N.C.’s early duck season received little attention

duck hunting
Mark Malloy of Rockingham County took advantage of North Carolina's early general duck season last week.

Upcoming seasons are sure to be busier

North Carolina’s early duck season come and went with very little fanfare. It opened on Oct. 2 and ran through Oct. 5. It was still unseasonably warm throughout the state, which may have been a contributing factor in how little attention it garnered. But many potential hunters were probably simply more interested in hunting deer or fishing.

One hunter that took advantage of the early general duck season was Mark Malloy of Rockingham County. He killed his limit of wood ducks and got a good warmup for the upcoming seasons.

duck hunting
Malloy killed his limit of wood ducks during North Carolina’s early duck hunting season.

The next general duck season opens on Nov. 16 and runs through Dec. 2. It starts again on Dec. 14, then ends on Jan. 31, 2020.

Pay close attention to the daily limits

The daily bag limit includes a total of six ducks, with no more than four scoters, four eiders, four long-tailed ducks, two mallards (no more than one hen mallard), three wood ducks, two scaup, two redheads, two canvasbacks, two black ducks (closed until Nov. 23), one pintail, one mottled duck (closed until Nov. 23), and one fulvous whistling duck. The season on Harlequin ducks is closed.

Hunters can also shoot mergansers and coots on the same days as the general duck seasons. The daily limit for mergansers is five, with no more than two being hooded. The coot limit is 15 per day.

The early teal season has passed. It ran from Sept. 12 to Sept. 30.

The Special Sea Duck Season, which takes place in the special sea duck area, runs from Nov. 23 to Jan. 31, 2020. During this season and area, the daily limit is five sea ducks, with no more than four scoters, four eiders, and four long-tailed ducks.

Click here for a thorough explanation of how the Special Sea Duck Season regulations work with the general duck seasons.

Click here for information on attracting waterfowl to your hunting lands.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1400 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.

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