Pennsylvania Migratory Birds and Waterflow Season

John Lewis

Pennsylvania Waterfowl & Migratory Bird Season 2023-2024

Migratory Bird, Pennsylvania, Waterfowl

Pennsylvania offers unmatched waterfowl and migratory game bird hunting. With careful regulations, the diversified landscapes provide fascinating duck, goose, and other migratory bird hunting. Hunters may enjoy the state’s natural splendor while practicing sustainable hunting in marshes and lakes.

Below are the latest dates for the PA migratory game birds and Waterfowl hunting season:


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
DucksNorth ZoneOct 7-216 daily, 18 possession
North ZoneNov 14-Jan 6, 2024
South ZoneOct 7-146 daily, 18 possession
South ZoneNov 21-Jan 20, 20246 daily, 18 possession
Northwest ZoneOct 7-Dec 26 daily, 18 possession
Northwest ZoneDec 26-Jan 7, 20246 daily, 18 possession
Lake Erie ZoneNov 6-Jan 13, 20246 daily, 18 possession
Harlequin DucksN/ANo Open SeasonN/A
Tundra SwansN/ANo Open SeasonN/A
Trumpeter SwansN/ANo Open SeasonN/A


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
ScaupNorth ZoneOct. 7-21, Nov. 14-Dec. 141 or 2 daily
North ZoneDec. 15-Jan.6, 20241 or 2 daily
South ZoneOct. 7-14, Nov. 21-Dec. 281 or 2 daily
South ZoneDec. 29-Jan. 20, 20241 or 2 daily
Northwest ZoneOct. 7-Nov. 221 or 2 daily
Northwest ZoneNov. 23-Dec. 21 or 2 daily
Northwest ZoneDec. 26-Jan. 6, 20241 or 2 daily
Lake Erie ZoneNov. 6- Nov. 28; Nov. 29-Jan. 13, 20241 or 2 daily


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
MergansersNorth, South, NW ZoneOct 7-215 daily, 15 possession
North, South, NW ZoneNov 14-Jan 6, 20245 daily, 15 possession


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
CootsNorth, South, NW ZoneOct 7-2115 daily, 45 possession
North, South, NW ZoneNov 14-Jan 6, 202415 daily, 45 possession

Geese Season

Canada Geese

SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
Canada GeeseRP ZoneSept 1-258 or 5 daily, varies by segment
RP ZoneOct 28-Nov 248 or 5 daily, varies by segment
RP ZoneDec 11-Jan 208 or 5 daily, varies by segment
RP ZoneFeb 2-Feb 24, 20248 or 5 daily, varies by segment
AP ZoneSept 1-258 or 3 daily, varies by segment
AP ZoneNov 18-248 or 3 daily, varies by segment
AP ZoneDec 7-Jan 20, 20248 or 3 daily, varies by segment

Light Geese

Light Geese SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
Snow Geese and Ross’ GeeseAP ZoneOct. 2-Jan. 2725 daily, no possession limit
AP ZoneJan. 29 – April 26, 202425 daily, no possession limit
RP ZoneOct. 24-Feb. 2425 daily, no possession limit
RP ZoneFeb. 26 – April 26, 202425 daily, no possession limit


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
BrantAll ZonesOct 14-Nov 171 daily, 3 possession


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
DovesStatewideSept 1-Nov 2415 daily, 45 possession
StatewideDec 19-Jan 6, 202415 daily, 45 possession


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
WoodcockStatewideOct 14-Nov 243 daily, 9 possession
StatewideDec 11-203 daily, 9 possession


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
GallinulesStatewideSept 1-Nov 213 daily, 9 possession


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
Common SnipeStatewideOct 14-Nov 24, and Dec 11-208 daily, 24 possession


SpeciesZoneSeasonBag Limits
Virginia and Sora RailsStatewideSept 1-Nov 213 daily, 9 possession
Clapper and King RailsNo Open SeasonN/AN/A

Go to PA Hunting Seasons

PA Hunting Regulations for Migratory Birds

License Requirements

  • Either a mentored permit or a normal hunting license is needed.
  • A federal duck stamp that is carried and signed across the face is required for hunters who are 16 years of age and above.
  • Pennsylvania residents may acquire the Electronic Duck Stamp (E-Stamp) by visiting “HuntFishPA.”
  • Hunting some bird species requires a Pennsylvania Migratory Game Bird License.

Guided Hunting

  • For permitted species, migratory game bird permits may be obtained by mentored hunters.
  • Licenses may be obtained online at or via license issuing agencies.

Light Geese Conservation Season

  • A conservation season permit must be obtained, and hunters are required to submit a report detailing their hunting activities and harvest.
  • You may get more information by contacting 717-787-4250 or visiting

Weapons and Ammunition

  • Firearms permitted are 10-gauge manual and semiautomatic shotguns with a maximum shell capacity of three.
  • Waterfowl may be shot with bows and arrows, crossbows, and only non-toxic fine shot up to size T (.20 inches).
  • It is illegal to use lead shot for waterfowl hunting.

Fluorescent Orange

  • Not necessary for hunters of doves and ducks.

Restrictions on Migratory Game Birds

  • Shotguns with more than three rounds in them need to be plugged.
  • Hunting from sink boxes, motorized land vehicles, motorboats, airplanes, and sailboats in motion are all forbidden.
  • Baiting, using electronic bird call imitations, and using live decoys are prohibited.
  • After the bait is removed, the baited sites are off-limits for 30 days.


  • You may use electronic decoys to trick crows, doves, and ducks.

Hunting Parties

  • Hunters of waterfowl and doves may hunt in groups larger than six provided they are positioned immobile or in a blind.

John Lewis
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