The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today the 2015-2016 late waterfowl seasons.waterfowl hunting

Highlights include:

Youth waterfowl hunting days on November 7, 2015 and February 6, 2016
Regular duck hunting season segments on October 10-17, November 14-27 and December 15-January 30, with a daily bag limit of six ducks, including two canvasbacks
Migratory Atlantic Population Canada goose hunting segments on November 21-27 and December 15-February 3, with a daily bag limit of two geese
Late resident Canada goose hunting segments on November 21-27 and December 15-March 9, with a daily bag limit of five. The Canada goose hunting zone map  (i.e. migrant and resident) and the Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons flyer are available online.

“We conducted an extensive public outreach effort, including an online forum and public meeting, to collect comments on the proposed hunting seasons. We also consulted closely with members of the Wildlife Advisory Commission and Migratory Game Bird Advisory Committee,” said DNR Waterfowl Project Leader, Larry Hindman.

All migratory game bird hunters, including landowners who are license-exempt, must purchase the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp/HIP Permit.  All waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older must also possess the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (federal duck stamp), which must be signed in ink across the face.  Hunters buying the federal stamp online may use the purchase code or printed receipt to show proof of purchase for 45 days.  Hunters will receive their stamp in the mail from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service within this time frame.

Licenses, stamps and permits may be purchased online via COMPASS, by phone at 1-855-855-3906, at a DNR Service Center or at any one of the more than 250 Sport License Agents across the State. For more information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/service.

DNR reminds waterfowl hunters that boating safety becomes even more critical during the fall and winter months as daylight decreases, water temperatures drop, and fewer people are on the water to assist in the event of an emergency.

The proposed 2015-2016 late waterfowl hunting seasons and bag limits are now available. The Maryland Department of Natural Resource (DNR) will accept public comment on the proposed regulations through August 17, to be finalized in early September after DNR reviews citizen input and obtains approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

The proposed youth waterfowl hunting days are November 7 and February 6. These special youth hunting days are part of a national effort by USFWS and state wildlife agencies to increase participation in the rich tradition of waterfowl hunting.

The proposed regular duck season opener would run October 10 through 17. The second and third split seasons would be November 14 through 27, and December 15 through January 30.

The proposed Atlantic Population (migrant) Canada goose season is split into two parts, November 21 through 27, and December 15 through February 3.

DNR will host a public meeting to review this year’s waterfowl population status and to collect comments on the proposed hunting seasons. The meeting will also cover a recent assessment completed by USFWS that suggests sea duck populations (eiders, scoters and long-tailed ducks) are potentially being overharvested under the current regulations. Public input will be collected on how to adapt to the anticipated reductions in sea duck seasons and bag limits in 2016-2017.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 13 at Chesapeake College, 1000 College Circle, Wye Mills, MD 21679.  The meeting location is Room 110 in the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center (Building No. 14 on the Campus Map).

Citizens who are unable to attend the meeting may comment on the proposed season dates and bag limits online or by phone at 410-260-8540; by fax at 410-260-8596; or in writing to: Director, Wildlife and Heritage Service, 580 Taylor Avenue, E-1, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. The public comment period on the proposed regulations will close at 12 p.m. on August 17, 2015.