Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

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Hunting seasons and bag limits

Zone

Species

Season dates

Daily bag limits

Possession limits

Notes

North Zone

Ducks

Sept. 30 – Nov. 26 and

Dec. 2-3

6

18

a, b

North Zone

Coots

Sept. 30 – Nov. 26 and

Dec. 2-3

15

45

b

North Zone

Mergansers

Sept. 30 – Nov. 26 and

Dec. 2-3

5

15

a, b

North Zone

Dark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)

Sept. 1 – Dec. 16

5

15

c

North Zone

Light goose (snow, blueandRoss’s)

Sept. 1 – Dec. 16

20

60

Middle Zone

Ducks

Oct. 7 – Dec. 3 and

Dec. 16-17

6

18

a, b

Middle Zone

Coots

Oct. 7 – Dec. 3 and

Dec. 16-17

15

45

b

Middle Zone

Mergansers

Oct. 7 – Dec. 3 and

Dec. 16-17

5

15

a, b

Middle Zone

Dark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)

Sept. 1-30 and

Oct. 7 – Dec. 22

5

15

c

Middle Zone

Light goose (snow, blueandRoss’s)

Sept. 1-30 and

Oct. 7 – Dec. 22

20

60

South Zone

Ducks

Oct. 14 – Dec. 10 and

Dec. 30-31

6

18

a,b

South Zone

Coots

Oct. 14 – Dec. 10 and

Dec. 30-31

15

45

b

South Zone

Mergansers

Oct. 14 – Dec. 10 and

Dec. 30-31

5

15

a,b

South Zone

Dark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)

Sept. 1-30, Oct. 14 – Dec.

10, Dec. 30 – Jan. 7 and Feb. 3-12, excluding some GMUs (see South Zone – local goose management units section)

5

15

c

South Zone

Light goose (snow, blueandRoss’s)

Sept. 1-30, Oct. 14 – Dec.

10, Dec. 30 – Jan. 7 and Feb. 3-12, excluding some GMUs (see South Zone – local goose management units section)

20

60

Statewide

Early teal

Sept. 1-15 (see Earlyteal season section)

6

18

Statewide

Wilson’s snipe

Sept. 1 – Nov. 9

8

24

b

Statewide

Virginia rail and sora rail

Sept. 1 – Nov. 9

25

75

b

Statewide

Common gallinules

Sept. 1 – Nov. 9

1

3

b

a. See Possession limits for ducks, mergansers and geese section.

b. See the Veterans and Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days section and Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend sectionfor requirements.

c. The dark goose aggregate daily bag limit for Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant is five, only one of which can be a brant. (Note alsoapplies to the South Zone local GMUs. See the South Zone – local goose management units section.)

Waterfowl Hunting Zones

Daily and possession limits for ducks, mergansers and geese

What is the daily bag limit for ducks and mergansers?

The daily bag limit is six ducks of any species. There may be no more than four mallards (no more than two of which may be hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, two black ducks, one pintail, and one or two scaup (depending on season date – see table below). In addition to the duck limit, hunters may take five mergansers, only two of which may be hoodedmergansers. The possession limit is three times the daily limit for ducks and mergansers. As part of the total daily limit for ducks asdescribed above, the daily limit for scaup for the zones and dates specified is as follows:

Zone

Dates

Daily limit

North Zone

Sept. 30 – Nov. 13

No more than 2 scaup

North Zone

Nov. 14-26 and Dec. 2-3

No more than 1 scaup

Middle Zone

Oct. 7-22

No more than 1 scaup

Middle Zone

Oct. 23 – Dec. 3 and Dec. 16-17

No more than 2 scaup

South Zone

Oct. 14-29

No more than 1 scaup

South Zone

Oct. 30 – Dec. 10 and

Dec. 30-31

No more than 2 scaup

What is the daily bag limit for dark geese?

Canada geese, white-fronted geese (or specklebellies) and brant are part of a dark goose aggregate daily bag limit. For the entiregoose season, the daily bag limit for Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant is five in any combination, only one of which canbe a brant. The possession limit is three times the daily limit for dark geese.

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What is the daily bag limit for light geese?

Snow geese, blue-phase snow geese and Ross’s geese are part of a light goose aggregate daily bag limit. For the entire gooseseason, the daily bag limit for light geese is 20 in any combination. The possession limit is three times the daily limit for light geese.

South Zone – local goose management units

Season dates differ from the South Zone goose season dates listed in the Hunting seasons and bag limits section for AlleganCounty and Muskegon County Wastewater System goose management units (GMU).

