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DNR Announces 2013-2014 Early Migratory Game Bird Seasons

mourning doveThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the 2013-2014 early migratory game bird hunting seasons. Dove season marks the traditional start of hunting activity each year in Maryland.

Dove, split season

First Season: September 2 – October 5

Second Season: November 6 – 29

Third Season: December 21 – January 1

Woodcock, split season

First Season: October 31- November 29

Second Season: January 11 – 25

Early resident Canada goose season

Eastern zone: September 2 – 14

Western zone: September 2 – 25

  • Hunters are allowed to use shotguns capable of holding more than three shotshells, and shooting hours are extended to one-half hour after sunset during the early resident Canada goose season.

Teal, September season

September 16 – 30

  • Hunters should note two important changes for the September teal season: Shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to sunset (previously sunrise to sunset); and the daily bag limit has been increased from 4 to 6 teal. A description of the September teal season zone, season dates, and bag limits are included on the Early Teal Season website.

All migratory bird hunters, including landowners who are license-exempt, must purchase a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp/HIP Permit and possess the printed receipt while hunting. All waterfowl hunters age 16 and over must possess the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (federal duck stamp). Licenses, stamps and permits may be purchased online via COMPASS, by phone at 1-855-855-3906, at a DNR Service Center, or at any of the more than 250 Sport License Agents. For more information, visit

Official shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset for all early migratory game bird hunting seasons EXCEPT for: mourning doves during the first season segment, when shooting hours are from noon to sunset; and during the early September resident Canada goose season when shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Hunters should also note possession limits for all migratory game birds are now three times the daily bag limit (previously two times the daily bag limit). Migratory bird hunting regulations and a listing the season dates and bag limits are available on DNR’s Migratory Bird Regulations website.

Hunters are encouraged to report banded migratory game birds by calling 1-800-327-BAND (2263) or online at

  • matthew jones

    Why does the western shore always getting longer seasons then we do on the eastern shore.

    • kking

      Dear Matthew,

      I am assuming your question refers to the Canada goose seasons where both the September and late seasons are longer for parts of the western shore than they are for the Eastern Shore. The season closes earlier on the Eastern Shore because we begin to get migrant Canada geese arriving in that area soon after September 15. The western part of the state gets very few migrant Canada geese at any time and thus we are able to run the September season for a longer period. The same reason applies to the late seasons. Canada geese in the western part of the state during the late season are mostly resident Canada geese and thus we are able to have a longer season with a higher bag limit than the season on the Eastern Shore. We determine the proportion of migrant geese from the band returns of birds marked on the breeding grounds in northern Quebec. We take a new look at the information every few years and if we need to we adjust the boundaries of the hunt zones. If you have other questions, feel free to contact me directly via phone or email.

      Thanks for the question,

      Bill Harvey
      Game Bird Section Leader
      DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service
      Phone: 410-221-8838 ext. 108

  • e. treacy

    Please have a deer hunting season for seniors. It could be a two day hunt in Oct./Nov. and could be during the week as most seniors do not need a weekend.

  • nice

  • Lee Gootee

    When are you posting early waterfowl season?