Maryland Begins Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons for 2023-2024

Mourning dove, early resident Canada Goose seasons begin Sept. 1 

Photo of two geese landing in water

Canada geese, photo by Larry Hindman, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the state’s 2023-2024 migratory game bird hunting seasons, the first of which begin Sept. 1. 

Bag limits, season dates, and shooting hours can be found in the 2023-2024 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping.

 “September marks the beginning of the fall migration period and with that comes opportunities for hunters to head into the field as seasons open for mourning doves and early Canada geese.” said Wildlife and Heritage Acting Director Karina Stonesifer. “With Maryland’s abundant public hunting opportunities and rich outdoor heritage, the department encourages experienced hunters to introduce someone new to the sport this year, so more people may experience all Maryland’s outdoors has to offer.”

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

Dove, split season

First Season: Sept. 1 – Oct. 14 (note: shooting hours for this segment are noon to sunset)

Second Season: Oct. 21 – Nov. 24

Third Season: Dec. 16 – Jan. 10, 2024

Woodcock, split season

First Season: Oct. 21 – Nov. 24

Second Season: Jan. 11 – 27, 2024

Early resident Canada Goose Season

Eastern zone: Sept. 1–15

Western zone: Sept. 1–25

For Early Canada goose season, hunters are allowed to use shotguns capable of holding more than three 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 teal.

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.

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.


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