Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations

  2013-2014 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations pdf format of 2013-2014 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations - This flyer includes season dates, bag limits and other important legal requirements for woodcock, waterfowl, and other migratory game bird hunters. Waterfowl zone map pdf format of Waterfowl Zone Map

Requirements for Hunting Migratory Game Birds

For hunting ducks and geese:

  • A valid Massachusetts hunting or sporting license is required of all hunters (residents and non-residents) 15 and older. These licenses are valid for the calendar year. More on licenses .
  • Massachusetts Waterfowl Stamp. Required for hunters age 15 and older. This stamp is available for purchase at any Massachusetts license location and on-line. This stamp is valid for the calendar year in which they were issued.
  • Federal Duck Stamp. Required for hunters age 16 and older. This stamp can be obtained at selected post offices and stores and on line. Federal duck stamps are valid from July 1 of the year through June 30 of the following year.
  • Harvest Information Program (HIP) Registration. You can only register for HIP after purchasing a hunting license. See information below about HIP and how to register.

      For hunting woodcock, snipe, rail and coots:

  • A valid Massachusetts hunting or sporting license is required of all hunters (residents and non-residents) 15 and older. These licenses are valid for the calendar year. More on licenses .
  • Harvest Information Program (HIP) Registration. You can only register for HIP after purchasing a hunting license. See information below about HIP and how to register.
  • No state or federal duck stamps are needed.

Migratory Game Bird Hunters Must Get HIP!

Hunters planning to hunt woodcock, snipe, coots, ducks and geese must register with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) by taking a HIP survey each calendar year. What is HIP? The purpose of Harvest Information Program is to gather data from migratory game bird hunters for harvest surveys. The information gathered for the harvest surveys assists state and federal biologists make decisions on setting sustainable bag limits for future hunting seasons.

HIP surveys can only be completed through the MassFishHunt system  which can be accessed by any online computer or wherever hunting/sporting licenses are sold. Non-resident hunters are reminded they must register for the Massachusetts HIP system in order to hunt migratory game birds in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts HIP registration is valid for the calendar year only. HIP numbers are no longer issued and the HIP survey is not available by telephone.

To see if you are already registered with HIP, you can:

  1. Check your hunting/sporting license in the Item Purchased section. If you see a line item that reads: "Waterfowl Stamp" or "HIP Survey Completed", you have already completed the process; or
  2. Log on to MassFishHunt and check your customer inventory. If you don't see "Waterfowl Stamp" or "HIP Survey Completed", you can purchase the state waterfowl stamp or complete the HIP survey through a computer,  a local license vendor or DFW office.

Hunters obtaining a state waterfowl stamp automatically complete the HIP survey during the stamp purchase process. Waterfowl hunters who purchased a state waterfowl stamp to hunt in January and February of this year are already registered for the entire calendar year and do not need to do anything in the fall.

Migratory game bird hunters who only hunt woodcock, snipe, or rails must complete a HIP survey as a separate step during or after their hunting/sporting license purchase either at a computer or through a sporting license vendor or DFW office.

Waterfowl Stamp Purchase and HIP Survey Process

  • Purchasing a Waterfowl Stamp (For Duck and Goose Hunting) From an Online Computer - Go to MassFishHunt and enter your Customer ID number. A page with your personal information will appear. Click on the blue "Enter Sales" button at the bottom right of your screen. Click on "Hunting Permits and Stamps" in the menu at the left side of your screen. Click on "Waterfowl Stamp". A screen with eight questions will appear. Answer the questions, then click on the "Accept" button in the lower left corner. Click the blue "check out" button on this screen and then click : "Check out" again on the next screen. You must proceed all the way through checkout to pay for the stamp. Note: If you already purchased a waterfowl stamp you will not see the waterfowl stamp option listed.
  • Purchasing a Waterfowl Stamp at a License Vendor Or MassWildlife Office - Tell the clerk that you want to purchase a state waterfowl stamp. They will need either your customer identification number or your birth date to look up your information. They will ask you the questions for HIP registration and print out the license which indicates your stamp purchase.
  • Woodcock, Snipe, Coot and Rail Hunters Completing The HIP Survey From an Online Computer - Go to MassFishHunt and enter your Customer ID number. A page with your personal information will appear. Click on the blue "Enter Sales" button at the bottom right of your screen. Click on "HIP Survey" in the menu at the left side of your screen. A screen with eight questions will appear. Answer the questions, then click on the "Accept" button in the lower left corner. Click the blue "check out" button on this screen and then click "check out" again on the next screen. Even though the survey has no cost associated with it, you must proceed all the way through checkout complete to be registered. Note: If you also hunt waterfowl, your waterfowl stamp purchase already registers you with the HIP system.
  • Completing the HIP Survey From at a License Vendor Or MassWildlife Office - Tell the clerk that you need to complete the HIP survey. You must have already purchased a hunting/sporting license in order to complete the survey. The clerk will need either your customer identification number or your birth date to look up your information. They will ask you the questions for HIP registration and print out the license which will read "HIP Survey Completed".

Waterfowl Hunting Hours

Hunting hours begin one half hour before sunrise and end at sunset. The exception is hunting on state Wildlife Management Areas stocked with pheasant or quail during the open pheasant/quail season, hunting hours open at sunrise and close at sunset. More on Wildlife Management Area regulations.

Youth Waterfowl Hunt Dates

These dates are set aside annually for young waterfowl hunters ages 12-15. Youths may hunt for ducks, coots, merganser and geese. All youths must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter with a valid MA waterfowl stamp. No federal stamp required. One firearm is allowed. The adult may not hunt and may carry the firearm only when it is unloaded and cased. No license or stamps are needed for youths 12-14 years of age. Hunting license and valid Massachusetts waterfowl stamp needed for youths age 15. No federal stamp is required of the 15-year old. All other hunting regulations apply.

Banded Bird Reporting

Report any banded migratory birds to www.reportband.gov or call 1-800-327-BAND (2263). You can also email mass.wildlife@state.ma.us with the band number, bird species and where it was found.