DEC announces upcoming duck season dates

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ALBANY — Choosing the “best” duck season in New York has always been a challenging task, because duck abundance and migration, land and water access, weather and habitat vary widely across the state and through the year.

In addition to the annual variation in environmental factors, such as the weather, season dates preferred by hunters chasing wood ducks on small ponds or wetlands may be very different than seasons preferred by someone who hunts diving ducks on large water bodies.

To select the season dates in each zone that may work best for most hunters, the state Department of Environmental Conservation needed to understand what is important to hunters and pair those values with actual data on duck abundance, migration, and recent weather patterns.

Based on the input of over 3,500 duck hunters across the state and current abundance, migration, and temperature trends, the DEC implemented duck season date selections (barring any changes to federal season lengths) for the 2024-25 season (see chart).

Lake Champlain Zone dates are selected by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board and were not included in the decision process.

For season dates through the 2026-27 season and more information on why these dates were selected,