Get ready Georgians. Duck hunting season is back this weekend.
The season starts on November 19th and lasts until November 27th; then the season will reopen from December 10th to January 29th.
Before you shoot, however, there are some new things to know.
New bag limits
“Waterfowl hunters should be aware of some bag limit changes this year — The restriction on hooded mergansers has been lifted, allowing ‘hoodies’ to account for some or all of the 5 prey per day for mergansers,” said Kara Nitschke, a migratory wild bird biologist. “Also, the limit for sea ducks has been reduced to four per day, of which only three can be scoters, long-tailed ducks or eiders and only one can be a female eider.”
Here is a breakdown of all catch limits per bird during the duck hunting season:
Canada Goose: 5 per day/15 owned
Coots: 15 per day/45 owned
Ducks: 6 per day/18 owned
Falconry: 3 per day/ 9 owned
Gallinules: 15 per day/ 45 owned
Merganser: 5 per day/15 owned
Mourning Dove: 15 per day/45 owned
Sea ducks: 4 per day
Snow and Bald Geese: 5 per day/ 15 owned
Sora & Virginia Rails: 25 per day/ 75 owned
What other federal laws are there?
Bag restrictions aside, there are a few other limitations when hunting migratory birds.
This includes restrictions on how hunters can capture and kill game birds.
No one may take in migratory feathered game:
With a trap, sling, net, crossbow, rifle, pistol, swivel pistol, shotgun larger than 10 caliber, punt shotgun, battery pistol, machine gun, fishing hook, poison, drug, explosive or a narcotic substance.
With a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells unless breeched with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the weapon.
By driving, gathering or hunting with a motorized transport or a sailing boat to bring them within range of the hunters.
Using bait (placing feed such as corn, wheat, salt or other feed as a bait or attractant) or on or over a baited area.
Additional rules can be read online at the Georgia Wildlife Resources website.
Hunters should note that any violation of these state regulations is a double violation, meaning it is also a federal violation.
What license do you need for duck hunting?
On July 1, 2017 the licenses for hunting changed; The two licenses are now combined into one.
Hunters must be at least 16 years of age and possess two stamps to hunt in Georgia: a valid Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (duck stamp) and the Georgia Waterfowl and Migratory Bird Stamp.
The Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp is valid for a single season (March through February); The stamp alone costs $5.
Federal Duck Stamps are $25 each, and while you can save an electronic version, hunters must have them with them at all times.
A combo license can be purchased online for $68; it includes 1 year hunting/fishing license, 1 year GA Waterfowl Conservation License, migratory bird stamp and duck stamp (hard card).
This story was originally published Nov 16, 2022 2:27 p.m.