Hunting News

North Carolina’s Migratory Game Bird Seasons Set

nc wildlife resources

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has approved the season dates for dove and other webless migratory game birds, as well as September seasons for Canada geese and teal.

Shooting hours for all species are ½ hour before sunrise until sunset.  Dove hunters should make special note that shooting hours for doves this year will begin ½ hour before sunrise for the entire season, including opening day. This is a significant change from previous seasons, when shooting began at noon.

Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides frameworks from which to choose the seasons and the Commission selects the actual dates within these guidelines. The Commission allowed public input on the seasons throughout June on its website, www.ncwildlife.org.

The 2012–13 seasons for webless migratory game birds and waterfowl early seasons are:

SPECIES OPEN DATES DAILY
BAG
POSSESSION
Dove 2,3 Sept. 1 – Oct. 6 &
Nov. 19 – Nov. 24 &
Dec. 15 – Jan. 11
15 30
King and Clapper Rails 3 Sept. 1 – Nov. 9 15 30
Sora and Virginia Rails 3 Sept. 1 – Nov. 9 25 25
Gallinule and Moorhens 3 Sept. 1 – Nov. 9 15 30
Woodcock Dec. 13 – Jan. 26 3 6
Common Snipe Nov. 14 – Feb. 28 8 16
Canada Goose 4 Sept. 1-29 (statewide) 15 30
September Teal Season 5 Sept. 8 – Sept. 26 (East of US 17 Only) 4 8

1 Shooting hours for all species are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset unless otherwise specified.
2
Includes mourning doves and white-winged doves.
3
Daily bag limit is either singly or in aggregate.
4
In that area west of U.S. 17 only, expanded hunting methods are allowed for Canada geese.  These include: a) shooting hours are extended to ½ hour after sunset, b) unplugged guns are permitted, c) electronic calls are permitted.  This applies to this area only during the month of September.
5
Includes blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal.

The Commission also approved 2012–13 extended falconry season dates for webless species, which are:

SPECIES OPEN DATES DAILY BAG POSSESSION
Dove Oct. 13 – Nov. 17 3 6
King, Clapper, Sora and Virginia Rails Nov. 17 – Dec. 22 3 6
Gallinule and Moorhens Nov. 17 – Dec. 22 3 6
Woodcock Nov. 5 – Dec. 8 &Feb. 1 – Feb. 28 3 6

** Falconers also may hunt during the applicable gun seasons.  Daily bag and possession limits of 3 and 6, respectively, also apply while hunting during the gun season.
** Falconry hours for all species are ½ before sunrise until sunset.
** Falconry is not allowed on Sunday.
** Daily bag and possession limits are for all species singly or in the aggregate.  For example, if the applicable season(s) are open, a daily bag may consist of 3 doves or 1 dove, 1 snipe and 1 woodcock for a total of 3 migratory game birds.

For more information, visit Waterfowl and Migratory Game Birds in North Carolina.

Logo courtesy of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

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