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Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons 2019-2020 Announced

Mourning Dove Season Opens Sept. 2

Photo of Canada geese in flight

Photo by Larry Hindman

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the state’s 2019-2020 migratory game bird hunting seasons. Bag limits, season dates, and shooting hours can be found in the 2019-2020 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.

“With the opening of dove season right around the corner, Maryland hunters are gearing up for the start of the migratory game bird hunting season,” Wildlife and Heritage Director Paul Peditto said. “With all the excellent hunting opportunities Maryland has to offer, we’d like to encourage our sportsmen and women to introduce a young person to the sights and sounds of a day afield. We wish all hunters a safe and successful year.”

Season dates are as follows:

Dove, split season

First Season: Sept. 2 – Oct. 19

Second Season: Oct. 26 – Nov. 29

Third Season: Dec. 21 – Jan. 10, 2020

Woodcock, split season

First Season: Oct. 24 – Nov. 29

Second Season: Jan. 11–25, 2020

Early resident Canada goose season

Eastern zone: Sept. 2–14

Western zone: Sept. 2–25

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. 16–30

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 a 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 as noted above for the September resident Canada goose seasons. Hunters are encouraged to report banded migratory game birds online.  After reporting the banded bird, hunters will receive a certificate of appreciation that includes all known biological information on the bird they harvested.

Hunters with questions may contact the department at 410-260-8540.