2022-23 migratory bird seasons set | News, Sports, Jobs


HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s 2022-23 migratory game bird seasons have been set.

Annual migratory game bird seasons are selected by states from frameworks established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Game Commission selections were made after reviewing last year’s hunter harvests, population survey data and public input.

There are two significant changes to Pennsylvania waterfowl seasons this year. The Southern James Bay Population Canada goose zone is eliminated and the area is incorporated into the Resident Population zone. The Southern James Bay Population has been shifting its wintering areas west over the last four to five decades.

The other change removes the separate lower hooded merganser bag limit. Hunters may now harvest any combination of common, red-breasted or hooded mergansers as part of the five-merganser daily bag limit. Hooded mergansers have been generally stable or increasing in recent decades.

Also, the second portion of the mourning dove season will be shifted back a week and run from Dec. 21 through Jan. 7. The early portions of the season will remain similar to last year.

Other migratory game bird seasons are similar to last year’s seasons.

Migratory game bird hunters are encouraged to report banded ducks, geese, doves and woodcock they harvest online at www.reportband.gov. Hunters will be requested to provide information on where, when and what species of migratory birds were taken, in addition to the band number.

This information is crucial to the successful management of migratory birds.

The seasons and bag limits are:

Ducks

North Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 8-22, and Nov. 15-Jan. 7.

South Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 8-15, and Nov. 22-Jan. 21.

Northwest Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 8-Dec. 3, and Dec. 27-Jan. 7.

Lake Erie Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 31 Jan. 7.

Total Duck Bag Limits: six daily, 18 in possession of any species, except for the following restrictions: daily limit may not include more than two mallards including no more than one hen mallard, two black ducks, three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, one pintail, one mottled duck, one fulvous whistling duck, four sea ducks; Including no more than three eiders and no more than one female eider, three long-tailed ducks and three scoters.

Mergansers are limited to five daily and 15 in possession. Coots are limited to 15 daily, 45 in possession. Scaup bag limits vary by zone.

Canada Geese

(includes white-fronted geese)

All of Pennsylvania except for the Atlantic Population zone: Sept. 1-24 (eight-goose daily bag limit); and Oct. 22-Nov. 25, Dec. 12-Jan. 14, and Feb. 3-Feb. 25 (five-goose daily bag limit in latter three segments).

Atlantic Population zone: Sept. 1-24 (eight-goose daily bag limit); and Nov. 22-25 and Dec. 23-Jan. 21 (one-goose daily bag limit in latter two segments).

See hunting digest for exceptions and for other fowl seasons and bag limits.

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