The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission set migratory bird and waterfowl seasons at its late-April meeting in Raleigh, with a few notable changes in bag limits for waterfowl.
Hunters will be limited to one pintail per day during the waterfowl season, but they’ll be able to kill two black ducks instead of one, and the number of permits for tundra swans has been increased from 5,000 to 6,250.
Hunters will have three-part seasons for doves and most waterfowl. Dove seasons will be Sept. 2-Oct. 7, Nov. 22-25 and Nov. 27-Jan. 15, with a 15-bird daily limit.
Duck hunters will get these seasons: Oct. 4-7, Nov. 11-Dec. 2 and Dec. 16-Jan. 27, plus a Sept. 13-30 special teal season east of US 17. No black ducks or mottled ducks may be killed before Nov. 18. The daily bag limit will be six, with certain species restrictions: four mallards (two hens), three wood ducks, two scaup, two redheads, one pintail, two black ducks, one mottled duck, two canvasbacks, four scoters, eiders and long-tailed ducks, one fulvous whistling duck and five mergansers (two hens). They can kill 15 coots per day during the same season dates.
Hunters can take five sea ducks during a Nov. 20-Jan. 27 season.
The early Canada goose season is Sept. 1-30 statewide, with a daily bag limit of 15 and special regulations west of US 17: unplugged shotguns are allowed, along with electronic callers and shooting hours extended to 30 minutes after sunset. The regular season on Canada and other dark geese will be Oct. 4-14, Nov. 11-Dec. 2 and Dec. 16-Feb. 10 in the resident population zone, Oct. 4-Nov. 3, and Nov. 11-Dec. 30 in the Southern James Bay zone, and in the northeast zone, Jan. 12-27 by permit only. The daily bag limit is five birds in the resident and Southern James Bay zones and one in the northeastern zone.
Hunters can take one brant goose in a Dec. 16-Jan. 27 season, and 25 light geese (snow, blue, Ross) in Oct. 10-Feb. 10 and Feb. 12-March 31, with unplugged guns, electronic callers and an extended hunting day (until 30 minutes after sunset) during the late season.
The permit-only tundra swan season will be Nov. 11-Jan. 31.
Hunters are allowed to kill 15 king and clapper rails and 15 moorhens and gallinules, and 25 sora and Virginia rails during a split season: Sept. 2-Oct. 21 and Nov. 3-22.
Woodcock can be hunted Dec. 14-Jan. 27, with a daily bag limit of three. Common snipe can be hunted Nov. 14-Feb. 28, with a daily bag limit of eight.
Youth waterfowl days are Feb. 3 and 10 for hunters aged 17 and under.