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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Hunting & Trapping > Waterfowl & Migratory Game Birds > Waterfowl Seasons Waterfowl Seasons

Ducks, Coots and Mergansers

Waterfowl breeding habitat in the Canadian prairies was in good to excellent condition this spring, while the U.S. prairies were in fair condition on average. Eastern Canada was largely in good to excellent condition. Habitat was in good condition last year, and most prairie areas were in better condition this spring.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the mallard breeding population at 10.4 million, about the same as last year and 36% over the long-term average. Estimates of most species were slightly below last year’s record-setting estimates. Total ducks, gadwalls, green- and blue-winged teal, shovelers, and redheads remained near record levels in 2013.

Zone Dates
North Zone Oct. 19, 2013 - Dec. 8, 2013
Dec. 21, 2013 - Dec. 29, 2013 
Central Zone Oct. 26, 2013 - Dec. 8, 2013
Dec. 21, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014
South Zone Nov. 2, 2013 - Nov. 10, 2013
Nov. 30, 2013 - Jan. 19, 2014

The daily bag limit for ducks is six. This includes any combination of goldeneyes, ruddy ducks, ring-necked ducks, buffleheads, gadwalls, long-tailed ducks, scoters, teal, wigeon and shovelers. Included in the daily limit of six are additional restrictions on the following:

  • Mallards: Only four mallards may be taken daily, including not more than two females.
  • Wood ducks: Only three wood ducks may be taken daily. 
  • Pintails: Only two pintails may be taken daily.
  • Redheads: Only two redheads may be taken daily.
  • Scaup: Only three scaup may be taken daily.
  • Black ducks: Only one black duck may be taken daily.
  • Canvasback: Only two canvasbacks may be taken daily.
  • Mottled duck: Only one mottled duck may be taken daily.
  • The daily bag limit for coots is 15.
  • The daily bag for mergansers (which is separate from the duck limit) is five, including not more than two hooded mergansers.
  • Possession limit for ducks, coots and mergansers is three times the daily bag limit.
  • Shooting hours: one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Shooting hours at some DNR properties may vary.

Canada Geese

Despite a late spring, production was good for both long-distance migrant populations that use Indiana. Both the Southern James Bay Population and the Mississippi Valley Population of Canada geese are expected to have good production this year. Both are recovering from poor reproduction years in 2009 and 2010. Production is expected to be much improved this year. The Mississippi Flyway giant population remains near record levels. Breeding conditions in the Flyway were average to below average, and conditions within Indiana for breeding geese were variable. The late spring did not seem to affect the geese, but widespread flooding in April seems to have reduced nest success. A good number of geese re-nesting  in late spring may allow for an average number of Indiana-hatched goslings in the fall flight.

Zone Dates Daily Bag Limits*
North Zone

Oct. 19, 2013 - Nov. 10, 2013
Nov. 28, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014
Jan. 18, 2014- Jan. 29, 2014

Canada Geese: 3
White-fronted Geese: 2
Brant: 1
Central Zone

Oct. 26, 2013 - Dec. 8, 2013
Dec. 21, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014
Jan. 18, 2014 - Jan. 31, 2014

Canada Geese: 3
White-fronted Geese: 2
Brant: 1
 South Zone
Nov. 2, 2013 - Nov. 12, 2013
Nov. 30, 2013 - Jan 31, 2014
Canada Geese: 3
White-fronted Geese: 2
Brant: 1

*The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.

Light Geese

Zone Dates Daily Bag Limits*
Light (Snow/Ross) Geese
Oct. 19, 2013 - Jan. 31, 2014 20

*There is no possession limit for light geese.

Light Goose Conservation Order: Feb. 1, 2014- March 31, 2013, except in the Late Canada Goose zone where the dates are Feb. 16, 2014- March 31, 2014.

Youth Waterfowl Weekends

Zone Dates
North Zone Oct. 12, 2013 - Oct. 13, 2013
Central Zone Oct. 19, 2013 - Oct. 20, 2013
South Zone Oct. 26, 2013 - Oct. 27, 2013

Hunters must be 15 years of age or younger to participate and must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. An adult may accompany more than one youth. The accompanying adult may not hunt waterfowl that day (except light geese when and where the season is open). Bag and species limits are the same as those allowed in the regular season.

Late Canada Goose Zone Season

Indiana is once again offering a late season for Canada geese during the 2013-14 hunting season. This late season targets urban geese that are forced out of towns and cities to feed as the weather gets colder. Snow cover also helps to drive birds out of town.

The season runs from February 1-15, 2014 in the following counties only: Adams, Allen, Boone, Clay, DeKalb, Elkhart, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Huntington, Johnson, Kosciusko, La Porte, Lagrange, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Noble, Parke, St. Joseph, Shelby, Steuben, Starke, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo, Wells, and Whitley.

  • The bag limit is five Canada geese per day (possession limit 15).

  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

  • Hunters must have an Indiana hunting license, Indiana waterfowl stamp, federal waterfowl stamp, and a HIP number to participate.