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Migratory Gamebird Seasons and Regulations

Geese on lake

Waterfowl and other migratory bird hunting dates are set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with Indiana DNR.

A valid hunting license is required to hunt migratory gamebirds and waterfowl. In addition, HIP registration, Indiana Gamebird, or Indiana Migratory Waterfowl stamp privileges and a Federal Migratory Bird hunting stamp may also be required as noted below.

Resident and non-resident youth age 17 or younger are exempt from needing a state migratory waterfowl stamp or gamebird habitat stamp to hunt gamebirds or waterfowl in Indiana.

  • Waterfowl

    Ducks, coots and mergansers

    Special teal season
    Species DatesDaily Bag Limit
    Teal Sept. 11 - Sept. 26, 2021 Six, any combination of blue-winged and green-winged teal. Possession limit: 18. Shooting hours: sunrise to sunset. HIP registration required. *No teal hunting on Kankakee FWA.
    Regular duck seasons
    ZoneDates
    North Zone Oct. 23 – Dec. 12, 2021
    Dec. 26, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022 
    Central Zone Oct. 30 – Nov. 7, 2021
    Nov. 20, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022
    South Zone Nov. 6 – 7, 2021
    Nov. 27, 2021 – Jan. 23, 2022   

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

    • Black ducks: Only two black ducks may be taken daily.
    • Canvasback: Only two canvasbacks may be taken daily.
    • Mallards: Only four mallards may be taken daily, including not more than two females.
    • Mottled duck: Only one mottled duck may be taken daily.
    • Pintails: Only one pintail may be taken daily.
    • Redheads: Only two redheads may be taken daily.
    • Scaup: Only one scaup may be taken daily before Nov. 7 in the North Zone, Nov. 26 in the Central Zone, and Dec. 10 in the South Zone. Only two scaup may be taken daily on or after those dates.
    • Wood ducks: Only three wood ducks may be taken daily.

    The daily bag for mergansers (which is separate from the duck limit) is five, including not more than two hooded mergansers. The daily bag limit for coots is 15.

    Possession limit for ducks, coots, and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shooting hours at some DNR properties may vary. Contact the property for details.

    Geese

    ZoneDates
    North Zone Sept. 11 – 19, 2021
    Oct. 23 – 31, 2021
    Nov. 20, 2021 – Feb. 13, 2022
    Central Zone Sept. 11 – 19, 2021
    Oct. 30 – Nov. 7, 2021
    Nov. 20, 2021 – Feb. 13, 2022 
    South Zone Sept. 11 – 19, 2021
    Nov. 6 – Nov. 21, 2021
    Nov. 27, 2021 – Feb. 13, 2022 

    The bag limit for all dark geese (Canada, white-fronted, and brant) is five geese in the aggregate. 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. Read the light geese conservation order.

    Youth waterfowl weekends

    ZoneDates
    North Zone Oct. 16 – 17, 2021
    Central Zone Oct. 23 – 24, 2021
    South Zone Oct. 30 – 31, 2021 

    Hunters must be 17 years of age or younger on the day of the hunt to participate. A federal duck stamp is required for all persons 16 and older. They must also 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. Bag and species limits are the same as those allowed in the regular season for ducks and geese (only one scaup per day may be taken during the youth season). An HIP registration number is required for youth hunters during the youth waterfowl weekends.

    Veteran Waterfowl hunting days

    ZoneDates
    North Zone Oct. 16 – 17, 2021
    Central Zone Oct. 23 – 24, 2021
    South Zone Oct. 30 – 31, 2021

    Beginning in 2019, special dates for veterans to hunt waterfowl were established. In order to hunt ducks and geese in Indiana, all individuals must have an Indiana hunting license, an Indiana waterfowl stamp privilege, and a free Harvest Information Program (HIP) validation number. A federal duck stamp is required for all persons age 16 years and older. Federal duck stamps are available at most post offices and at fws.gov/duckstamps. State waterfowl stamp privileges are available from hunting and fishing license vendors and online. Daily limits are the same as for the youth seasons.

  • Other Migratory Gamebirds
    Species Dates Daily Bag Limit
    Rails (Sora only) Sept. 1 - Nov. 9 25. Possession limit: 75. Shooting hours: half-hour before sunrise to sunset. HIP registration required.
    Mourning Doves Sept. 1 - Oct. 17, Nov. 1 – 21, Dec. 11 – Jan. 1 15. Possession limit: 45. Shooting hours: half-hour before sunrise to sunset. HIP registration & Gamebird Habitat Stamp required
    Woodcock Oct. 15 - Nov. 28 3. Possession limit: 9. Shooting hours: half-hour before sunrise to sunset. HIP registration required.
    NOTE: Woodcock hunters must wear exposed at all times as an outer garment one or more of the following articles that is solid hunter orange in color: a vest, coat, jacket, coveralls, hat or cap.
    Snipe (Wilson's) Sept. 1 - Dec. 16 8. Possession limit: 24. Shooting hours: half-hour before sunrise to sunset. HIP registration required.