Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Proposed Rule Change for waterfowl hunting

duck decoys

Due to a slow, but steady decline in mallards across the northeastern United States, the mallard daily bag limit remains two birds (one hen) per day. Please see the Declining Mallards in the Atlantic Flyway (PDF) brochure for more information.

The Canada goose season length in the Northeast, West Central, East Central, Hudson Valley, and Lake Champlain zones remains 30 days with a limit of two per day. Please see the Status and Management of Atlantic Population Canada Geese (PDF) brochure for more information.

The scaup bag limit will vary throughout the duck season this year. Due to declines in the scaup population, the bag limit will be one scaup per day for 40 days and two scaup per day for 20 days. 

DEC is considering the addition of veteran and active military hunting days. These would be two additional waterfowl hunting days outside of the regular seasons. Please look for future DEC Delivers newsletters on this topic, and check our website later this summer for more information.

The DEC has announced a proposal of new regulation changes to the states migratory game bird program, which would create special hunting opportunities for military veterans as well as active duty armed forces. The proposed changes would make it easier for hunters to get their duck stamp, as well as clarify the inconsistencies between state and federal regulations.

The proposed rulemaking would modify 6 NYCRR Part 2.3 to:

  • Allow for a new two-day waterfowl hunting opportunity for veterans and active military members in addition to the regular waterfowl seasons;
  • Allow for the general public to purchase electronic federal migratory bird conservation and hunting stamps and to make these electronic stamps legal for the purposes of hunting;
  • Explicitly prohibit licensed adult hunters serving as mentors from carrying a firearm, longbow, or crossbow in the field when accompanying a youth hunter participating in the youth waterfowl hunt to be consistent with other mentored hunting opportunities;
  • Allow crossbows as a hunting implement to be consistent with other small game species;
  • Correct and clarify prohibitions related to methods allowed during special goose seasons;
  • Clarify conflicting zone boundary descriptions between federal and state regulations

Last summer the federal government approved the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation Management, and Recreation Act. The legislation will allow states to establish two-day military days in each waterfowl zone where qualifying members of the military, or veterans will be able to hunt for migratory birds, such as ducks, geese, and brant. Standard licensing and requirements still apply.

To view or provide comment on the proposed rulemaking, visit the DEC’s website, or the NY State Register. Comments must be made by Aug. 2.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

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