Waterfowl hunters: Dates and regulations approved for 2019-2020

Published 2:48 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Waterfowl hunters can begin making season plans now that the 2019-2020 migratory bird season hunting dates and regulations were recently approved by the Board of Natural Resources.

“The 2019-2020 waterfowl hunting season has changed compared to previous years,” said Greg Balkcom, state waterfowl biologist for the Wildlife Resources Division. “The duck hunting season will end on the fixed date of January 31 each year, not the last Sunday in January. The daily bag limit for mallards dropped to two this year, with no more than one hen, and the pintail bag limit dropped to one. These bag limit changes are responsive to population levels for these species.”

Behind the scenes, the process used to select the waterfowl hunting regulations in the Atlantic Flyway also changed.

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“Rather than select regulations based on the status of Eastern mallards, we now look collectively at the status of four species; wood ducks, ring-necked ducks, American green-winged teal, and common goldeneye,” said Balkcom.

If you want to know more about the changes to the migratory bird regulatory process, or about the status of mallards, visit https://georgiawildlife.com/hunting/waterfowl.

Some need-to-know dates and details for waterfowl season are the September Canada goose season (Sept. 7-29) and the September teal season (Sept. 14-29).  Canada goose hunting has three additional seasons: Oct. 12-27, Nov. 23–Dec. 1, and Dec. 12 – Jan. 31.  Hunting season for ducks is Nov. 23-Dec. 1 and Dec. 12-Jan. 31.    

A complete summary of migratory bird hunting season dates and bag limits is online at www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations.

Youth Waterfowl Days are Nov. 16-17, 2019.  On these two days, youth age 17 or younger may hunt specific migratory birds, such as ducks, Canada geese and mergansers, as long as they are accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age (only the youth may hunt).

State license fees help support wildlife conservation in Georgia.  The state receives federal funds from the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program, based on a number of factors, including the number of paid sporting licenses.  In Georgia, these funds are approximately $14 million a year and have helped restore habitat and improve wildlife populations, among other conservation efforts. Hunters may purchase licenses online at www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com , by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at more than 800 license agent locations.