Location: Statewide, although light geese (snow, blue, and Ross’ geese) winter primarily in the coastal counties of Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, Washington, Chowan, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Camden, and Currituck counties.
Bag and Possession Limits: No bag or possession limit
Special hunting methods allowed: Electronic calls and unplugged guns
Shooting hours: ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset
Non-toxic shot: Required
Permit and Harvest Survey: Required
Waterfowl hunters have additional opportunity to harvest light geese (snow, blue, and Ross' geese) in North Carolina under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Conservation Order for Light Geese. A Conservation Order is a special management action authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to control certain wildlife populations when traditional hunting seasons are unsuccessful in reducing overabundant wildlife populations. The Conservation Order allows additional harvest of light geese, in response to concerns about their growing numbers across North America, during times when no other waterfowl seasons are open, and allows additional harvest past March 10, the latest closing date for regular light goose hunting seasons under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older wishing to participate in the Light Goose Conservation Season must possess a valid NC hunting license, a NC waterfowl privilege license, a federal duck stamp, and be HIP registered. Hunting on NC Game Lands requires a NC Game Lands privilege license. Youth less than 16 years of age who are not licensed or hunter education certified must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult at least 18 years of age or older.
All state and migratory game bird hunting regulations and requirements apply to the taking, possession, shipping, transporting, and storing of light geese during the Light Goose Conservation Season, except that use of recorded or electrically amplified calls or sounds are allowed, unplugged guns are allowed, hunting hours are from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, and there are no bag or possession limits.
Waterfowl hunters wishing to participate in the Light Goose Conservation Season must obtain a free, self-issued Light Goose Conservation Season Permit. To obtain the no-cost Light Goose Conservation Season Permit, participants can apply July 1 through March 31 by clicking Obtain Light Goose Conservation Season Permit.
As a condition of the Light Goose Conservation Season Permit, all participants must also complete a Light Goose Conservation Season Harvest Survey. The information collected from the harvest survey helps waterfowl managers assess the effectiveness of the Light Goose Conservation Season for reducing light goose populations. Participants can complete the survey by visiting our website and answering the questions Online or by calling 888-248-6834, 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday before May 1.
NOTE: LIGHT GOOSE HUNTERS WILL NOT NEED TO APPLY FOR A FREE PERMIT OR COMPLETE A HARVEST SURVEY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE REGULAR LIGHT GOOSE HUNTING SEASON. Regular light goose hunting season dates can be viewed here.