2003 Maryland Late
Waterfowl Seasons And Bag Limits
Maryland Late Waterfowl Hunting
Canvasback Season To Be 30 Days
ANNAPOLIS, MD (Sept. 16, 2003) – Maryland Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul A. Peditto
today announced the 2003-2004 late waterfowl hunting seasons for
Featured in this year’s waterfowl hunting seasons are a 45-day
hunting season for migratory AP (Atlantic Population) Canada geese and a
30-day hunting season for canvasbacks. The 45-day AP goose season will
be split into two parts. The first split season will run from Nov. 15 to
Nov. 28 and then from Dec. 18 to Jan. 24. The daily bag limit will be
one goose per day.
“I would like to thank those that took time to attend our public
meeting or write us with their comments,” Peditto said. “While many
hunters wanted a two-goose daily bag limit, the Federal guidelines for
Chesapeake Region states remained at one goose per day in
the migrant AP Canada Goose Hunting Zone.”
The 2003 spring breeding pair survey of AP geese in northern Quebec
yielded an estimate of 157,000 pairs, 5 percent lower than the 2002
estimate of 164,800 pairs. This temporary stabilization of the spring
pair estimate was the primary reason waterfowl managers did not increase
the AP goose season and bag limits this year.
Improved habitat conditions aided by warm spring weather and abundant
rainfall led to a 16 percent increase in duck breeding populations in
the mid-continent region of the U.S and Prairie Canada. However,
breeding populations of ducks in eastern production areas decreased this
year, but production is expected to be good to excellent.
Maryland selected a 60-day duck season that will be held from Oct. 25
to Nov. 1, Nov. 8-28, and Dec. 16 to Jan. 24. The daily bag limit will
be 5 ducks. In addition to the basic 5-duck daily bag limit, hunters may
take 1 additional teal (blue-winged or green-winged) during any of the
three split seasons.
Although the pintail breeding population increased in 2003, concern
for the status of this species still remains, thus harvest restrictions
implemented in 2002 will be continued this year. In Maryland the 30-day
pintail season will be held during the first split duck season (Oct. 25
to Nov. 1) and the last 23 days (Dec. 30 to Jan. 24) of the third split
season. As in past years, the taking of black ducks during the first
split of the duck season
(Oct. 25–Nov. 1) is not permitted. This conservation measure provides
protection to local breeding black ducks. Black ducks may be taken only
during the last two splits of the regular duck-hunting season.
This year’s duck hunting season will also include an opportunity for
waterfowl hunters to harvest canvasbacks. With an improvement in the
canvasback breeding population, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has
authorized a limited 30-day canvasback-hunting season. In Maryland, the
canvasback season will open Dec. 22 and run through Jan. 24. Hunters may
take 1 canvasback as part of their 5-duck regular daily bag limit.
The 2003 late waterfowl season dates and bag limits will be published
in the annual migratory game bird season synopsis that will be
distributed to DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service offices and sport
license agents in mid-September.
All migratory game bird hunters, including landowners who are license
exempt, are required to obtain the HIP (Harvest Information Program)
permit and the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp in addition to a
general hunting license.
New this year: Migratory bird hunters are no longer required
to sign and attach the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp to their
hunting license. Hunters must now possess the printed receipt showing
proof of purchase of the Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp while
hunting migratory game birds. At the time of purchase, hunters may
choose to receive the actual stamp by mail. Direct purchases of the
actual stamp can be made at any DNR Regional Service Center.
All waterfowl hunters age 16 and over must also possess the Federal
Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp).
Hunters may obtain federal duck stamps at U.S. Post Offices, National
Wildlife Refuges, and some DNR sport license agents.
Waterfowl hunters are reminded that nontoxic shot is required for
hunting waterfowl and coots. Hunters may not possess or use nontoxic
shot larger than size No. T or use or possess any lead shot while
waterfowl hunting. Approved types of nontoxic shot and other information
on migratory bird hunting is listed in the free booklet
Hunting and Trapping
in Maryland 2003-2004.
Hunters are encouraged to report banded migratory game birds by
calling toll-free 1-800-327-BAND (2263). Banded birds can also be
reported online at:
The accompanying table lists the 2003 Maryland Late Waterfowl Seasons
and Bag Limits submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
2003 Maryland Late Waterfowl Seasons And Bag Limits
Submitted to and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by
the Maryland DNR.
Important: Unless noted otherwise, possession limits for all
waterfowl are twice the daily bag limit. Hunters are reminded that if
you are giving, putting or leaving migratory game birds at any place or
in the possession of another person, you must tag each bird with the
following information: (a) hunter’s signature, (b) hunter’s address, (c)
total number and species of birds killed, and (d) dates the birds were
killed. Tagging is required even if someone else is transporting the
bird for you or the bird has been left for cleaning, storage (even
temporary storage), shipment or taxidermy purposes.
Ducks, Coots and Mergansers