2014-2015 Migratory Game Bird Hunting

To receive an official copy of the 2013 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Schedule by mail, please send your request by email or call us at (207) 287-8000.

Print a copy of the Migratory Waterfowl Schedule (PDF)

Crows

Wildlife Management Districts 1-6: February 7 – April 15 and August 1 – September 25, 2015

Wildlife Management Districts 7-29: January 23 – March 31 and August 1 – September 25, 2015

No daily bag or possession limit. (Closed season on Ravens in all WMDs)

Common (Wilson's) Snipe

September 1 – December 16, 2014

Daily bag limit - 8; possession limit - 24

Rails (Sora and Virginia)

September 1 – November 8, 2014

Daily limit - 25; possession limit - 25 (Singly or in aggregate)

Woodcock 

October 1 – November 14, 2014 

Daily limit - 3; possession limit - 9

Canada Goose (Early Season) 

September 1 - September 25, 2014

North Zone: Daily limit - 6; possession limit - 18

South Zone: Daily limit - 10; possession limit - 30

Coastal Zone: Daily limit - 10; possession limit - 30


Canada Goose - including Greater White-fronted Geese (Regular Season) 

North Zone: October 1 - December 9, 2014

Daily limit - 3; possession limit - 9

South Zone: October 1 - October 18, 2014 and November 3 - December 23, 2014

Daily limit - 3; possession limit - 9

Coastal Zone: October 1 - October 18, 2014 and November 14, 2014 - January 3, 2015

Daily limit - 3; possession limit - 9

Snow Geese (including Blue Geese)

October 1, 2014 - January 31, 2015 

Daily limit - 25; no possession limit

Sea Ducks (Scoter, Eider, and Long-tailed Ducks in the sea duck zone)

October 1, 2014 - January 31, 2015

Daily limit - 7 (not to include more than 4 scoters or 4 eiders); possession limit - 21 (not to include more than 12 scoters or 12 eiders)

Regular Ducks (Including Black Ducks, Scaup, Pintails, Mergansers, and American coots)

North Zone: September 29 - December 6, 2014

Daily limit - 6 (no more than 4 of any one species); possession limit - 18 (no more than 12 of any one species). *See exceptions below. 

South Zone: October 1 - October 18, 2014 and November 3 - December 23, 2014

Daily limit - 6 (no more than 4 of any one species); possession limit - 18 (no more than 12 of any one species). *See exceptions below. 

Coastal Zone: October 1 - October 18, 2014 and November 14, 2043 - January 3, 2015 

Daily limit - 6 (no more than 4 of any one species); possession limit - 18 (no more than 12 of any one species). *See exceptions below. 

* Exceptions:

  • American Coots: It is unlawful to take more than 5 American coots in any one day or possess more than 15 American coots at any time.
  • Black Ducks, Canvasbacks, Mottled Ducks, Fulvous Whistling Ducks: The daily limit on these species shall not include more than 1 bird; possession limit shall not include more than 3 of these species.
  • Hen Mallards, Redheads, Northern Pintails, Scaup: The daily limit on these species shall not include more than 2 birds; possession limit shall not include more than 6 of these species.
  • Mergansers: Hunters may take 5 mergansers in the aggregate, however only 2 may be hooded merganser. It is unlawful to possess more than 15 mergansers at any time (only 6 of which may be hooded mergansers).
  • Sea Ducks: Within the Sea Duck Hunting Area defined below, hunters may take 7 sea ducks in addition to the limits on regular ducks (but not more than 4 scoters or 4 eiders).
  • Wood Ducks: It is unlawful to take more than 3 wood ducks in any one day or to possess more than 9 wood ducks at any time.
  • Special Youth Waterfowl Hunts: (All duck species - except Harlequins, Barrow's Goldeneye, and Moorhens and Gallinules - may be hunted on these days, including geese. For the October 25, November 8 and December 13 youth days, the goosee limit is under the Regular Season limit. On Septyember 20, October 25, November 8, and December 13, scoters, eiders, and long-tailed ducks may be taken as part of the 6 bird daily limit on regular ducks. Also on these dayus, 1 Black duck may be taken.)

Brant

North Zone: October 1 - November 4, 2014 

South Zone: October 1 - October 18, 2014 and November 3 - November 18, 2014.

Coastal Zone: October 1 - October 18, 2014 and November 14 - November 29, 2014.

Daily bag limit - 2; possession limit - 6.

Harlequin Ducks, Barrow's Goldeneye, Moorhens and Gallinules

Closed Season

Special Falconry Season

In addition to the regular migratory bird season on ducks, geese, mergansers, and American coots:

North Zone: December 15, 2014 - February 4, 2015

Coastal and South Zone: January 8, 2015 - February 28, 2015

Falconry season daily bag and possession limits for all permitted migratory game birds shall not exceed 3 and 9 birds, respectively, singly or in aggregate.

