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Early Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons Announced

Mourning Dove Season Opens Sept. 1

Photo of woodcock by Joseph Soares

Winter Worm Hunting by Joseph Soares

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the state’s 2018-2019 early migratory game bird hunting seasons. Bag limits, season dates and shooting hours can be found in the 2018-2019 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.

“The opening of dove season marks the traditional start of hunting activity in Maryland,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “We wish all hunters a safe and successful year.”

Season dates are as follows:

Dove, split season
First Season: Sept. 1 – Oct. 20
Second Season: Oct. 27 – Nov. 23
Third Season: Dec. 18 – Jan. 12, 2019

Woodcock, split season
First Season: Oct. 24 – Nov. 23
Second Season: Jan. 7–26, 2019

Early resident Canada goose season*
Eastern zone: Sept. 1–15
Western zone: Sept. 1–25
*Hunters are allowed to use shotguns capable of holding more than three shot shells. Shooting hours are extended to a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset.

Teal, September season**
Sept. 17–29
**Shooting hours will be a half-hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is six.

All migratory bird hunters, including landowners who are license-exempt, must purchase a Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp/Harvest Information Program Permit and possess the printed receipt while hunting. All waterfowl hunters, ages 16 and older, must possess the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp). Licenses, permits and stamps can be purchased online, by phone at 855-855-3906, at a department service center or any of the 250 sport license agents.

Official shooting hours begin 30 minutes before sunrise and end at 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 September resident Canada goose seasons. Hunters are encouraged to report banded migratory game birds online.