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Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons 2020-2021 Set to Begin

Mourning Dove Season Opens Sept. 1

Photo of two Canada geese taking off

Photo by Larry Hindman

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the state’s 2020-2021 migratory game bird hunting seasons. Bag limits, season dates, and shooting hours can be found in the 2020-2021 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.

“The early migratory game bird seasons give Maryland’s hunters an exciting way to kick off the 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 experience of a day afield.”

Season dates are as follows. Except where otherwise noted, shooting hours begin 30 minutes before sunrise and end at sunset for all early migratory game bird hunting seasons:

Dove, split season

First Season: Sept. 1 – Oct. 17

Second Season: Oct. 24 – Nov. 27

Third Season: Dec. 19 – Jan. 9, 2021

During the first season segment only, shooting hours are from noon to sunset

Woodcock, split season

First Season: Oct. 21 – Nov. 27

Second Season: Jan. 11–23, 2021

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. 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, by appointment at a department service center, or at any of Maryland’s 250 sport license agents.

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.

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