W.Va. sets important 2023-'24 migratory game bird season dates

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W.Va. sets important 2023-'24 migratory game bird season dates
The new regulations include an increase in the mallard duck daily bag limit. (Photo courtesy W.Va. Dept. of Commerce)

FARMINGTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources announced that new hunting regulations for migratory game birds will go into effect on Sept. 1 in accord with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual guidelines.

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The new regulations include an increase in the mallard duck daily bag limit. Hunters may harvest four mallards daily, with no more than two hens.

For more information about this change, hunters should review the Atlantic Flyway Council’s article on mallard harvest management, which is available to download at .


The 2023-2024 migratory game bird seasons are scheduled as follows:

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  • Mourning Dove: Sept. 1 to Oct. 8, Oct. 30 to Nov. 12, Dec. 18 to Jan. 24
  • Sora and Virginia Rail: Sept. 1 to Nov. 9
  • Wilson’s Snipe: Sept. 1 to Dec. 16
  • Early Canada Goose: Sept. 1-10
  • Canada Goose, White-fronted Geese, Snow and Blue Goose: Oct. 1-21, Nov. 6-12, Dec. 11 to Jan. 31
  • Duck, Coots and Merganser: Oct. 1-14, Nov. 6-12, Dec. 24 to Jan. 31
  • Scaup: Oct. 1-14, Nov. 6-12, Dec. 24 to Jan. 11, Jan. 12-31
  • Gallinules: Oct. 1-14, Dec. 7 to Jan. 31
  • Woodcock: Oct. 14 to Nov. 18, Nov. 27 to Dec. 5
  • Brant: Jan. 2-31

Hunters are also encouraged to take note of the two youth waterfowl season dates, scheduled for Sept. 16 and Nov. 4.


Federal regulations require all licensed migratory bird hunters, including lifetime license holders and senior citizens, to register with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program and carry proof of registration while hunting. HIP cards are free and available at all hunting license agents and online at WVhunt.com.

Waterfowl hunters 16 years and older must also possess a federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, also known as a Duck Stamp, which must be signed by the hunter across the stamp’s face. Duck Stamps can be purchased from your local post office by calling 800-782-6724 or going to .

Hunters are reminded to report harvested banded birds online at reportband.gov. For more information about West Virginia’s migratory game bird seasons, hunters should consult the 2023-24 West Virginia Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations summary at W.Va. DNR district offices and .

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