Duck hunting opens Saturday

What you need to know to get shooting

Waterfowl hunting season starts with a bang this Saturday. The last day of hunting is Dec. 31. Hunters will be allowed to target duck, geese, brant, snipe and cranes in the Juneau area (unit 1) during hunting hours in this time period.


Hunters are allowed to shoot from a half hour before sunrise to sunset. Those times are delineated in the official schedule of shooting times set by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, all Alaska residents age 18 and older must possess a hunting license while hunting in Alaska and must carry it while hunting. Hunters are also required to carry proof of completion of hunter education certification class on the Mendenhall.

Only approved, non-toxic buckshot when hunting waterfowl, sand hill cranes or snipe in Alaska. It is a violation for hunters to have shells loaded with lead shot while hunting migratory birds.

Motorized vehicles, except boats, are not allowed within the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge.

A list of full waterfowl regulations, a list of approved buckshot and a schedule of shooting times can be found in Fish & Game’s 2017-2018 migratory bird hunting regulations at

Possession and bag limits for waterfowl:

Sept. 16-Dec. 31

Ducks 7 per day, 21 in possession (only 2 canvasback per day, 6 in possession)

Sea Ducks

Residents 10 per day, 20 in possession

Nonresidents 7 per day, 20 per season

Canada Geese 4 per day, 12 in possession

White-fronted Geese 4 per day, 12 in possession

White Geese 6 per day, 18 in possession

Brant 3 per day, 9 in possession

Common Snipe 8 per day, 24 in possession

Sandhill Cranes 2 per day, 6 in possession

The ancient practice of falconry — using hawks or other birds to hunt — is regulated by Fish & Game. With a special permit, hunters can take waterfowl species by hawk, short-eared owl, long-eared owl, Eurasian kestrel, ferruginous hawk, aplomado falcon, sharp-shinned hawk and many others (Alaska law allows the use of 31 different species).

Of course, owning and training a peregrine falcon, owl, gyrfalcon or goshawk is no easy task. It’s a heavily regulated hobby: different pieces of training and reporting requirements go along with such a responsibility include transport permits, controlling for West Nile virus and annual reporting to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

But, if you want to, you can hunt by falcon in Alaska. Possession and bag limits for falconers during waterfowl season are 3 migratory game birds per day, 9 in possession.


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