GMU

Species

Season dates

Daily bag limits

Possession limits

Notes

Allegan County GMU

Dark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)

Sept. 1-30, Nov. 4-12,

Nov. 25 – Dec. 3 and

Dec. 16 – Feb. 12

5

15

c

Allegan County GMU

Light goose (snow, blueandRoss’s)

Sept. 1-30, Nov. 4-12,

Nov. 25 – Dec. 3 and

Dec. 16 – Feb. 12

20

60

Muskegon County Wastewater System GMU

Dark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)

Oct. 17 – Dec. 23

5

15

c

Muskegon County Wastewater System GMU

Light goose (snow, blueandRoss’s)

Oct. 17 – Dec. 23

20

60

c. The dark goose aggregate daily bag limit for Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant is five, only one of which can be a brant.

Muskegon County Wastewater System GMU

Muskegon County Wastewater System GMU

Allegan County GMU

Fennville Farm Unit of the Allegan State Game Area is closed to goose hunting Sept. 1-30, and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday andFriday from Dec. 16 – Feb. 12. The Fennville Farm Unit will be open to goose hunting by self-registration Nov. 4-12 and Nov. 25 -Dec. 3; and open by drawings on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday from Dec. 16 – Feb. 12. Drawings are held at 5:30 a.m., with hunting permitted from shooting time in the morning until 4 p.m.Leftover zones will be reissued until 11 a.m.

Allegan County GMU

Early teal season

Which species can be hunted during the early teal season?

Only blue-winged and green-winged teal may be hunted during the early teal season. Hunters are strongly encouraged torefresh their duck identification skills for this season. Do not shoot if you are not sure of your target.

When is the early teal season?

The season runs from Sept. 1-15, statewide.

What is the daily bag limit and possession limit during the early teal season?

The daily bag limit is six teal, and the possession limit is 18 teal.

What are some tips for teal hunting?

Here are a few teal hunting tips:

  • Decoys will easily attract teal, so use them to bring birds in closer to aid in identification.
  • Pass shooting is not recommended.
  • Teal prefer shallow waters and areas along shallow margins of ponds and lakes.
  • Look for areas with lots of mud flats and sparse vegetation.
  • Avoid forested wetlands, where you are likely to encounter wood ducks.

What time of day can I hunt teal?

Teal can be hunted from sunrise to sunset.

Managed waterfowl hunt areas

What is a managed waterfowl hunt area, and where are they located?

Managed waterfowl hunt areas, or Wetland Wonders,offer first-class waterfowl hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities. There are seven premier managed waterfowl hunt areaslocated in southern Michigan. Daily drawings are conducted locally for free hunting-zone permits throughout the season (seedrawing dates and times in the tables on the following pages).

What equipment should I bring to a managed waterfowl hunt area?

Use of waders, decoys, calls, retrievers, andsmall boats and motors is recommended.

Are there special rules at managed waterfowl hunt areas?

Yes. Special rules are enforced, including shell limits, shot size limits, hunting party size, etc. For more information, visitMichigan.gov/WetlandWonders.

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Are managed waterfowl hunt area drawings ever canceled?

Normal managed-area drawings may be canceled late in the season if extreme weather results in low hunter participation. Area managers will post amended check-station hunting rules a minimum of two days prior to any changes. Late in the season, huntersmay wish to call area headquarters to verify that drawings will be held.

Do managed waterfowl hunt areas hold waterfowl reserved hunts?

Yes. Some hunts during the opening weekend of duck season are by reservation; see the 2023 reserved waterfowl hunt choicessection for application information.

Area, county and nearest town

Phone

Youth hunting dates

Drawing dates and times

Fennville Farm (Allegan County, Fennville)

269-561-2258

Dec. 16 (a.m.) nonreserved

Dec. 30 (a.m.) nonreserved

Morning hunts: Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from Dec. 16 – Feb. 12. Drawing at 5:30 a.m. Leftover zones will be reissued until 11 a.m. Permits valid until

4 p.m.

Afternoon hunts: No afternoon draws.

Closed: Closed for goose hunting Sept. 1-30.

No drawings on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from Dec. 16 – Feb. 12.

Self-registration available forgoose hunting outside of drawing dates from Nov. 4-12 and Nov. 25 -Dec. 3 at the Fennville Farm Unitoffice.

Self-registration available for duck hunting outside of drawing dates at the Fennville Farm Unit office during South Zone duck season.

Fish Point (Tuscola County, Unionville)

989-674-2511

Oct. 7 (p.m.) reserved

Nov. 4 (p.m.) nonreserved

Morning hunts: Daily at 5:30 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season.)

Afternoon hunts: Daily at 11 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season.)

Muskegon County Resource Recovery Center (Muskegon County, Twin Lake)

231-788-5055

Call for opening dates

Oct. 28 (a.m. and p.m.) nonreserved

Morning hunts: Tuesdays and Saturdays at 5:30 a.m.

Afternoon hunts: Thursdays and Saturdays at 11 a.m.

Hunts continue through November; no longer closed Nov. 15-30.

Permits for Tuesday morning drawings are valid until close of shooting hours.

