Bird Regulations

Waterfowl and other migratory game bird regulations

2016-2017 Florida Migratory Bird Hunting Season Dates and Bag Limits

Seasons and dates may not apply to wildlife management areas.


Species/seasonSeason datesDaily bag limitPossession limit
Crow * Aug. 13 - Oct. 30 (Sat. & Sun. only)
Nov. 11 - Feb. 18
No limit No limit
Rail (King and clapper) Sept. 1 - Nov. 9 15 45
Rail (Sora and Virginia) Sept. 1 - Nov. 9 25 75
Common moorhen Sept. 1 - Nov. 9 15 45
Canada goose (W) Sept. 3 - 25
Nov. 19 - 27
Dec. 1 - Jan. 30
5 15
Duck (W) Sept. 17 - 21 (teal and wood duck only) 6 (of which only 2 can be wood ducks) 3 times the daily bag
Sept. 22 - 25 (teal only) 6 18
Nov. 19 - 27
Dec. 10 - Jan. 29
6 ducks, including no more than 4 mallards (of which only 2 can be females), 4 scoters, 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 pintails, 2 scaup, 2 canvasbacks, 1 black duck, 1 mottled duck (Florida duck) and 1 fulvous whistling-duck 3 times the daily bag
Dove (mourning and white-winged) Sept. 24 - Oct. 24 **
Nov. 12 - Dec. 5
Dec. 12 - Jan. 15
15 45
Snipe Nov. 1 - Feb. 15 8 24
Coot Nov. 19 - 27
Dec. 10 - Jan. 29
15 45
Light geese (Snow, blue and Ross') (W) Nov. 19 - 27
Dec. 10 - Jan. 29
15 No limit
Merganser (W) Nov. 19 - 27
Dec. 10 - Jan. 29
5 (of which only 2 may be hooded) 3 times the daily bag
Woodcock Dec. 18 - Jan. 31 3 9
Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days Feb. 4 - 5 *** ***

Must have migratory bird permit (no cost) as well as hunting license to hunt all above listed species, except crow.

Shooting hours: One-half hour before sunrise until sunset, unless otherwise noted

Taking or attempting to take harlequin ducks, brant and purple gallinule is prohibited.

(W) - Must have $5 Florida waterfowl permit and $25 Federal duck stamp in addition to hunting license and migratory bird permit when hunting waterfowl.

*     - Shooting hours is one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset. No hunting license or permit is required.

**   - Shooting hours is noon until sunset.

*** - Only youth 15-years-old and younger are allowed to hunt ducks, light geese, Canada geese, mergansers, coots and common moorhens, while supervised by a non-hunting adult 18-years-old or older. Bag and possession limits for each species are listed in the above table.

Limited hunting days:

In Leon County and on Lake Miccosukee, waterfowl hunting is permitted only on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays during the Regular Duck Season (Nov. 19-27 and Dec. 10 - Jan. 29) and on Nov. 24 and 25, Dec. 26, and Jan. 2 and 16. However, Lake Talquin and the Ochlockonee River are open to hunting every day during the Regular Duck Season. During open seasons, hunting ducks, geese and coots is permitted only on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in the state waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Hernando County north of Raccoon Point and east of Saddle Key as designated by posted signs.

Special regulations for Leon County and Lake Miccosukee:

Boat motor restrictions - During Regular Duck Season (Nov. 19-27 and Dec. 10 - Jan. 29), the use of internal combustion engines is prohibited on Lake Iamonia (except as authorized by permit from the Executive Director) and Carr Lake. The use of internal combustion engines of more than 10 horsepower on Lake Miccosukee is also prohibited during these dates. However, internal combustion motors and airboats may be used on these lakes during the September Duck Season and during Youth Waterfowl Days.

Duck blinds - It is illegal to hunt from or within 30 yards of a permanent duck blind on Lake Miccosukee, and lakes Iamonia, Jackson and Carr. The use of temporary duck blinds, including those made with vegetation, that are removed at the end of each hunt is allowed.

Daily bag limit:  The  maximum  number  of  migratory  game  birds  of  a  single  species  or  combination  (aggregate)  of  species  permitted to be taken by one person in any one day during  the  open  season  in  any  one  specified  geographic area for which a daily bag limit is prescribed.