Youth Waterfowl Hunt Days

North Zone: September 20, 2014 and December 13, 2014

South Zone: September 20, 2014 and October 25, 2014

Coastal Zone: September 20, 2013 and November 8, 2014

Special regulations apply to youth and accompanying adult: Youth must be 10 or older and under 16 years of age, possess a junior hunting license (no stamps required) and be accompanied by a parent or guardian or person at least 18 years of age approved by a parent or guardian who either holds a valid Maine hunting license or has successfully completed a hunter safety course. Must follow regular season bag limits and exceptions as outlined above.

Shooting Hours: Shooting hours on migratory game birds are from 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset daily. See Migratory Game Bird - Legal Hunting Hours and Tide Tables for 2014-2015.

Sea Duck Hunting Area Defined: All coastal waters and all waters of rivers and streams seaward from the first upstream bridge. In all other areas, sea ducks may be taken only during the regular duck season dates and are part of the regular duck bag limits.

Printable Maine Waterfowl Hunting Zone Map

Definition for North and South Zone Line: Maine-New Brunswick border in Baileyville, Maine west along Stony Brook to Route 9 in Baileyville. West along Route 9 to Route 15 in Bangor. West along Route 15 to I-95 in Bangor. Southwest along I-95 to Route 202 (Exit 109A) in Augusta. Southwest along Route 202 to Route 11 in Auburn. Southwest along Route 11 to Route 110 in Newfield. West along Route 110 to Maine-New Hampshire border.

Definition for South/Coastal Zone Line: Maine-New Brunswick border in Calais at the Route 1 bridge. South along Route 1 to the Maine-New Hampshire border in Kittery.

Nontoxic Shot - Statewide: The use or possession of ammunition loaded with other than nontoxic shot while hunting wild ducks, geese, brant, rails, or coots is prohibited. Nontoxic shot means any shot type that does not cause sickness and death when ingested by these birds and is approved for use by the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Steel, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron (2 types), tungsten-matrix, tungsten-bronze (2 types), tungsten-polymer, tungsten-tin-bismuth, tungsten-tin-iron-nickel, and tungsten nickel-iron (HEVI) shot have been approved nontoxic by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

On National Wildlife Refuges which permit hunting of upland game, persons hunting upland species other than deer and turkey with a shotgun shall possess and use only nontoxic shot while in the field.

Duck Stamps Harvest Information Program

If you plan to hunt woodcock, ducks, geese, snipe, rails, or coots, you are required to indicate on your license your intention of doing so at the time you purchase your license.(Complimentary and lifetime license holders are exempt from this requirement).

The information will be used by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (H.I.P).

State and federal law requires that persons 16 years of age or older shall have on his/her person: an unexpired federal migratory bird hunting stamp (validated by his/her signature written across the face of the stamp in ink) and a valid state migratory waterfowl permit to hunt any migratory waterfowl (wild ducks, geese or brant). The state migratory waterfowl permit may be purchased for $7.50 online, from local license agents, or from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State St., SHS #41, Augusta, ME 04333.

(Note: The federal migratory waterfowl stamp and state migratory waterfowl permit are not required to hunt woodcock, snipe, rails or crows). For more details, contact the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife at 287-8000.

All revenue from the sale of state waterfowl permits must be used exclusively for acquisition of waterfowl habitat and waterfowl management activities.

Selected Sections of Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Laws

The provisions of the following three paragraphs apply to the waters of the Kennebec River, known as Merrymeeting Bay, bounded as follows: From the high tension wires at Chop’s Point to the first dam on the Androscoggin River, to the first road bridge on the Muddy, Cathance, Abbagadassett, and Eastern rivers and the Richmond-Dresden bridge on the Kennebec River, being in the counties of Cumberland, Sagadahoc, and Lincoln. Datum is WGS 84. Waypoints for the sanctuary are as follows:

NE Corner: 44 00.385’

SE Corner: 43 59.5314’

SW Corner: 43 59.8112’

NW Corner: 44 00.1483’ 69 49.1854’ 69 49.5330’ 69 50.4763’ 69 50.6447’

Edge of Rice: 43 59.7550

Kennebec River: 69 50.0391

Browns Point: 44 00.1486’

Power Lines: 69 49.5421’

  • No artificial cover which is termed stationary blind, or parts thereof, used for hunting purposes shall be left or allowed to remain in the waters of Merrymeeting Bay between one hour after legal shooting time and one hour before legal shooting time.
  • No duck decoys shall be allowed to remain in the waters of Merrymeeting Bay at any time during the period from one hour after legal shooting time until one hour before legal shooting time.
  • It is unlawful to hunt waterfowl on Haley Pond in the Town of Rangeley and Dallas Plt. in Franklin County.
  • No power boat may be operated in Merrymeeting Bay at a speed in excess of 10 miles per hour except within the confines of the buoyed channels.
  • It is unlawful to shoot, or shoot at, or near, any wildfowl decoy of another person, with a rifle, pistol, or shotgun with a ball, slug, or buckshot. “Near” means the area encompassed by the set of decoys and including the area 50 yards away from the outer perimeter of the set of decoys.
  • It is unlawful to hunt with firearms during the open season on deer (except when hunting waterfowl from a boat or blind or in conjunction with waterfowl decoys) unless wearing 2 articles of hunter orange clothing that are in good and serviceable condition and visible from all sides. One article must be a solid colored hunter orange hat and the other must be a minimum of 50% hunter orange in color and cover a major portion of the torso.
  • It is unlawful for any person to willfully interfere with the lawful hunting or trapping of any wild animal or wild bird, including the willful disturbance of wild animals or wild birds with intent to interfere with their lawful taking.
  • It is unlawful to hunt on Sunday.

