2012-13 Waterfowl Seasons, Bag Limits, Other Limits Set

  • 31 August 2012
  • Number of views: 53737

RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 31) The N.C Wildlife Resources Commission has set season dates, bag limits and applicable regulations for the 2012-13 waterfowl and extended falconry seasons.

Beginning Sept. 1, sportsmen and women can apply for permit waterfowl hunts online or by visiting a Wildlife Service Agent, or calling 888-248-6834, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Application deadline for the majority of waterfowl permit hunts is Oct. 1.

Information on all late-season waterfowl permit hunting opportunities, including locations, dates and quotas, is now available on the agency’s website, www.ncwildlife.org. Click on 2012-13 Permit Hunting Opportunities.

Of particular note this year is the increase in bag limit or scaup, which doubled from 2 last year to 4 this year to accommodate an increase in the breeding population.

The following are the 2012-13 bag limits, shooting hours and season dates for waterfowl seasons occurring after Sept. 30. Possession limits are twice the daily bag unless otherwise noted.

a) Conventional bag: 6 ducks with no more than 4 scoters, 4 scaup,4 mallards with no more than 2 hen mallards, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2pintails, 1 black or mottled duck (season closed until Nov. 17), 1 canvasback,or 1 fulvous whistling duck. The season on harlequin ducks is closed. 

b) Other limits: 25 light geese (includes snow, blue and Ross’ geese), no possession limit; 2 brant; 5 mergansers (2 hooded mergansers); 7 sea ducks (in special sea duck area only). In other areas, sea ducks are part of the regular duck bag limit. Includes scoters, eiders and long-tailed ducks. No more than 4scoters per day may be taken in either season; 15 coots; 5 dark geese (includes Canada geese and white-fronted geese) in the Resident Hunt Zone, 5 in the Southern James Bay Zone and 1 in the Northeast Hunt Zone.



HOURS:         One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.


Ducks, Mergansers and Coots

Oct. 3-6,
Nov. 10 – Dec. 1 and

Dec. 15 – Jan. 26 [Black and mottled ducks closed until Nov. 17]

Sea Ducks (In special sea duck area only)

Oct. 1 – Jan. 31

Dark Geese (Includes Canada geese and

white-fronted geese)  To view a map of the goose hunt zones, refer to the Regulations Digest or www.ncwildlife.org

Resident Population Hunt Zone:  Oct. 3-13, Nov. 10 – Dec. 1 and Dec. 15 – Feb. 9

Southern James Bay Hunt Zone (Gaddy Goose Refuge closed after Sept. 30):  Oct. 3 – Oct. 31 and Nov. 10 – Dec. 31.

Northeast Hunt Zone:  Jan. 19 – Jan. 26 (By permit only)

Light Geese (Includes snow and blue geese, and Ross’ geese)

Oct. 17 – Oct. 20

Nov. 10 – March 9

Electronic calls and unplugged guns are allowed from Feb. 11 – March 9


Nov. 17 – Dec. 1 and Dec. 15 – Jan. 26

Tundra Swan

Nov. 10 – Jan. 31

(1 per season by permit only; 5,000 will be issued.)

Youth Waterfowl Days (Includes ducks, geese, brant, mergansers, coots and tundra swans.) The youth must have a valid permit to harvest a tundra swan or a Canada goose (NE Hunt Zone only).

Feb. 2 and Feb. 9

Youth must be 15 years of age or younger and accompanied by a properly licensed adult. The adult cannot duck hunt but may participate in other seasons that are open on the special youth day.



Extended falconry seasons and bag limits are as follows. The webless species’ seasons were previously approved by the Commission






Oct. 13 – Nov. 17



King, Clapper, Sora and Virginia Rails

Nov. 17 – Dec. 22



Gallinule and Moorhens

Nov. 17 – Dec. 22




Nov. 5 – Dec. 8 &

Feb. 1 – Feb. 28



Ducks, mergansers and coots 1

Oct. 22 – Nov. 3 &

Jan. 28 – Feb. 16





1 The taking of harlequin ducks is prohibited.


*** Falconers may also hunt during the applicable gun seasons.  Daily bag and possession limits of 3 and 6,respectively, also apply while hunting during the gun season.

** Falconry hours for all species are from ½ hour before sunrise until sunset.

** Falconry is not allowed on Sunday.

** Daily bag and possession limits are for all species singly or in the aggregate.  For example, if the applicable season(s) are open, a daily bag may consist of 3 doves or 1 dove, 1 duck and 1 woodcock for a total of 3 migratory game birds.

Media Contact:
Carolyn Rickard

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