North Carolina waterfowl hunters will get their usual three-part season for ducks this fall and winter, along with two youth-only days and an extended season for snow and other light geese as the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission set seasons on Thursday at its meeting in Raleigh.
Duck season will run Oct. 7-10, Nov. 14-Dec. 5 and Dec. 19-Jan. 30. The daily bag limit will be six birds, not to include more than four mallards (two hens), four scoters, three wood ducks, two redheads, two scaup, two pintails, two canvasbacks, one black duck, one mottled duck, one fulvous whistling duck, 15 coots and three mergansers (two hooded). Black and mottled ducks can not be hunted until Nov. 21.
Hunters can target sea ducks from Oct. 1-Jan. 30, with a seven-duck limit (no more than four scoters).
Canada geese will be hunted in three different zones across North Carolina: Oct. 7-17, Nov. 14-Dec. 5 and Dec. 19-Feb. 13 in the Resident Hunt Zone, where the daily limit is five birds; Oct. 7-Nov. 9 and Nov. 14-Dec. 31 in the Southern James Bay Hunt Zone, where the bag limit is five birds; and Jan. 15-30 in the Northeast Hunt Zone, permit only, with a one-bird bag limit.
Snow, blue and other “light” geese will have an Oct. 13-Feb. 13 season with a 25-bird bag limit, and an extended “conservation order” season from Feb. 15-March 31 with no bag limit, unplugged guns and electronic callers allowed, and a shooting day that lasts until 30 minutes after sunset.
The season for brant geese will be Dec. 28-Jan. 30, with a one-bird daily bag limit. The permit-only season on tundra swans will be Nov. 7-Jan. 30, with a one-bird season limit and 5,000 permits available.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows states to set aside two youth-only waterfowl days on non-school days after the regular season ends. The Commission voted to reserve Feb. 6 and 13 for those days.