The regular-season waterfowl dates, as proposed to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) by the Indiana DNR, are listed below.
The dates are not final until approved by the USFWS in mid- to late September. Look for another announcement around that time that will either confirm or amend these dates. Historically, they have been accepted as proposed.
The DNR’s recommended dates for ducks, coots and mergansers are:
North Zone: Oct. 18-Dec. 7 and Dec. 20-28.
Central Zone: Oct. 25-Dec. 7 and Dec. 20-Jan. 4.
South Zone: Nov. 1-9 and Nov. 29-Jan. 18.
The daily bag limit for ducks in all zones is six, including no more than four mallards (of which no more than two can be hens), three scaup, three wood ducks, two pintails, two redheads, one canvasback, one black duck, and one mottled duck. The daily bag limit for coots is 15. The daily bag limit for mergansers, separate from ducks, is five, of which no more than two can be hooded mergansers. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.
The USFWS estimates the mallard breeding population at 10.9 million, about the same as last year, and 42 percent higher than the long-term average. Estimates of most species were similar to last year’s record-setting estimates. Total ducks, gadwalls, green- and blue-winged teal, shovelers, and redheads remain at or near record levels in 2014.
For Canada geese, white-fronted geese, brant, and light geese, the proposed dates are:
North Zone: Oct. 18-Nov. 9; Nov. 27-Jan. 4; and Jan. 20-31.
Central Zone: Oct. 25-Dec. 7; Dec. 20-Jan. 4; and Jan. 18-31
South Zone: Nov. 1-10 and Nov. 29-Jan. 31.
The daily bag limit this year for Canada geese during the regular season will remain at three, and the daily bag limit for white-fronted geese at two. The daily bag limit for brant is one. The possession limit is three times the daily bag limit. The daily bag limit for light geese (snow and/or Ross’ geese in aggregate) is 20, with no possession limit for light geese.
The proposed late season for Canada geese is Feb. 1-15. The counties open during the late season are: Adams, Allen, Boone, Clay, DeKalb, Elkhart, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Huntington, Johnson, Kosciusko, LaPorte, LaGrange, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Noble, Parke, St. Joseph, Shelby, Steuben, Starke, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo, Wells and Whitley.
A permit is no longer required to participate in this late season, and geese harvested during this season no longer need to be taken to a check station.
The daily bag limit during the late Canada goose season has been reduced to three, with a possession limit of nine. This bag limit reduction is due to a decline in Indiana’s breeding population of Canada geese, probably due in large part to the success of this late season. We are now at our state goal of 80,000 spring geese.
The proposed light goose conservation order is Feb. 1 to March 31, statewide, except for those counties that have a late season on Canada geese. For those counties with a late season on Canada geese, the proposed light goose conservation order season is Feb. 16 to March 31.
The light goose conservation order has no bag or possession limit. A free permit is required. Details will be available later in the winter.
The DNR’s recommended dates for youth waterfowl season are: North Zone: Oct. 11 and 12; Central Zone: Oct. 18 and 19; and South Zone: Oct. 25 and 26.
Bag and possession limits are the same as the regular seasons. The youth waterfowl season is open to youths age 15 and younger, accompanied by an adult.
DNR’s recommended dates for extended falconry season for ducks, coots and mergansers are:
North Zone: Sept. 27-30 and Feb. 14-March 10.
Central Zone: Oct. 18-24 and Feb. 17-March 10.
South Zone: Oct. 25-31 and Feb. 17-March 10.