2020-21 Pennsylvania Migratory Game Bird Seasons & Bag Limits
HARRISBURG, PA - Pennsylvania’s 2020-21 migratory game bird seasons have been set.
Annual migratory game bird seasons are selected by states from frameworks established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Game Commission selections were made after reviewing last year’s hunter harvests, population survey data and public input.
There are three significant changes to Pennsylvania waterfowl seasons this year, said Game Commission Wildlife Services Division Chief Ian Gregg.
The first two changes are to the Canada goose bag limits and seasons in the Southern James Bay Population (SJBP) Zone in northwestern Pennsylvania. First, the bag limit for Canada geese during the September portion of the season will be raised from one to five in most of the SJBP Zone to allow for the additional harvest of resident Canada geese. Also, the opening and closing dates for the regular Canada goose season in the zone have been shifted later, with fewer days in October and more in January and February.
The third major change will be allowing veterans and active-duty military members a special day to hunt waterfowl. The day will coincide with the second youth waterfowl day in each duck zone. This day will be allowed as a result of recent federal legislation, Gregg said.
Two important changes implemented in 2019 – the reduced daily bag limit for mallards, and a reduced regular season length and bag limit for Canada geese in the Atlantic Population Hunting Zone – will continue, according to 2020-21 federal frameworks.
Other migratory game bird seasons are similar to those in recent years.
North Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 10-24, and Nov. 17 – Jan. 9.
South Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 17-24, and Nov. 17 - Jan. 16.
Northwest Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots, and mergansers, Oct. 10-Dec. 12, and Dec. 29-Jan. 2. Lake Erie Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots, and mergansers, Nov. 2-Jan. 9.
Total Duck Bag Limits:
6 daily, 18 in possession of any species, except for the following restrictions: daily limit may not include more than 2 mallards including 1 hen mallard, 2 black ducks, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail, 1 mottled duck, 1 fulvous whistling duck, 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks, and 4 scoters. The daily limit for scaup varies; see below. Possession limits are three times the daily limits.
Scaup Bag Limits:
North Zone: 1 scaup daily, Oct. 10-24 and Nov. 17-Dec. 17; 2 scaup daily, Dec. 18-Jan.9 South Zone: 1 scaup daily, Oct. 17-24 and Nov. 17-Dec. 24; 2 scaup daily, Dec. 25-Jan. 16 Northwest Zone: 1 scaup daily, Oct. 10-Nov. 25; 2 scaup daily, Nov. 26-Dec. 12 and Dec. 29-Jan. 2 Lake Erie Zone: 1 scaup daily, Nov. 2-24 and Dec. 18-Jan. 9; 2 scaup daily, Nov. 25-Dec. 17
5 daily, 15 in possession (not more than 2 hooded mergansers daily, 6 hooded in possession).
15 daily, 45 in possession.
Canada Geese (includes White-Fronted Geese):
Resident Population Goose Zone (RP) All of Pennsylvania except for the Southern James Bay Population and the Atlantic Population zone. Sept. 1-25 (8-goose daily bag limit); and Oct. 24-Nov. 27, Dec. 14-Jan. 16, and Jan. 29-Feb. 20 (5-goose daily bag limit in latter 3 segments). Southern James Bay Population Zone (SJBP) The area north of I-80 and west of I-79 including in the city of Erie west of Bay Front Parkway to and including the Lake Erie Duck zone (Lake Erie, Presque Isle and the area within 150 yards of Lake Erie Shoreline). Sept. 1-25 (5-goose daily bag limit, except in a portion of western Crawford County defined under the “Waterfowl season highlights” section in this news release); and Oct. 24-Nov. 27 and Dec. 21-Feb. 13 (3-goose daily bag limit in latter 2 segments). Atlantic Population Zone (AP) The area east of SR 97 from Maryland State Line to the intersection of SR 194, east of SR 194 to intersection of US Route 30, south of US Route 30 to SR 441, east of SR 441 to SR 743, east of SR 743 to intersection of I-81, east of I-81 to intersection of I-80, south of I-80 to New Jersey state line. Sept. 1-25 (8-goose daily bag limit); and Nov. 21-27 and Dec. 21-Jan. 16 (2-goose daily bag limit in latter two segments).
Exception: Areas outside of the controlled goose hunting areas at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and State Game Lands 46 in Lebanon-Lancaster counties have a daily limit of one, and a possession limit of three during the regular Canada goose season. Areas inside the goose hunting areas at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and State Game Lands 46 have a season limit of one.
Brant (All Zones):
Oct. 10-Dec. 7. 2 daily, 6 in possession.
Light Geese (Snow Geese and Ross’ Geese):
Atlantic Population Zone: Regular: Oct. 1-Jan. 23, 25 daily, no possession limit. Conservation Hunt: Jan. 25 – April 23; 25 daily, no possession limit. Southern James Bay Population Zone: Regular: Oct. 13-Feb. 13; 25 daily, no possession limit. Conservation Hunt: Feb. 15 – April 23; 25 daily, no possession limit. Resident Population Zone: Regular: Oct. 20-Feb. 20; 25 daily, no possession limit. Conservation Hunt: Feb. 22 – April 23; 25 daily, no possession limit.
Harlequin Ducks, and Tundra and Trumpeter Swans: No open season.
Junior Waterfowl Hunting Days:
Sept. 19; Open to licensed junior hunters ages 12-16, when properly accompanied, for ducks, mergansers, gallinules and coots, and Canada goose as permitted. Same daily bag limits as the regular season. Hunting hours to close at sunset.
Junior, Veteran, and Active Duty Military Days:
In Lake Erie Zone; Oct. 24; in Northwest Zone, Dec. 19; in North Zone, Jan. 16; and in South Zone, Jan. 23. Open to licensed junior hunters ages 12-16, when properly accompanied; veterans (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code); and members of the Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves on active duty (other than for training) for ducks, mergansers, gallinules and coots, and Canada goose as permitted. Same daily bag limits as regular season. Hunting hours to close at sunset.
Other Migratory Birds:
Sept. 1-Nov. 27, and Dec. 18-Jan. 2. 15 daily, 45 in possession.
Oct. 17-Nov. 27, and Dec. 14-23. 3 daily, 9 in possession.
Oct. 17-Nov. 27, and Dec. 14-23. 8 daily, 24 in possession
Sept. 1-Nov. 20. 3 daily, 9 in possession.
Virginia and Sora Rails:
Sept. 1-Nov. 20. Bag limits by single species or in the aggregate; 3 daily, 9 in possession.
Clapper and King Rails:
No open season.