Migratory Game Bird Season & Bag Limits

2023-2024 Assateague Island National Seashore Hunt Plan (pdf file, 259kb)

Please note the following regulations are applicable ONLY for the Federally owned portion of Assateague Island in MD.
For hunting information in Assateague State Park please visit Hunting (maryland.gov)
For hunting information in the Virginia district please visit Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (fws.gov)

Only shotguns that are 10-gauge or smaller may be used to hunt migratory birds. Shotguns must be plugged and cannot hold more than three (3) shells.
Nontoxic shot must be used.

2023-2024 Migratory Game Bird Seasons and Bag Limits
Species Open Season Daily Bag Limit
Regular Duck Season Nov. 11 - Nov. 24

Dec. 15 - Jan. 31

Certain OSV Areas Closed
Jan 5-6 for Deer Hunt
6 ducks, no more than:
- 4 mallards (only 2 hen)
- 3 wood ducks,
- 1 scaup per day (2 per day Jan.9 – 31),
- 2 redheads,
- 1 pintail,
- 2 canvasbacks,
- 2 black ducks,
- 1 fulvous tree duck,
- 1 mottled duck,
- 4 sea ducks: no more than
3 scoters,3 long-tailed ducks
or 3 eiders. (Only 1 eider hen)

All other species of ducks may be taken up
to the 6 duck limit. In addition to the duck bag
limit, 15 coots may be taken per day
Black Duck Season
Nov. 11 - Nov. 24

Dec. 15 - Jan. 31
2 Black Ducks

Youth, Veteran & Military
Waterfowl Hunting Days
Nov. 4 & Feb. 3 See Below
2023-2024 Goose and Brant Seasons and Bag Limits
Species Open Season Daily Bag Limit
Atlantic Brant
Dec. 28 - Jan. 31

Light Goose
Nov. 11 - Nov. 24

Dec. 11 - Jan. 31

Feb 3

Migratory Canada Goose
Atlantic Population

Nov. 21 - Nov. 24

Dec. 15 - Jan. 31


1. Legal Shooting hours: Shooting hours are one half hour before sunrise to sunset.

2. Hunter Registration:
a) All hunters and observers accompanying hunters are required to sign-in and sign-out at the Hunter Registration building each time they enter or leave the hunting zone, except designated Boat-In sites.
b) Hunters must be physically present in the Blind/Area they signed-in for.
c) All persons accompanying hunters and not hunting should write the word “Observer” in the Hunter ID# box.
d) No more than three people, including any observers, total in blinds or areas.
e) Blinds 1, 2, 10 & 11, three hunters only. Hunters may hunt outside of these blinds with three people but must be within 100 yards of the blind.

NOTE: Hunters must report any wildlife taken. Failure to properly checkout of sites or report any wildlife taken may result in restricted or revoked hunting privileges, and/or fines.

3. Designated Blind and Area Sites for Waterfowl:
a) Most constructed blinds have been removed and replaced by PVC posts to delineate “Areas" to allow waterfowl hunters the use of portable blinds and anchored boats.
b) Designated hunting “Areas” will be identified by PVC posts marked with the number or letter.
c) Hunters must hunt within 100 yards of the marked post or blind (except Blind A). Rangers can provide information regarding the type of blind site or hunting areas.

4. Assignment of Designated Blind and Area Sites:
a) Hunters must register for all blinds and hunting areas in person at the Hunter Registration building except for the following Boat-In sites: Area F, Area G, Area 3, Area 6, Area 8, Area 19 (first-come, first-served).
b) Hunters cannot arrive before 4:00 a. Self-registration will take place in the Hunter Registration building on a first-come, first-serve basis.
d) Hunters wishing to switch blinds in the field can do so by contacting a ranger at the Ranger Station via phone after 9:00 a.m., at (443) 669-7039. Hunters are required to speak to an employee at the ranger station to switch. Messages/voicemails are not valid.

5. Designated Boat-In sites: Area F, Area G, Area 3, Area 6, Area 8, Area 19 are designated as Boat-in sites and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters boating into these sites are not required to sign-in or attend the lottery. Hunters who take migratory game birds at these sites are required to call or text in their take at (443) 669-7039. A voicemail message must be left with your name, DNR number, and the species, sex and number of migratory game birds taken.

6. Alternate Hunt Areas for Migratory Game Birds: Two additional hunt areas (designated by PVC post) have been established along existing hunt area trails at Area C
and Area 21. These additional hunt areas will provide more options for hunters, to adjust their location based on habitat, weather conditions and/or waterfowl movement. Accessibility will also be improved by the shorter distance to travel to reach the alternate locations.

