Waterfowl and Migratory Birds in New Jersey

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New Jersey migratory bird regulations are included in the Hunting & Trapping Digest.

arrow Tuckahoe WMA Managed Waterfowl Hunt Dates (pdf, 237kb) (Updated: 11/01/21)
arrow 2022-2023 Migratory Bird Season - Information and Population Status (pdf, 296kb)
arrow NJ Canada Goose Reduced Bag Limit (Video, December 2021)
arrow Atlantic Brant Migration and Breeding Ecology Study 2021 Update
arrow Women’s Beginner Waterfowl Hunt (NJ Outdoors Program Video, December 2019)

Youth 2022-23 Waterfowl Hunts:
    Oct. 8 & Feb. 4, North Zone
    Oct. 15 & Feb. 4, South Zone
    Oct. 29 & Feb. 4, Coastal Zone
Statewide Veterans/Military Day: Nov. 5
Statewide Joint Youth and Veterans/Military Day: Feb. 4

See 2022-2023 Migratory Bird Season Information and Population Status (pdf, 296kb) for current information.
Youth/Veterans Waterfowl Hunt FAQs

With hundreds of miles of ocean and bayshore coastline, coastal and inland wetlands, small ponds and large lakes, New Jersey hosts an enormous variety of waterfowl species. Waterfowl can be found in abundance in the varied wetland habitats throughout the state including wood ducks in the beaver swamps of northern New Jersey to snow geese in the vast salt marshes along Delaware Bay.

In fact, New Jersey's salt marshes and coastal back bay habitats are of global significance given that over one-third of the black ducks in the eastern United States and over two-thirds of North America's Atlantic brant spend winter in these marshes.

Mallard in flight
Mallard drake
Photo by Gary Lehman - click to enlarge
Due to the migratory nature of waterfowl, the research and management activities of the Division's Waterfowl Ecology and Management Program are generally conducted on a flyway or continental scale requiring the participation of numerous state, provincial, federal (US and Canadian) and non-government partners. New Jersey is a member of the Atlantic Flyway Council which provides the means to participate in promulgating annual hunting regulations and long-term management plans in cooperation with partner states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The primary objective of the Division's Waterfowl Program is to work in a cooperative manner with the numerous government and non-government agencies responsible for the populations and habitats of migratory game birds.

What Do I Need To Hunt Migratory Birds In New Jersey?

  1. To hunt crows: a New Jersey hunting license.

  2. To hunt woodcock, rail, snipe, coots or moorhens (gallinule): a New Jersey hunting license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) certification.

  3. Required to hunt ducks, geese or brant: a New Jersey hunting license, HIP certification, Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp and New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp. Both federal and state stamps are required for waterfowl hunters 16 years of age and older and must be signed in ink across the stamp's face. Federal stamps are available at U.S. post offices and online. State stamps are available from license agents or purchased and printed from the license website.

Waterfowl Hunting Information

NOTE: Migratory Bird Season information is included in the Hunting & Trapping Digest, published in August. The migratory bird regulations booklet is no longer produced.

arrow 2022-2023 Migratory Bird Seasons Summary (pdf, 161kb)
arrow 2022-2023 Duck Seasons Table (pdf, 91.8kb)
arrow "Constant" NJ Migratory Game Bird Regulations
arrow Migratory Bird Hunting Zones and Closure Areas
arrow Harvest Information Program (HIP) for Migratory Birds
arrow Federal Regulations Pertaining to Migratory Birds (pdf, 34kb)
arrow Nontoxic Shot Regulations for Hunting Waterfowl and Coots (US FWS Site)
arrow Multi-stock Duck Harvest Management in the Atlantic Flyway (pdf, 375kb)
arrow Atlantic Brant Migration and Breeding Ecology Study 2020 Update
arrow NJ Waterfowl Stamp Program
arrow Reporting Banded Birds (USGS Site)
arrow Patterns of Duck Hunting Activity and Success in New Jersey, 2011-2020 (pdf, 941kb)
arrow Estimated Migratory Waterfowl Harvest, 1973-2017 (pdf, 80kb)
arrow Successful Hunting Tactics for Greater Snow Geese (pdf, 227kb)
arrow Black Duck Management Strategies for North America (pdf, 3.0mb)
arrow 2012-2013 Waterfowl Hunter Survey (pdf, 310kb)
arrow Patterns of Duck Hunting Activity and Success in New Jersey, 1999-2011 (pdf, 305kb)
arrow Resident Canada Goose Control Information (pdf, 85kb)
arrow Canada Goose Banding in the Arctic - August, 2001
arrow Wading River WMA Blinds for Youth Hunters
arrow Bird Flu Information
arrowGuidance for Hunters (USDA, pdf, 100kb)
arrow Hunter Wallet Card (USDA, pdf, 75kb)


Caution: Feeding Waterfowl May Be Harmful! (pdf, USFWS Site)
arrow Waterfowl Behavior and Wintering Habitat Requirements In Coastal New Jersey
arrow US FWS Division of Migratory Bird Management
arrow US FWS Migratory Bird Laws, Regulations and Policies
arrow Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp
arrow Federal Junior Duck Stamp Contest (US FWS)
arrow Flyways.us - Produced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in collaboration with flyway and state waterfowl managers.
arrow Duck Identification: Wing Plumage (US FWS YouTube Channel)
arrow Ducks at a Distance - Waterfowl ID Guide (USGS Site)
arrow Wildlife Management Areas
arrow Feature Articles
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