The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has set season dates, bag limits and other regulations for the upcoming waterfowl and falconry seasons.
Duck hunters will have their usual three-segment season, with hunting allowed Oct. 1-4, Nov. 8-29 and Dec. 13-Jan. 24. No black ducks or mottled ducks may be killed before Nov. 22, and the daily bag limit will be six, including no more than four scoters, four mallards (only two hens), three wood ducks, two scaup, two redheads, two pintails, one canvasback, one black duck, mottled duck or fulvous whistling duck. No harlequin ducks may be taken. Hunting is legal for mergansers and coots during the normal duck seasons, but daily limits are 15 coots and five mergansers, only two of which can be hooded mergansers.
Sea ducks season will open Oct. 1 and run through Jan. 31, with a seven-duck daily limit in the special sea duck area. Hunters are restricted to no more than four scoters per day.
Canada and white-fronted geese may be taken in the Resident Population hunt zone Oct. 1-11, Nov. 8-29 and Dec. 13-Feb. 7, in the Southern James Bay hunt zone Oct. 1-28 and Nov. 8-Dec. 31, and in the Northeast hunt zone by permit only Jan. 9-24. Five geese may be taken daily in the Resident Population and Southern James Bay zones and one may be taken daily in the Northeast zone.
Snow, blue and Ross’ geese may be taken Oct. 15-18 and Nov. 8-March 7, with a daily bag limit of 25. Electronic calls and unplugged shotguns will be allowed from Feb. 9-March 7.
Hunters can take two brant geese per day during a Dec. 22-Jan. 24 season.
Five thousand permits will be issued for tundra swans, with one bird allowed per permit during a Nov. 8-Jan. 31 season.
Youth waterfowl days will be Jan. 31 and Feb. 7. Youth must be 15 years old or younger and accompanied by a properly licensed adult, who cannot hunt ducks but may participate in other seasons that are open on those two days.
Applications are now being accepted for permit-only waterfowl hunts online, by visiting a wildlife service agent or by calling 888-248-6834, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Application deadline for the majority of waterfowl permit hunts is Oct. 1.
Shooting hours will be 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset.