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Waterfowl Hunting Information

Central flyway means that portion of Wyoming east of the Continental Divide, excluding the Great Divide Basin.

Conservation Order means an action to reduce the midcontinent populations of light geese, which is promulgated in accordance with 50 CFR 20.21 and 50 CFR 21.60, revised as of October 1, 2011. A copy of Title 50 and the Code of Federal Regulations can be viewed at Department Regional Offices.

Daily bag limit means the maximum number of migratory game birds or waterfowl that may be legally taken in a single day.

Dark geese means Canada goose, cackling goose, whitefronted goose and brant.

Federal Duck Stamp means Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.

Game bird means grouse, partridge, pheasant, ptarmigan, quail, wild turkey and migratory game birds.

Light Geese means snow goose, blue goose and Ross’ goose.

Migratory game bird means all migratory game birds defined under federal law.

Nontoxic shot means steel or any other federally approved nontoxic shot. A current list of federally approved nontoxic shot types can be viewed at:

Pacific flyway means that portion of Wyoming west of the Continental Divide, including the Great Divide Basin.

Possession limit means the maximum number of migratory game birds or waterfowl that may be legally in possession. Migratory game birds in transit or storage shall be considered in possession. When a person hunts in more than one (1) state, flyway or zone, the person's total possession limit shall not exceed the largest possession limit prescribed for any one of the states, flyways or zones in which the hunting takes place.

Protected bird means migratory birds as defined and protected under federal law.

Waterfowl means ducks, geese, coots and mergansers.

Zone C1 means the following area: Big Horn, Converse, Goshen, Hot Springs, Natrona, Park, Platte and Washakie counties; and Fremont County excluding the portions south or west of the Continental Divide.

Zone C2 means the following area: Albany, Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Laramie, Niobrara, Sheridan and Weston counties, and that portion of Carbon County east of the Continental Divide.

Evidence of Species

One fully feathered wing or the feathered head shall remain naturally attached to the carcass as a means of identification of migratory game birds, except mourning doves, in the field and while the birds are being transported.

Legal Weapons to Take Migratory Game Birds

Shotgun not larger than 10 gauge, bow and arrow, and crossbow shall be the only legal weapons for taking waterfowl and other migratory game birds. Automatic or repeating shotguns shall be plugged to admit not more than two (2) shells in the magazine and one (1) shell in the chamber.

License Expiration Date

W.S. §23-1-704. Game bird licenses expire on the last day of the calendar year in which issued.

License, Stamp, Permit and Hunter Safety Requirements

The following documents are required to hunt waterfowl (ducks, gees, mergansers and coots)

Persons age fourteen (14) or older must obtain and carry with them while hunting:

1. A game bird license or combination game bird/small game license. Nonresidents are required to purchase a nonresident combination game bird/small game license.

2. A conservation stamp
• A conservation stamp is not required to hunt with a daily game bird/small game license.
• Residents holding one of the following licenses are also exempt from the requirement to purchase a conservation stamp while exercising hunting or fishing privileges under ANY Wyoming license:
- Any Wyoming pioneer hunting or fishing license;
- Wyoming one hundred percent (100%) disabled veteran game bird, small game and fishing license;
- Military combat general elk or general deer license; or
- Military combat game bird or small game license.
The person shall at all times be in possession of the license allowing the conservation stamp exception while in the field.

3. A federal duck stamp
• Persons under sixteen (16) years of age are not required to purchase a federal duck stamp.
• A duck stamp is not required to hunt coots, snipe, rails, sandhill cranes or doves.

4. A Wyoming Harvest Information Program (HIP) permit

5. A hunter safety certificate or hunter mentor special authorization
• Persons born prior to January 1, 1966 are exempted.
• A person is not required to possess a hunter safety certificate or hunter mentor authorization to hunt on land owned by the person's immediate family.
• A person is not required to possess a hunter safety certificate or hunter mentor authorization to take waterfowl or other migratory game birds by the use of archery equipment or falconry.

National Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program

Each hunter required to be licensed who hunts migratory game birds shall complete a current Wyoming validation for the National harvest Information Program (HIP) and shall obtain a Wyoming HIP permit. This requirement also applies to holders of pioneer and lifetime hunting licenses. Each hunter required to be licensed engaged in the act of hunting doves, ducks, geese, mergansers, coots, rails, cranes or snipe shall be in possession of a Wyoming HIP permit by signing the person's name in ink across the face and shall validate the permit. HIP permits expire on June 30 each year. HIP permits are not transferrable to other states. A separate validation is required from each state in which you hunt.

Nontoxic Shot Restrictions

No person shall hunt cranes, ducks, geese, mergansers or coots while possessing shot shells loaded with shot other than nontoxic shot. Nontoxic shot shall also be required when hunting any game with a shotgun on all of the lands in the Springer and Table Mountain Wildlife Management Areas and on all national wildlife refuges open for hunting. For a current list of federally approved nontoxic shot types, refer to the following website:

Protected Birds

Migratory birds that may not be taken, possessed, transported, sold or bartered include all migratory birds as defined and protected under federal law including, but not limited to, trumpeter swans, whooping cranes, bitterns, grebes, herons, egrets, kingfishers, loons, pelicans, seagulls, shorebirds, eagles, falcons, hawks and owls. Any insectivorous birds and songbirds not otherwise classified are protected.

Watercraft Restrictions

Waterfowl hunters should be aware certain bodies of water within Wyoming have watercraft restrictions on them. For a list of waters that have restrictions, please check the watercraft or fishing regulations or check with your local Game and Fish Office.


Wyoming Game & Fish Department Headquarters
5400 Bishop Blvd. Cheyenne, WY 82006
ph: (307) 777-4600
Email address for comments/questions regarding our website:

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