Waterfowl and Migratory Bird Hunting in New Hampshire

NH Waterfowl and Migratory Bird Season Dates, Bag Limits, and Resources

Waterfowl hunting is a long-standing tradition in New Hampshire, with opportunities from coastal waters to the North Country.

To hunt waterfowl in New Hampshire, you are required to have a Migratory Waterfowl License and a current NH Hunting, Combination or Small Game License (available at any Fish and Game license agent), as well as a Federal Waterfowl Stamp. You also are required to have a free Harvest Information Program (H.I.P.) Survey permit number.

Note on Federal Waterfowl Stamps: The Federal Waterfowl Stamp is regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, not the State of New Hampshire. We have been made aware that many U.S. Post Offices do not carry the Federal Waterfowl Stamp or are out of them. You can order the federal stamps at: www.duckstamp.com.

 

Banded Birds

Report all banded birds at www.reportband.gov or by sending your information to: Bird Banding Lab, 12100 Beach Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708.  The call center supporting the 1-800-327-BAND toll-free phone number was discontinued on June 30, 2017.  People calling this toll-free number will be directed to report their bird bands using the reportband.gov website or by mail.  We rely heavily on your cooperation in reporting banded birds to help in their management, and we would like to thank you for your continued support in this effort.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public meeting on proposed season dates and bag limits for the 2024-2025 waterfowl-hunting seasons on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at 6:00 p.m., at the NH Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive in Concord, NH. Comments made at the meeting will be considered in finalizing New Hampshire’s 2024-2025 waterfowl season dates. If you cannot attend the meeting but would like to provide input, please email comments@wildlife.nh.gov and enter “waterfowl season setting” in the subject line. Written comments will be accepted and considered up until April 1, 2024.

Proposed Migratory Bird Hunting Season Dates 2024-2025

Waterfowl & Migratory Bird Seasons
Species Northern Zone Inland & CT River Zone Coastal Zone Bag Limit Possession Limit
Ducks A Oct 2 -Nov 30

Oct 9 -Nov 11

Nov 27 -Dec 22

Oct 3- Oct 9

Nov 27- Jan 18

6 18
Mergansers B Oct 2 -Nov 30

Oct 9 -Nov 11

Nov 27 -Dec 22

Oct 3- Oct 9

Nov 27- Jan 18

5 15
Coots Oct 2 -Nov 30

Oct 9 -Nov 11

Nov 27 -Dec 22

Oct 3- Oct 9

Nov 27- Jan 18

15 45
Sea Ducks C Oct 2 -Nov 30

Oct 9 -Nov 11

Nov 27 -Dec 22

Oct 3- Oct 9

Nov 27- Jan 18

4 12
Canada Geese (SEP) Sep 1- Sep 25 Sep 1- Sep 25 Sep 1- Sep 25 5 15
Canada Geese Oct 2 -Nov 30

Oct 3 -Nov 11

Nov 19 -Dec 8

Oct 3- Nov 11

Nov 27- Dec 16

2 6
Snow Geese Oct 2 -Nov 30

Oct 3- Nov 11

Nov 19- Dec 8

Oct 3- Nov 11

Nov 27- Dec 16

25 NONE
Brant Oct 2- Oct 31 Oct 3- Nov 7

Oct 3- Oct 9

Nov 27- Dec 16

1 3
Falconry Dec 1- Jan 14

Nov 12- Nov 26

Dec 23- Jan 19

Jan 27- Mar 10 3 9
Woodcock Oct 1- Nov 14 Oct 1- Nov 14 Oct 1- Nov 14 3 9
Common Snipe Sep 15- Nov 14 Sep 15- Nov 14 Sep 15- Nov 14 8 24
Crow

Aug 15- Nov 30

Mar 16- Mar 31

Aug 15- Nov 30

Mar 16- Mar 31

Aug 15- Nov 30

Mar 16- Mar 31

NONE NONE
Youth Waterfowl Sep 23-24, 2023 Sep 23-24, 2023 Sep 23-24, 2023    

 

  • A- Includes all species of ducks, with the following restrictions: No more than 4 mallards (2 of which may be a hen), 2 black ducks, 3 wood ducks, 1 pintail, 2 canvasbacks, 2 redheads, 1 scaup, and no more than 3 scoters, 3 long-tailed ducks, or 3 eiders (1 of which may be a hen). The harlequin duck season is closed. Possession limits are three times
    the daily bag limit (e.g. The mallard possession limit is 12, of which 6 may be hens). 
  • B- The daily bag limit of 5 mergansers is in addition to the daily bag limit of 6 ducks. Possession limits are three times the daily bag limit.
  • C- The special sea duck season was eliminated starting in the 2022–23 season. Sea ducks are now part of the general duck bag. The daily bag limit for sea ducks is 4 and the possession limit is 12.
  • Shooting hours are from 1/2 hour before sunrise to sunset.
  • Waterfowl hunters must obtain a federal duck stamp and a New Hampshire Migratory Waterfowl License, in addition to a New Hampshire hunting license.
  • Avian Influenza - AI is a potential risk in waterfowl, and bird hunters in general should exercise some common practices to prevent exposure.