Migratory bird hunting regulations
Proposed 2020-2021 Florida Migratory Bird Hunting Season Dates and Bag Limits*
Seasons and dates may not apply to wildlife management areas.
* Pending rule adoption by the state and publishing of final frameworks by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
|Species/Season||Season Dates||Daily Bag Limit||Possession Limit|
Aug. 8 - Oct. 25 (Sat. & Sun. only)
Nov. 11 - Feb. 18
|No Limit||No Limit|
|Rail (King and clapper)||
Sept. 1 - Nov. 9
|Rail (Sora and Virginia)||
Sept. 1 - Nov. 9
|Common gallinule (moorhen)||
Sept 1 - Nov 9
|Canada goose (W)||
Sept. 19-23 (teal and wood duck only)
|**||3 times the daily bag limit|
|Dove (mourning and white-winged)||
Sept. 26 - Oct. 18
Nov. 1 - Feb. 15
|Light Geese (Snow, blue and Ross') (W)||
|5 (of which only 2 may be hooded)||3 times the daily bag limit|
Dec. 18 - Jan. 31
|Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days||
Nov. 14 and Feb. 13
|Veteran's and Military Waterfowl Days||
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 $27.50 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.
** During Teal and Wood Duck only - 6 (of which only 2 can be wood ducks) Teal Only - 6, General Duck - 6, including no more than 2 mallards (of which only 1 can be female), 4 scoters, 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 black ducks, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail, 1 mottled duck (Florida duck) and 1 fulvous whistling-duck. 1 scaup from Nov. 21-29 and Dec. 12 - Jan. 11, 2 scaup from Jan. 12-31. All other species of duck may be taken up to the 6 duck daily limit.
*** Only youth 15-years-old and younger are allowed to hunt ducks, light geese, Canada geese, mergansers, coots and common gallinules (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.
**** Only veterans or members of the Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves are allowed to hunt ducks, light geese, Canada geese, mergansers, coots and common gallinules (moorhens). 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. 21-29 and Dec. 12 – Jan. 31) and on Nov. 26 and 27, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1 and 18. 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. 21-29 and Dec. 12 - Jan. 31), 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 the Youth and Veteran's/Military 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
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 the FWS page.
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 MyFWC.com/Duck