State announces waterfowl seasons, bag limits


Staff report



RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has set season dates, bag limits and applicable regulations for the 2015-16 waterfowl and extended falconry seasons.

Below are the 2015-16 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.

Bag limits

— Conventional bag: Six ducks with no more than four scoters, four mallards with no more than two hen mallards, three wood ducks, two scaup, two redheads, two pintails, two canvasbacks, one black or mottled duck (season closed until Nov. 21), or one fulvous whistling duck. The season on harlequin ducks is closed.

— Coots and Mergansers: 15 coots and five mergansers (two hooded mergansers)

— Light Geese: 25 light geese (includes snow, blue and Ross’ geese), no possession limit;

— Dark Geese (includes Canada geese and White-fronted geese): five in the Resident Hunt Zone, five in the Southern James Bay Hunt Zone, and one in the Northeast Hunt Zone.

— Sea Ducks (includes scoters, eiders and long-tailed ducks): seven sea ducks in special sea duck area only. In other areas, sea ducks are part of the regular duck bag limit; no more than four scoters a day may be taken in either the special sea duck season or the regular duck season;

— Atlantic Brant: one bird daily

— Tundra Swan: one per season (with valid permit only)

Seasons

— Ducks, mergansers and coots: Oct. 7 to 10, Nov. 14 to Dec. 5 and Dec. 19 to Jan. 30. Black and mottled ducks closed until Nov. 21

— Sea ducks: Oct. 1 to Jan. 30

— Dark geese: Resident Population Hunt Zone, Oct. 7 to Oct. 17, Nov. 14 to Dec. 5 and Dec. 19 to Feb. 13; Southern James Bay Hunt Zone, Oct. 7 to Nov. 9 and Nov. 14 to Dec. 31; Northeast Hunt Zone, Jan. 15 to Jan 30 (by permit only). See zones map at www.ncwildlife.org

— Light geese: Regular season Oct. 13 to Feb. 13. Conservation Order Season, Feb. 15 to March 31 (by permit only.

— Brant: Dec. 28 to Jan. 30

— Tundra Swan: Nov. 7 to Jan 30

Goose hunt

The Commission has also elected to participate in the Light Goose Conservation Order Season, which begins Feb. 15, 2016. This season will allow unplugged guns, electronic calls, extended shooting hours and no daily bag limit. A free permit is required.

These expanded hunting methods are not allowed during the regular light goose season that starts on Oct. 13, and a daily bag limit of 25 applies during the regular light goose season. A Light Goose Conservation Order Season Permit is not required to participate in the regular season.

Staff report

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