Apply for Waterfowl Permit Hunts Starting Sept. 1

The N.C Wildlife Resources Commission has set season dates, bag limits and applicable regulations for the 2013-14 waterfowl and extended falconry seasons.

Beginning Sept. 1, hunters can apply for permit waterfowl hunts online or by visiting a Wildlife Service Agent, or calling 888-248-6834, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Application deadline for the majority of waterfowl permit hunts is Oct. 1.

Information on all late-season waterfowl permit hunting opportunities, including locations, dates and quotas, will be available on the agency’s website, Sept. 1.
The following are the 2013-14 bag limits, shooting hours and season dates for waterfowl seasons occurring after Sept. 30. Possession limits are three times the daily bag unless otherwise noted.


  1. Conventional bag: 6 ducks with no more than 4 scoters, 4 mallards with no more than 2 hen mallards, 3 wood ducks, 2 scaup, 2 redheads, 2 pintails, 2 canvasbacks, 1 black or mottled duck (season closed until Nov. 23), or 1 fulvous whistling duck. The season on harlequin ducks is closed.
  2. Coots and Mergansers: 15 coots and 5 mergansers (2 hooded mergansers)
  3. Light Geese: 25 light geese (includes snow, blue and Ross’ geese), no possession limit;
  4. Dark Geese (includes Canada geese and White-fronted geese): 5 in the Resident Hunt Zone, 5 in the Southern James Bay Hunt Zone, and 1 in the Northeast Hunt Zone.
  5. Sea Ducks (includes scoters, eiders and long-tailed ducks): 7 sea ducks in special sea duck area only. In other areas, sea ducks are part of the regular duck bag limit; no more than 4 scoters a day may be taken in either the special sea duck season or the regular duck season;
  6. Atlantic Brant: 2 birds daily
  7. Tundra Swan: 1 per season (with valid permit)

Season Dates:

Ducks, Coots and Mergansers:
Oct. 2-5,
Nov. 9 – Nov. 30 and
Dec. 14 – Jan. 25 [Black and mottled ducks closed until Nov. 23]

Sea Ducks (In special sea duck area only): Oct. 2 – Jan. 31

Dark Geese (Includes Canada geese and white-fronted geese):
Resident Population Hunt Zone: Oct. 2-12, Nov. 9 – Nov. 30 and Dec. 14 – Feb. 8
Southern James Bay Hunt Zone (Gaddy Goose Refuge closed after Sept. 30): Oct. 2 – Oct. 30 and Nov. 9 – Dec. 31.
Northeast Hunt Zone: Jan. 10– Jan. 25 (By permit only)
To view a map of the goose hunt zones, refer to the Regulations Digest or online.

Light Geese (Includes snow and blue geese, and Ross’ geese):
Oct. 16 – Oct. 19
Nov. 9 – March 8
Electronic calls and unplugged guns are allowed from Feb. 10 – March 8

Brant: Dec. 23 – Jan. 25

Tundra Swan: Nov. 9 – Jan. 31
(1 per season by permit only; 5,000 will be issued.)

Youth Waterfowl Days (includes ducks, geese, brant, mergansers, coots and tundra swans.): Feb. 1 and Feb. 8
Youth must be 15 years of age or younger and accompanied by a properly licensed adult. The adult cannot duck hunt but may participate in other seasons that are open on youth waterfowl days.

Extended falconry seasons and bag limits are as follows. Extended falconry seasons for the webless species were approved by the Commission at its business meeting in July.

Dove: Oct. 12 – Nov. 16
Daily Bag: 3
Possession: 9

King, Clapper, Sora and Virginia Rails: Nov. 23 – Dec. 28
Daily Bag: 3
Possession: 9

Gallinule and Moorhens: Nov. 23 – Dec. 28
Daily Bag: 3
Possession: 9

Woodcock: Nov. 4 – Dec. 7 & Feb. 1 – Feb. 28
Daily Bag: 3
Possession: 9

Ducks, mergansers and coots 1: Oct. 21 – Nov. 2 & Jan. 27 – Feb. 15
Daily Bag: 3
Possession: 9

NOTE: The taking of harlequin ducks is prohibited.
• Falconers may also hunt during the applicable gun seasons. Daily bag and possession limits of 3 and 9, respectively, also apply while hunting during the gun season.
• Falconry hours for all species are from ½ hour 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 duck and 1 woodcock for a total of 3 migratory game birds.

For more information on hunting in North Carolina, visit the Hunting Page.

Logo courtesy North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

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