Alternate sites are only available to hunters having designated primary hunt areas. For example, only hunters who have drawn or registered for A-21 will be able to hunt A-21 alternate.

7. Temporary Blinds: Same-day set up and removal of temporary (portable) blinds is permitted in designated hunting areas. Portable blinds or blind materials brought into Assateague Island National Seashore MUST NOT contain any forms of live or dead vegetation (i.e., Realgrass, Instagrass, Fastgrass, Raffiagrass, etc.) Camouflage cloth or material is recommended. The use of common reed (Phragmites australis) is prohibited.

8. Blind A : Hunters may make 1 reservation per split during the designated duck season for a total of 2 reservations (first split: Nov. 11 – Nov. 24, second split: Dec. 15 – Jan. 31). Reservations may be made starting October 10 during normal business hours by calling (443)669-7039. Hunters with reservations must sign-in and sign-out at the Ranger Station or Hunter Registration building. A reservation only valid for the time that you have signed-in until the time you sign-out. Once you sign-out your reservation ends. This allows opportunity for other hunters to use the blind.

Blind A is available on a first-come, first-serve basis if there is no reservation for that day.
Reservations cannot be made for the blind if it is already occupied.

Blind A is located on the north end of Assateague Island NS. The access road is located on the north side of Highway 611 across from the State Park. From Highway 611, take the first left turn, pass through a wire gate, follow the two-track dirt road north for a short distance and then turn left at the junction where the Blind A sign is located. Parking is available at the end of the spur road in front of Blind A (refer to the hunting map for the Northern Hunt Zone). This blind is accessible by a boardwalk leading from the parking area to the blind. The road leading to the blind requires a 4WD or AWD vehicle due to driving through deep, soft sand. If you do not have this type of vehicle you can park in the northwest corner of the State Park Day Use parking lot and walk in.

Youth, Vetran and Military Waterfowl Hunting Days – November 4, 2023 & February 3, 2024:
For hunters age 16 or younger, military veterans (as defined in sect. 101 of Title 38, USC) of any age and members of the Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves on active duty (other than for training). To hunt during these days youth hunters, military veterans and active duty personnel must have a hunting license or be exempt from the license requirement. Military Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel must also carry appropriate credentials identifying them as such and a printed receipt showing the proof of purchase of the 2023-2024 Maryland Migratory Game Bird Stamp and HIP certification. A Federal Migratory Bird and Conservation Stamp is not required of those under 16 years of age. The stamp is required of those who are 16 years old.

Youth waterfowl hunters must be accompanied in the field by a licensed (or exempt from license requirement) unarmed adult age 21 or older. The accompanying adult may not possess a hunting weapon and may not participate in other waterfowl seasons that are open on the youth days. They may assist with decoys, call waterfowl and retrieve downed birds.
NOTE: Active military and honorably discharged veterans at least 21 years old may possess hunting weapons and hunt while also providing assistance to eligible youth hunters.

Daily bag limit for the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are six (6) ducks, no more than:
a) 4 mallards (only 2 hen)
b) 3 wood ducks,
c) 2 redheads
d) 1 pintail
e) 2 scaup
f) 2 canvasback
g) 2 black ducks
h) 1 fulvous tree duck
i) 1 mottled duck
j) 4 seaducks (no more than 3 scoters, 3 longtailed ducks, or 3 eiders)
k) 2 Canada geese
l) 1 brant
m) 25 light geese
n) 15 coots

Waterfowl Hunting Regulations:
a) Waterfowl shall be hunted only from within 100 yards of a numbered NPS-owned blind or numbered hunting area (except Blind A).
b) Trained dogs are permitted for waterfowl retrieval provided they are leashed elsewhere in the park.
c) Hunters under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a licensed adult 21 years old or older.
d) Hunters shall remove spent shells and garbage from the blind or hunting areas.
e) Hunters using NPS-owned blinds or areas on the island shall enter and leave the hunting area via designated routes (refer to hunt map).
f) The leaving of decoys or equipment at a blind site for the purpose of holding occupancy is prohibited.
g) Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.


Contact Information

For any questions on the pre-mentioned hunting season regulations please contact
U.S. Park Ranger Andrew Brady (Hunting Program Coordinator at Assateague Island N.S.)
Office: 410-629-6048
E-mail: Andrew_brady@nps.gov

Last updated: February 11, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

7206 National Seashore Lane
Berlin, MD 21811


410 641-1441

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