Nayanquing Point (Bay County, Linwood)

989-697-5101

Oct. 7 (p.m.) reserved

Oct. 28 (p.m.) nonreserved

Morning hunts: Daily at 5:30 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season.)

Afternoon hunts: Daily at 11 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season.)

Pointe Mouillee (Wayne County, Rockwood)

734-379-9692

Oct. 14 (p.m.) reserved

Nov. 5 (a.m.) nonreserved

Morning hunts: Sundays,Thursdays and Oct. 14 at 5:30 a.m.(Reserved hunt opening weekend of duck season.)

Afternoon hunts: Sundays, Tuesdays and Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. (Reserved hunt opening weekend of duck season.)

Permits for Thursday morning drawings are valid until close of shooting hours.

Shiawassee River (Saginaw County, St. Charles)

989-865-6211

Oct. 14 (p.m.) reserved

Nov. 4 (p.m.) nonreserved

Morning hunts: Daily at 5 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season.)

Afternoon hunts: Daily at 11 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season.)

St. Clair Flats(Harsens Island, St.Clair County, Algonac)

810-748-9504

Oct. 14 (p.m.) reserved

Nov. 3 (p.m.) nonreserved

Morning hunts: Daily at 5:30 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season.)

Afternoon hunts: Daily at 11:30

a.m. (Reserved hunt first and

second weekend of duck season.)

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (Saginaw County, Saginaw)

989-777-5930

Oct. 28 (a.m.) nonreserved

Morning hunts: Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5:30 a.m.

Afternoon hunts: Thursdays at noon

Note: Please go to fws.gov/refuge/shiawassee prior to your hunt to see updates and refuge-specific regulations.

There will not be a reserved hunt at Shiawassee NWR for the 2023 season.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend

When is the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend?

The Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend will be Sept. 16-17, statewide, for properly licensed youth 16 years old and younger.

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Which licenses do I need to hunt the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend?

You will need a base license, an apprentice baselicense or a mentored youth license. If you are 16 years old, you also need to have a waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp.

I am a youth waterfowl hunter under 16 years old. Do I have to hunt with an adult?

Yes. If you are 10-16 years old, you must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone 18 years old or older designated by yourparent or guardian. If you are under 10 years old, you must be accompanied by an adult 21 years old or older, and the adult mustmeet all the provisions of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.

I am a youth waterfowl hunter hunting with an apprentice license. Do I have to hunt with an adult?

Yes. Youth who are hunting with a base apprentice license must be accompanied by an adult 21 years old or older who has anonapprentice base license and a waterfowl license.

What can I hunt during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend?

Ducks, mergansers, geese, coots and common gallinules may be harvested; accompanying adults are not permitted to harvestthese species during the hunt unless hunting during the September portion of the Canada goose hunting season. The daily limits and species restrictions are the same as those allowed in the regular waterfowl hunting season.

When will these days take place?

The Veterans and Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days will take place statewide Sept. 16-17, concurrentlywith the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend.

What documentation do I need to hunt?

Participating veterans and active-duty U.S military personnel are required to have documentation afield and must present it uponrequest of a Michigan conservation officer, tribal conservation officer or any law enforcement officer. The following documentationwill be accepted as proof of status: military ID, leave papers, duty papers, military orders, copy of DD Form 214, enhanced driver’s license or documentation from the Veterans Administrationregarding disability status.

Which licenses do I need to hunt?

You must have a base license, a waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp.

What can I hunt during the Veterans and Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days?

Ducks, mergansers, geese, coots and common gallinules may be harvested. The daily limits and species restrictions are thesame as those allowed in the regular waterfowl hunting season.

When will these drawings take place?

Veterans preference drawings at the following managed waterfowl areas will take place Nov. 9 or Nov. 11, for properly licensed,resident, active-duty U.S. military personnel and veterans. There will not be a veterans preference drawing at Fennville Farmor Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Fish Point – Nov. 11.
  • Harsens Island – Nov. 11.
  • Muskegon County Resource Recovery Center – Nov. 11.
  • Nayanquing Point – Nov. 11.
  • Pointe Mouillee – Nov. 9.
  • Shiawassee River – Nov. 11.

What documentation do I need to hunt during the veterans preference drawings?

The following documentation, along with a valid Michigan driver’s license or voter registration card, will be accepted as proof of status: military ID, leave papers, duty papers, military orders, copy of DD Form 214, enhanced driver’s license or documentationfrom the Veterans Administration regarding disability status. If you were discharged from the Army or Air Force National Guard, youmay provide a copy of NGB Form 22 or NGB Form 23.

Which licenses do I need for the veterans preference drawings?

You need a base license, a waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp.

Which parties will be eligible for the veterans preference drawing?

To be eligible for the veterans preference drawings, single hunters must be active- duty military personnel or veterans; party huntersmust have at least one member in their party who is active-duty military or a veteran.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>