327-2263. Banded birds also may be reported online at

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