U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Hunting and Fishing



Duck hunting, credit Eugene HesterThe Service considers hunting to be an important tool for wildlife management. Hunting gives resource managers a valuable tool to control populations of some species that might otherwise exceed the carrying capacity of their habitat and threaten the well-being of other wildlife species, and in some instances, that of human health and safety.

Under Federal law established by international treaties with Canada, Mexico and other countries with whom we share migratory birds, the Service has ultimate responsibility for regulating migratory bird hunting nationwide. Through a regulatory process that begins each year in January and includes public consultation, the Service establishes the frameworks that govern all migratory bird hunting in the United States. Within the boundaries established by those frameworks, State wildlife commissions have the flexibility to determine season length, bag limits, and areas for migratory game bird hunting.

Each state has primary responsibility and authority over the hunting of wildlife that resides within state boundaries. The State fish and wildlife agencies that sell hunting licenses are the best source of information regarding hunting seasons, areas open/closed to hunting, etc. Hunting of migratory birds such as ducks and geese is managed cooperatively by State fish and wildlife agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Migratory waterfowl hunters must possess both a State hunting license and a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp).



Frequently Asked Questions regarding hunting and the Service:

Where can I go hunting?Pheasant hunt, credit Kent Olson

What responsibilities do migratory bird hunters have?

What is the Harvest Information Program (HIP)?

What do hunters do for conservation?

What are current refuge-specific hunting regulations?

Where can I go for hunting license?

What are the current migratory bird hunting regulations?

What does the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service do for hunters?

How are the migratory bird hunting regulations established?

Do you have some statistics and economic information about hunting?

What's the difference between state and Federal roles in managing migratory birds?

collage pictures, credit USFWS


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