Working within frameworks established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Commission set the following season dates:
* ducks, coots and mergansers - Oct. 4-7; Nov. 11-Dec. 2; and Dec. 16-Jan. 27.
* special sea ducks - in special sea duck area only, Oct. 4-Jan. 27.
* brant - Dec. 25-Jan. 27.
* light geese (snow, blue and Ross' geese) - Oct. 18-28; and Nov. 11-March 3.
* tundra swan - Nov. 4-Jan. 31. By permit only; 5,000 permits will be issued.
Seasons for dark geese (Canada and white-fronted) vary by population zone. Goose season dates by zone include:
* Resident Population Zone, Nov. 11-Dec. 2; and Dec. 16-Jan. 27
* Southern James Bay Zone, Oct. 4-14; and Nov. 11-Dec. 30 (Gaddy Goose Refuge closed after Sept. 30);
*Northeast Hunt Zone, Dec. 25-Jan. 27.
The Northeast Hunt Zone, comprising all or parts of 11 northeastern counties, is a permit-only hunt with a season limit of one bird per hunter; 1,000 permits will be issued.
Compensatory days are allowed for Sundays.
Daily bag limits under the federal frameworks (possession limit is twice the daily limit, unless otherwise noted) include:
* ducks - six ducks with no more than: one black duck or one mottled duck (black duck/mottled duck season is closed until Dec. 1); four mallards with no more than two hen mallards; four scoters; two wood ducks; two redheads; two scaup; one canvasback; one pintail; and one fulvous tree duck. The season on harlequin ducks is closed.
* light geese (includes snow, blue, and Ross' geese) - 15 with no possession limit.
* brant - two.
* coots - 15.
* mergansers - five; only two of which can be hooded mergansers.
* sea ducks - seven in special sea duck area only. In other areas, sea ducks are part of the regular bag limit. No more than 4 scoters per day can be taken in either the regular duck season or special sea duck season.
Bag limits for Canada and white-fronted geese (in aggregate) vary by time and zone:
* Statewide (except Dare County special zone), September - eight.
* Dare County special zone, September - two.
* Resident Zone, regular season after Sept. 30 - five.
* Southern James Bay Zone, regular season after Sept. 30 - two.
* Northeast Hunt Zone, permit only - one per season with permit.
The Commission also set Feb. 3 as Youth Waterfowl Day for hunters age 15 or younger. Species include ducks, geese, mergansers and coots. Participants must be accompanied by an adult age 21 or older, who is not allowed to hunt.
Shooting hours will be from one half-hour before sunrise to sunset.
For more information about waterfowl hunting regulations in North Carolina, see hunting regulations page (pgs. 48-50) or call the Division of Wildlife Management at (919) 707-0050.