Saturday, December 2, 2023

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission announces changes to migratory game bird season

Official 2017-18 migratory bird hunting seasons have been announced
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission announced the 2017-18 Migratory Game Bird seasons Thursday afternoon. Pictured are a group of bufflehead ducks harvested last season. (Port City Daily photo/CORY MANNION)

WILMINGTON — The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has announced the 2017-18 Migratory Game Bird Seasons.

In the second year of the new regulatory schedule implementation, the commission announced season dates, bag limits and applicable regulations for the upcoming waterfowl, webless migratory game birds (including doves) and extended falconry seasons.

For the full list of seasons, visit the Wildlife Commission website.

According to the website, in previous years the WRC had divided scheduling into early and late season process. The regulatory process allows hunters to plan ahead for the seasons by publishing an annual Regulations Digest, and considering all migratory bird seasons at the same time.

“Many seasons remain unchanged, but there are some notable changes to duck bag limits,” the official WRC announcement states.

According to the Commission, “for the 2017-18 season, the overall daily bag limit for ducks remains at six ducks per day, but the pintail bag limit has been reduced to one pintail per day. The bag limit for black ducks has increased to two black ducks per day.”

According to the WRC, “the reduction in the pintail bag limit is a result of a 14 percent decline in the continental pintail population from the previous year. The increase in the black duck limit is a result of updated population modelling which suggests that previous levels of harvest do not negatively impact survival and, more generally, the size of the population.”

However, the WRC notes that “hunters should also note that both the black duck and mottled duck season is closed until Nov. 18. This will help minimize harvest of resident black ducks and prevent any potential misidentification issues between black and mottled ducks.”

The final change comes in the number of tundra swan hunting permits available in North Carolina. Available permits have increased from 5,000 to 6,250 permits.

“This increase is in response to recent increases in the eastern population of tundra swans and is allowed under the approved Eastern Population Tundra Swan Management Plan,” the website states. “Hunting for tundra swans is by permit only, and permit holders are allowed one tundra swan per year.”

For more information, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website at

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