DEC Announces the Opening of September Canada Goose Season

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that Canada goose hunting season opens Sunday, Sept. 1, throughout most of the state.

“Resident Canada goose populations are high in many parts of the state and New York’s goose hunters are critical partners in DEC’s efforts to manage these populations,” Commissioner Seggos said. “The September goose hunting season allows hunters excellent opportunities to get out in the natural environment and pursue resident geese.”

The September goose hunting season is designed to help reduce or stabilize resident Canada goose populations. Resident Canada geese are those that do not migrate significant distances to breed in northern Canada. Typically, resident geese are the birds commonly associated with nuisance situations in urban and rural areas. Over the past 25 years, New York’s estimated population for resident Canada geese has grown from 80,000 birds in 1995 to more than 340,000 today.

As the population has grown, season lengths and bag limits have been liberalized in efforts to reduce even greater population growth. For more information on the differences between migratory and resident geese and how these birds are managed, read the article “Canada Geese in New York-Residents or Visitors?” in the Aug. 2019 issue of DEC’s Conservationist magazine.

The September Canada goose season occurs in all goose hunting zones except the Western Long Island zone. All upstate areas open Sept. 1 through Sept. 25. Canada goose seasons in the Central and Eastern Long Island zones begin on the Tuesday following the Labor Day holiday (Sept. 3 this year) and run through Sept. 30. In the Western Long Island zone, the season opens on Oct.12.

The September season includes liberal bag limits (8 to 15 birds/day, depending on zone), extended shooting hours, and other special regulations to maximize hunter success.

Additional details on waterfowl hunting regulations, season dates, hunting area boundaries, and bag limits can be found on DEC’s website.

License Requirements

To participate in the September Canada goose hunting season, hunters must:

Possess a 2019-2020 hunting license now on sale at all license issuing agents and many town halls and sporting goods stores;
Be registered for the 2019-2020 New York Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP); and
All hunters 16 years of age or older must have a 2019-2020 federal duck stamp signed across the face of the stamp in ink.

For a list of ways to purchase a hunting license, visit DEC’s website. To register with HIP visit DEC’s webpage.

To purchase a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (link leaves DEC’s website), please visit the local post office or the USPS webpage. This year’s junior duck stamp features the artwork of New York artist, Nicole Jeon, a 16-year-old from Scarsdale. Jeon took top honors in the 2019 National Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Her acrylic painting of a harlequin duck beat superb “Best of Show” art from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Jeon’s painting will be made into the 2019-2020 Junior Duck Stamp, which sells for $5 and supports conservation education. For more information, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program website.

Hunting Safety and Etiquette

DEC reminds hunters to follow simple safety guidelines and use good judgment when choosing a time and place to hunt. Being considerate of other people who enjoy the outdoors or live near hunting areas can help avoid potential conflicts and ensure a safe and enjoyable season. As coastal areas become more populated, new landowners unfamiliar with the safety, ethics and traditions of waterfowl hunting sometimes respond by seeking to limit hunter access to popular waterfowl hunting areas. Hunters should be considerate and minimize any disturbance of local residents whenever possible.

To avoid or minimize conflicts with property owners and other outdoor enthusiasts. DEC encourages hunters to:

Consider contacting owners of property adjacent to where they will be hunting, well in advance;
Tell property owners when and where they will be hunting. Property owners may be less concerned if aware of planned hunts;
Take the time to explain to the landowner the intent to abide by the laws and regulations pertaining to waterfowl hunting, familiarity with the locations of houses, and safety protocols;
Plan out shooting directions and verify that the selected hunting spot is safe and in compliance with the law. Keep in mind that shot pellets, especially when discharged at a high angle, can sometimes travel farther than 500 feet;
Identify any concerns the landowner may have and discuss them before you go hunting; and
Leave hunting locations as clean as you found it and be sure to pick up your empty shell casings and other litter you may find.