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Pennsylvania Waterfowl

Comments on​ Proposed Waterfowl Seasons Accepted

2024-25 Pennsylvania Proposed Migratory Game Bird Seasons​

Hunters and members of waterfowl organizations have several options to ask questions and ​voice opinions on the 2024-25 proposed migratory game bird seasons.

  • Questions or comments can be submitted to or a letter can be mailed to Pennsylvania Game Commission, Bureau of Wildlife Management, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

​​Waterfowl Hunting and Regulations


“Ice-eaters,” which disturb water to melt ice and prevent ice formation, are popular among waterfowl hunters in states that allow their use – and Pennsylvania will be added to that list.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to a measure that will add “ice-eaters” to the list of approved electronic hunting devices. The change will take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which typically takes about six weeks.

Electronic devices generally are prohibited for hunting in Pennsylvania. Over the years, however, several devices have been reviewed by the Game Commission and authorized for hunting use.

When considering electronic devices, the Game Commission reviews to what degree their use might negatively impact the principles of resource conservation, equal opportunity, fair chase and public safety. The Game Commission has determined “ice-eater” use would have insignificant impacts on any of those principles.​

Migratory bird hunting seasons and bag limits must conform to frameworks set by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. States select their hunting seasons within these established frameworks. Based on public comments, Game Commission staff annually prepare and present recommended waterfowl and migratory bird seasons, bag limits and related criteria to the USFWS for final approval. Final selections are made by mid-April and included in the annual Hunting & Trapping Digest.

Each year the Game Commission seeks input on proposed waterfowl seasons. Comments submitted during the comment period on the 2023-24 proposed waterfowl seasons can be found here.

The 2020 waterfowl survey results were used to inform the proposals.

Waterfowl & Migratory Game Bird Seasons & Bag Limits and Hunting Hours - 2023-24 Hunting & Trapping Digest 
September Goose Season Restricted Areas

Special Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities


Waterfowler's Code of Conduct 

Waterfowler's Code Of Conduct 

Life Jacket SafetyNovember 1 to April 30 all boaters (including waterfowl hunters) must wear a life jacket on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak during these cold-weather months. Cold-water shock is a major factor in boating fatalities. People wearing a life jacket when exposed to cold water gain life-saving advantages of insulation from the cold, buoyancy and reduced risk of aspiration of water. Visit the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission's website for more information on the mandatory cold-weather life jacket requirement and life jacket safety

Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza Disease Profile
USDA Guidance for Hunters (PDF)

General safety guidelines for hunters and handling wildlife

  • Do not handle or eat sick game
  • Field dress and prepare game outdoors or in a well-ventilated area
  • Wear rubber or disposable latex gloves while handling and cleaning game
  • When done handling game, wash hands thoroughly with soap or disinfectant and clean knives, equipment, and surfaces that came in contact with game
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling animals
  • All game should be thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F
  • For the hunting dog, these strains have not been shown to infect dogs; however, things can obviously change with influenza viruses at any time.

Wetlands and Waterfowl

Waterfowl Use of Wetland Complexes (PDF)
Canada Geese
Puddle Ducks (PDF)
Diving Ducks
Snow Goose
Tundra Swans

Waterfowl Conservation

Winter Duck Banding part of a national effort (blog post 03/19) 
Atlantic Coast Joint Venture
Hunting for a Greater Good (PDF)

Related Links

Ducks Unlimited
Delta Waterfowl
Northwest Pennsylvania Duck Hunters' Association