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Boise, ID


Date: September 29, 2003
Contact: Ed Mitchell
(208) 334-3700

Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Open in Early October

Waterfowl hunters will see different season dates in Idaho again this fall.

The season was the same statewide last year but, despite the complication, hunters asked for and received seasons differing between zones this year. Waterfowl hunting activity tends to start and end sooner in northern and eastern Idaho where winter comes earlier than in the south central and southwest areas of the state. Duck and goose season dates are concurrent statewide.

Hunters are encouraged to read the new waterfowl proclamation pamphlet available at license vendors as well as Fish and Game offices, or view the publication on the department web site at The publication shows the boundaries of duck and goose zones. The zones are not the same for ducks as for geese.

This year, the goose season runs October 4-January 16 in Area 1, made up of north and east Idaho. Hunting runs from October 11-January 23 in Area 2 and Area 3. Those two areas share the same dates but are governed by different limits.

Goose limits in Areas 1 and 2 are four per day of any kind (only three light geese or 2 white-fronted geese) with double those limits in possession after the first day. The limit in Area 3 in south central Idaho is three with only two white-fronted in the bag and double that in possession.

Pintail and canvasback ducks are in season this year for 60 days only, from October 4-December 2 in Area 1-north and east Idaho-and from October 11-December 9 in Area 2-the Magic Valley and southwest Idaho. Depressed numbers in those two species led to restricted seasons.

The bag limit for ducks remains at seven but may contain no more than one canvasback, two female mallards, one pintail, two redheads, or four scaup. Possession limits are double those numbers. The snipe limit remains at eight, and 25 coot are still allowed.

Much-improved pond conditions in the areas that produce most of the puddle ducks that migrate to Idaho may make for a better waterfowl hunt this year than in recent years. The right combination of weather factors, however, must be in place. Populations of locally produced waterfowl-the birds hunted early in the season-are expected to be about the same as they have been in recent years.

Hunters need a hunting license, a $1.50 validation on the license for federal harvest information, and the $15 federal "duck" stamp for hunters 16 and older. Duck stamps are not available at all license vendors but are available at Post Offices.




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