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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Hunting & Trapping > Waterfowl & Migratory Game Birds > Waterfowl Seasons Waterfowl Seasons

Ducks, Coots and Mergansers

Waterfowl breeding habitat in the Canadian prairies was variable this year, but averaged good to fair. The U.S. prairies were largely fair to poor. Both were much drier this year than last. Habitat in eastern Canada was also variable, but good on average.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the mallard breeding population at a record 11.6 million, a little higher than last year and 51 percent higher than the long-term average. The total duck population was similar to 2014 at 49.2 million. All dabbling ducks except pintails remain above their long-term averages.

Zone Dates
North Zone Oct. 24, 2015 - Dec. 13, 2015
Dec. 19, 2015 - Dec. 27, 2015
Central Zone

Oct. 31, 2015 - Nov. 8, 2015
Nov. 21, 2015 - Jan. 10, 2016

South Zone Oct. 31, 2015 - Nov. 8, 2015
Nov. 28, 2015 - Jan. 17, 2016

The daily bag limit for ducks is six. This includes any combination of goldeneyes, ruddy ducks, ring-necked ducks, buffleheads, gadwalls, long-tailed ducks, scoters, teal, wigeon and shovelers. Included in the daily limit of six are additional restrictions on the following:

  • Mallards: Only four mallards may be taken daily, including not more than two females.
  • Wood ducks: Only three wood ducks may be taken daily. 
  • Pintails: Only two pintails may be taken daily.
  • Redheads: Only two redheads may be taken daily.
  • Scaup: Only three scaup may be taken daily.
  • Black ducks: Only one black duck may be taken daily.
  • Canvasback: Only two canvasback may be taken daily.
  • Mottled duck: Only one mottled duck may be taken daily.
  • The daily bag limit for coots is 15.
  • The daily bag for mergansers (which is separate from the duck limit) is five, including not more than two hooded mergansers.
  • Possession limit for ducks, coots and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit.
  • Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shooting hours at some DNR properties may vary.

Canada Geese

Spring arrived at Hudson Bay on time this year. Breeding population estimates for the two long-distance migrant populations of Canada geese that use Indiana (the Southern James Bay and Mississippi Valley populations) decreased from 2014. As of this printing, production is unknown, though early work on the MVP range indicated average production.
 
The Mississippi Flyway population of giant Canada geese increased this year after a three-year decline. Breeding conditions in the flyway were above average, with some localized flooding. In Indiana, spring conditions were better than they have been for several years, and we saw an increase in breeding geese for the first time in four years. In addition, production seems to have been very good. The fall Canada goose hunting outlook in Indiana is good.

Zone Dates
North Zone

Oct. 24, 2015 - Nov. 22, 2015
Dec. 12, 2015 - Jan. 24, 2016

Central Zone

Oct. 31, 2015 - Nov. 8, 2015
Nov. 21, 2015 - Jan. 24, 2016

 South Zone Oct. 31, 2015 - Nov. 8, 2015
Nov. 28, 2015 - Jan 31, 2016

The bag limit for all dark geese (Canada, white-fronted and brant) has changed this year. The  new limit is five, no more than three of which can be Canada geese. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit. The daily bag limit for light geese (snow, blue and/or Ross’ geese) is 20, with no possession limit for light geese. Click here for information about the light geese conservation order.

Youth Waterfowl Weekends

 
Zone Dates
North Zone Oct. 17, 2015 - Oct. 18, 2015
Central Zone Oct. 24, 2015 - Oct. 25, 2015
South Zone Oct. 24, 2015 - Oct. 25, 2015

Hunters must be 15 years of age or younger to participate and properly licensed to participate and must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. An adult may accompany more than one youth. The licensed accompanying adult may not hunt waterfowl. If the accompanying adult does not intend to hunt and does not possess a firearm, the adult does not need to be licensed. Bag and species limits are the same as those allowed in the regular season.

Late Canada Goose Zone Season

The proposed late season for Canada geese is Feb. 1–15. The counties open during the late season are: Adams, Allen, Boone, Clay, DeKalb, Elkhart, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Huntington, Johnson, Kosciusko, LaPorte, LaGrange, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Noble, Parke, St. Joseph, Shelby, Steuben, Starke, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo, Wells and Whitley.  

The daily bag limit during this season is three Canada geese, with a possession limit of nine.

  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
  • Hunters must have an Indiana hunting license, Indiana waterfowl stamp, federal waterfowl stamp, and a HIP number to participate.