How are hunting seasons set?

Migratory game bird management in the United States is a cooperative effort of state and federal governments. Migratory bird treaties with Canada and Mexico govern the management of migratory birds in the US, distinguishing those species that can be hunted from those that can't and establishing limits on hunting-season dates and season lengths. Authority lies with the federal governments in the respective countries.

The Service's Division of Migratory Bird Management works with state wildlife agencies and the governments of Canada and Mexico to set hunting seasons for migratory birds that ensure healthy game populations in years to come and fair distribution of hunting opportunities throughout the migration routes. State and provincial agencies set additional regulations within the overall frameworks established by treaties and federal regulations. See How Regulations Are Set for more information.

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