Barrow's Goldeneye - The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife wishes to continue the lawful hunting of Common Goldeneyes while ensuring adequate protection of the Barrow’s Goldeneye, a Threatened Species under the Maine Endangered Species Act. Barrow’s and Common Goldeneyes look very similar. Our goal is to reduce the unintentional take of Barrow’s in Maine by improving duck hunter’s ability to distinguish Barrow’s from Common Goldeneyes. Further, we desire to alert waterfowl hunters that Barrow’s are known to congregate in certain areas. Information on this will be mailed to every waterfowl hunter in Maine. Despite our efforts, we suspect that a few Barrow’s Goldeneyes may be unintentionally shot. In these cases, hunters are required to surrender to the Department any that are taken incidentally to legal waterfowl hunting activities. There will be no penalty for reporting this to the Department. To accomplish this we ask that you contact your local game warden.

Duck Stamp Contest

Your 2014 Maine duck stamp, featuring an American Widgeon, was designed by Rebekah Lowell of Biddeford, Maine. A panel of judges selected it from among 9 paintings by Maine resident artists in the 27th duck stamp art contest conducted by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Proceeds from the sale of the annual duck stamps and permits are used to help finance waterfowl management programs or to acquire waterfowl habitat.

Migratory Game Bird Regulations

All coastal waters and all waters of rivers and streams seaward from the first upstream bridge. In all other areas, sea ducks may be taken only during the regular duck season dates and are part of the regular duck bag limits.

Summary of Federal Regulations

Notice: The material below is only a summary of Federal rules. Each hunter should also consult the actual Federal regulations, which may be found in Title 50, code of Federal Regulations, Part 20.

Restrictions: No person shall take migratory game birds:

  • While possessing shot (either in shot shells or as loose shot for muzzleloading) other than steel shot or such shot approved as nontoxic while taking Anatidae (ducks, geese, and brant), coots and any species that make up aggregate bag limits during concurrent seasons.
  • With a trap, snare, net, crossbow, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10-guage, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fishhook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance.
  • With a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler which is incapable of removal without disassembling the gun.
  • From a sink box (a low floating device, having a depression affording the hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water).
  • From or with the aid or use of a car or other motor-driven land conveyance, or any aircraft, except that paraplegics and single or double amputees of the legs may take from any stationary motor vehicle or stationary motor-driven land conveyance. “Paraplegic” means an individual afflicted with paralysis of the lower half of the body with involvement of both legs, usually due to disease of or injury to the spinal cord.
  • By the use or aid of live decoys. All live, tame or captive ducks and geese shall be removed for a period of 10 consecutive days prior to hunting, and confned within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audibility of their calls and totally conceals such tame birds from the sight of migratory waterfowl.
  • Using records or tapes of migratory bird calls or sounds, or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls.
  • 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. However, nothing in this paragraph prohibits the taking of migratory game birds on or over the following lands or areas that are not otherwise baited areas:
    1. standing crops or flooded standing crops; standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation; flooded harvested croplands; or lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered safely as a result of a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, post-harvest manipulation or normal soil stabilization practice;
    2. from a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation;
    3. from a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, as long as such camouflaging does not result in the exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of grain or other feed.
  • A person must also retain the bird in his actual custody, at the place where taken or between that place and either (a) his automobile or principle means of land transportation; or (b) his personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging.

Field Possession Limit.

No person shall possess more than one daily bag limit while in the field or while returning from the field to one’s car, hunting camp, home, etc.

Importation.

For information regarding the importation of migratory birds killed in another country hunters should consult 50 CFR 20.61 through 20.66. One fully-feathered wing must remain attached to all migratory game birds being transported between the port of entry and one’s home or to a migratory bird preservation facility. No person shall import migratory game birds killed in any foreign country, except Canada, unless such birds are dressed (except as required in 20.63), drawn, and the head and feet are removed. No person shall import migratory game birds belonging to another person.

Dual Violation.

Violation of State migratory bird regulations is also a violation of Federal regulations.

Caution: More restrictive regulations may apply to National Wildlife Refuges open to public hunting. For additional information on Federal refuge regulations, contact Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge (Baring Plt. and Edmunds Twp.) RR#1, Box 202, Baring, Maine, 04694 - (207) 454-7161; Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 279, Milbridge, Maine 04658 - (207) 546-2124; Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, 1168 Main Street, Old Town, ME 04468 - (207) 594-0600; Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, 321 Port Road, Wells, Maine 04090, (207) 646-9226; or Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 240, Errol, N.H.03579 - (603) 482-3415.

Harvest Information Program (H.I.P.)

If you plan to hunt woodcock, ducks, geese, snipe, rails, or coots, you are required to indicate on your license your intention of doing so at the time you purchase your license. (Complimentary and lifetime license holders are exempt from this requirement). The information will be used by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (H.I.P).