Possession limit: The  maximum  number  of  migratory game birds of a single species or a combination  of  species  permitted  to  be  possessed by any one person when lawfully taken in the United States in any one specified geographic  area  for  which  a  possession  limit  is  prescribed.

Personal abode: One’s  principal  or  ordinary  home  or  dwelling  place,  as  distinguished  from one’s  temporary  or  transient  place  of  abode  or  dwelling  such  as a  hunting  club,  or  any  club  house, cabin, tent or trailer house used as a hunting club, or any hotel, motel or rooming house used during a hunting, pleasure or business trip.

Tagging  requirement:  No  person  shall  put  or  leave  any  migratory  game  birds  at  any  place  (other  than  at  a  personal  abode),  or  in  the  custody  of  another  person  for  picking,  cleaning,  processing,  shipping,  transportation, or storage (including temporary storage), or  for  the  purpose  of  having  taxidermy  services performed, unless such birds have a tag attached, signed by the hunter, stating his or her address, the total number and species of birds, and the date such birds were harvested.  Migratory game birds being transported in any vehicle as the personal baggage of the possessor
shall not be considered as being in storage or temporary storage.

Custody of birds of another: No person shall receive or have in custody any migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such
birds are properly tagged.

Transportation of birds of another: No  person shall transport migratory game birds belonging to another person unless such birds are properly tagged.

Wanton waste of migratory game birds: No person shall kill or cripple any migratory  game bird without making a reasonable effort  to retrieve the bird, and retain it in his or her  actual  custody,  at  the  place  where  taken  or   between that place and either (a) an automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b)  a  personal  abode  or  temporary  or  transient place of lodging; or (c) a migratory bird preservation facility; or (d) a post office; or (e) a common carrier facility.

Unlawful means and methods

No persons shall take migratory game birds:

  • With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance
  • With a shotgun of any description capable of holding  more  than  three  shells,  unless  it  is  plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shell
  • From or by means, aid, or use of a sinkbox or any other type of low floating device, having  a  depression  affording  the  hunter  a  means of concealment beneath the surface of the water
  • From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft of any kind, except that paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs may take  from  any  stationary  motor  vehicle  or  stationary motor-driven land conveyance
  • From or by means of any motorboat or other craft having a motor attached, or any sail boat, unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sails furled, and its prog ress there from has ceased
  • By  the  use  or  aid  of  live  birds  as  decoys;  although not limited to, it shall be a violation of  this  paragraph  for  any  person  to  take  migratory waterfowl on an area where tame or  captive  live  ducks  or  geese  are  present  unless  such  birds  are  and  have  been  for  a  period of 10 consecutive days prior to such taking, confined within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audibility of their calls  and  totally  conceals  such  birds  from  the sight of wild migratory waterfowl
  • By the use or aid of recorded or electrically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls  or  sounds.  This  restriction  does  not  apply  during  dates  States  haves  selected  under  the  Conservation  Order  for  light  geese (i.e. greater and lesser snow and Ross’s geese)  or  those  selected  for  the  control  of  resident Canada geese. Taking or attempting to  take  any  game  species  in  Florida  with  recorded game calls or sounds is prohibited (6 8A-12 .0 02).
  • By means or aid of any motor driven land, water,  or  air  conveyance,  or any sailboat  used for the purpose of or resulting in the concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of any migratory bird
  • By the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area,  where  a  person  knows  or  reasonably  should  know  that  the  area  is  or  has  been baited

Nontoxic shot

No person may take ducks, geese or coots while possessing shot (either shellshots or as loose shot for muzzleloading) other than approved non-toxic shot. For a list of approved non-toxic shot, see

If you have any questions about migratory bird regulations, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 850-488-5878.

For information on federal hunting regulations or  violations,  contact  U.S.  Fish  and  Wildlife  Service  special  agents:  Groveland  352-429-1037; Ft. Myers 239-561-8144; Miami 305-526-2610; Vero Beach 772-562-3909 or Tallahassee 850-402-0573.

For more information about Florida’s waterfowl conservation and management, visit Not a Mobile-Enabled Link

FWC Facts:
Florida's only marsupial (a mammal having a pouch containing the mammary glands and serving as a receptacle for the young) is the Virginia opossum.

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