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DEC announces 2022-23 waterfowl hunting season regulations

The state has announced waterfowl hunting season dates and regulations for 2022-23. Courtesy of Department of Environmental Conservation

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced waterfowl hunting season dates for 2022-23.

  • The Canada goose season length in the Northeast, West Central, East Central, Hudson Valley, and Lake Champlain zones remains 30 days; however, the bag limit has been reduced to oneper day. Please see the Status and Management of Atlantic Population Canada Geese (PDF) brochure for more information.
  • New Late Canada goose season in the Lake Champlain zone. In this area of New York State, data has shown that the migratory Atlantic Population geese have moved through this area of the state by early December. As such, a late hunting opportunity with a larger bag limit is allowed to target resident geese.
  • Duck bag limit changes:
    • Hooded merganser bag restrictions have been removed, you may now harvest up to six hooded mergansers as part of the general duck bag.
    • The bag limit for sea ducks (scoter, eiders, and long-tailed ducks) has been reduced to no more than four. In addition, of those four, no more than three may be eiders, or three scoters, or three long-tailed ducks.


Duck hunting seasons begin with designated “youth waterfowl hunts” across the state. These hunts allow youth hunters to spend time afield with experienced adult hunters and gain necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting community.

Junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) accompanied by a licensed adult hunter with up-to-date Harvest Information Program registration and a duck stamp, may participate. During the youth hunt, the adult hunter may not possess a firearm or shoot any birds unless the respective regular season is open.

Daily bag limits are the same as those allowed during the regular hunting season for all species (excludes September Canada goose bag limits). The youth hunts are held on weekends in each zone of the state, as follows:

  • Southeastern Zone – Sept. 24-25
  • Northeastern Zone – Sept. 17-18
  • Lake Champlain Zone – Sept. 24-25
  • Western Zone – Oct. 1-2
  • Long Island Zone – Nov. 5-6


Each year, DEC works with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Atlantic Flyway Council to develop waterfowl hunting regulations and season dates. This year, DEC, with the assistance of Cornell University and the waterfowl hunter task forces, implemented a new process for selecting the 60-day duck season dates within the dates allowed by the USFWS.

New York duck seasons offer the opportunity to hunt from the first week of October through the last Sunday in January, depending on the waterfowl hunting zone. By having five waterfowl zones, it allows DEC to select dates that maximize duck abundance in each zone which varies based on habitat and latitude.

For a full listing of all migratory bird season dates and bag limits visit the DEC website.

The season for hunting duck, merganser and coot are as follows:

  • Western zone – Oct. 15-Nov. 6, Nov. 26-Jan. 1
  • Northeast zone – Oct. 1-Oct. 23, Oct. 29-Dec. 4
  • Lake Champlain zone – Oct. 15-Oct. 23, Oct. 29-Dec. 18
  • Southeast zone – Oct. 15-Nov. 27, Dec. 3-Dec. 18
  • Long zone – Nov. 19-Nov. 27, Dec. 10-Jan. 29


Canada goose hunting regulations can often be confusing because of the number of zones, varied bag limits and season lengths. Although some of the boundaries and bag limit differences appear to be random, they were designed using scientific data to maximize opportunity for resident Canada geese, but also to protect migratory populations that are much more sensitive to hunter harvest.

Season lengths and bag limits are, again, developed in collaboration between the USFWS and the Atlantic Flyway Council. After the season frameworks are established (e.g., season length, bag limits, outside allowable dates), DEC gathers input from waterfowl hunters and the waterfowl hunter task forces to select dates that maximize opportunity for hunters in each zone.

  • Northeast zone – Sept. 1-Sept.25, daily limit 15; Oct. 22-Oct.23, daily limit 1; Oct. 29-Nov. 25, daily limit – 1.
  • West Central zone – Sept. 1-Sept. 25, daily limit 15 ; Oct. 22-Nov. 6, daily limit 1; Dec. 19-Jan. 1, daily limit 1.
  • Lake Champlain zone – Sept. 1-Sept. 25, daily limit 8 ; Oct. 15-Nov. 13, daily limit, 1; Dec. 1-Jan. 21, daily limit 5.
  • East Central zone – Sept. 1-Sept. 25, daily limit 15 ; Oct. 22-Nov. 20, daily limit 1.
  • Hudson Valley zone – Sept. 1-Sept. 25, daily limit 15 ; Nov. 5-Nov. 18, daily limit 1; Dec. 3-Dec. 18, daily limit 1.
  • South zone – Sept. 1-Sept. 25, daily limit 15; Oct. 22-Nov. 17, daily limit 5; Nov. 26-Jan. 15, daily limit 5.
  • Long Island/Western zone – Oct. 8-Oct. 23, daily limit 8; Nov. 19-Nov. 27, daily limit 8; Dec. 7-Feb. 22, daily limit 8.
  • Long Island Central zone – Sept. 6-Sept. 30, daily limit 15 ; Nov. 19-Nov. 28, daily limit 3; Dec. 10-Feb. 8, daily limit 3.
  • Long Island/Eastern zone – Sept. 6-Sept. 30, daily limit 15; Nov. 19-Nov. 27, daily limit 2; Dec. 10-Jan. 29, daily limit 2.
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