Two Georgia duck hunters putting out decoys.

Georgia’s 2023-2024 waterfowl season dates are set, and now is the time to start preparing for opening day.

Once again, hunters will have an early opportunity at Canada geese and teal prior to the traditional 60-day split duck season that kicks off in November.

In this article, we break down the state’s duck and goose season dates, important waterfowl hunting regulations, common duck and goose species found in Georgia, along with the most popular public land hunting destinations.

Goose Season Dates & Bag Limits

Early Canada Geese

  • September 2-24, 2023

Bag Limit: 5 per day, 15 in possession

Canada & White-fronted Geese

  • October 14-29, 2023
  • November 18–26, 2023
  • December 9, 2023 – January 28, 2024

Bag Limit: 5 per day, 15 in possession

Snow Geese

  • October 7-22, 2023
  • November 18–26, 2023
  • December 9, 2023 – January 28, 2024

Bag Limit: 5 per day, 15 in possession

Duck Season Dates and Bag Limits

September Teal Season

  • September 9-24, 2023

Bag Limit: 6 per day, 18 in possession

Duck Season
(Including Sea Ducks, Mergansers, and Coots)

  • November 18-26, 2023
  • December 9, 2022 -January 28, 2024

DUCK BAG LIMIT: 6 per day, 18 in possession (1 Black or Mottled Duck, 2 Canvasback, 1 Fulvous Whistling Duck, 2 Mallards (only 1 may be a hen), 1 Pintail, 2 Redheads, 1 Scaup, 3 Wood Ducks. Possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.)

MERGANSER BAG LIMIT: 5 per day (only 2 hooded), 15 in possession (only 6 hooded)

SEA DUCKS BAG LIMIT: 5 per day, 15 in possession (4 Eiders, 4 Long-tailed Ducks, 4 Scoters. Possession limit is three times the daily bag limit.). Sea ducks count towards the total bag limit of 6 ducks except in the Sea Duck Zone, which is defined as tidal waters greater than 1 mile offshore.

COOTS BAG LIMIT: 15 per day, 45 in possession

Youth, Veteran, and Active-Duty Military Waterfowl Days

  • November 11-12, 2023

On these two days, veterans, active-duty military, and youth (16 and under) may hunt ducks, Canada geese and mergansers. Youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age (only the youth may hunt, unless the adult is a veteran or active-duty military).

Legal Shooting Hours

It is important to note that the legal hunting hours for migratory birds is ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. This is to protect the roost and promote an ethical harvest. 

Shooting hours on certain public lands may differ, so be sure to check the specific regulations for the property you plan to hunt prior to heading afield.

Required Licenses and Permits

Hunters need the following state and federal licenses and permits to legally waterfowl hunt:

  • Georgia hunting license
  • Georgia migratory bird stamp 
  • Federal duck stamp

All licenses may be purchased at

Common Georgia Waterfowl Species

While a wide variety of duck species can show up in Georgia, the state’s annual duck harvest is made up of more than 60% wood ducks. Most of those woodies are Georgia born and bred, which keeps population numbers and hunting success fairly stable.

Beautiful wood duck swimming in a Georgia pond.

In addition to wood ducks, Georgia’s diverse wetland habitats support a variety of waterfowl species. Here’s a look at some of the most common ones found in the Peach State.


  • Mallards
  • Teal (blue-winged and green-winged)
  • American wigeon
  • Northern shoveler
  • Mottled duck
  • Gadwall
  • Northern pintail

Diving Ducks

  • Ring-necked duck
  • Canvasback
  • Lesser scaup
  • Redheads
  • Hooded merganser
  • Bufflehead
  • Ruddy ducks

Sea Ducks

  • Scoters (Black, Surf, and White-winged Scoters)
  • Long-tailed Duck (Oldsquaw)
  • Common Eider
  • Harlequin


  • Canada geese
  • Snow geese
  • White-fronted geese

Where to Duck and Goose Hunt in Georgia

From the mountain forests to the vast coastal marshes, Georgia provides plenty of promising public land opportunities for waterfowlers willing to put in the legwork.

In North Georgia, look for wood ducks and other small puddle ducks on the area’s abundant rivers and streams, farm ponds, and isolated beaver ponds.

Farther south, the large reservoirs like Lake Lanier, Oconee, Hartwell, Juliette, Walter F. George, West Point, Seminole and Blackshear offer both shoreline and boat access to a variety of waterfowl species depending on the time of year and weather patterns. Here too, seeking out overlooked backwaters away from crowded areas can pay dividends.

Along Georgia’s 100-mile coastline, extensive saltwater marshes, tidal rivers and estuaries provide ideal habitat for dabbling ducks like mallards, black ducks, pintails and teal. Other species like scaup, redheads and canvasbacks also raft up on the open estuaries.

Quota permits for the Butler Island area of Altamaha WMA offer more reliable success. Up and down the I-95 corridor, plentiful public boat ramps provide access to myriad tidal creeks and open marsh basins, where pass shooting over decoys can pay off.

2023-2024 Quota Waterfowl Hunts

Georgia offers several limited waterfowl hunting opportunities. While these hunts can be difficult to draw, they often provide the best odds at a high-quality hunt with limited competition. 

If you’re interested in any of the hunts listed below, you can apply online at between June 1 and October 15, 2023.

Atlamaha WMA – Waterfowl Management Area, ButlerQ20Nov. 18 | Nov. 25 | Dec. 9 | Dec. 16 | Dec. 23 | Dec. 30 | Jan. 6 | Jan. 13 | Jan. 20 | Jan. 27
Atlamaha WMA – Waterfowl Management Area, ChampneyQ20Nov. 18-19* | Nov. 25-26 | Dec. 9-10 | Dec. 16-17 | Dec. 23-24 | Dec. 30-31 | Jan. 6-7 | Jan. 13-14 | Jan. 20-21 | Jan. 27-28
B. F. Grant WMAQ3Dec. 9 | Jan. 20
Conasauga River WMAQ3Dec. 9 | Dec. 16 | Dec. 23 | Dec. 30
Cordele Fish HatcheryQ3Dec. 16 | Dec. 30
Flat Creek PFAQ3Nov. 18 | Nov. 25
Oconee WMA –
Dan Denton Waterfowl Area
Q3 Pond 1
Q2 Pond 3
Dec. 9 | Dec. 16 | Dec. 23 | Dec. 30 | Jan. 6 | Jan. 13 | Jan. 20 | Jan. 27
West Point WMA –
Glovers Creek Area
Q7Nov. 18 | Nov. 25 | Dec. 2 | Dec. 9 | Dec. 16 | Dec. 23
* Hunt open only to youth and veteran applicants

Special Regulations

Lake Lanier & Allatoona

No hunting allowed within 600 feet of a dock, house, structure, bridge, road, boat ramp, marina or open recreation area. Contact the local Game Management Region Office for open dates, closed recreation areas open for hunting and other special rules for waterfowl hunting on Lakes Allatoona & Lanier.

Additional information about hunting Lake Lanier:

Georgia Power Lakes (North Georgia)

No hunting allowed within 300 feet of any dock, house, boat ramp, marina or open recreation area without permission from the lease or property owner. Lakes open for duck and goose hunting: Lake Burton, Lake Seed, Lake Rabun, Tallulah Falls Lake, Lake Tugalo and Lake Yonah. Contact the Game Management Region 2 Office for dates and other special rules for waterfowl hunting on Georgia Power Lakes in North Georgia.

Lake Walter F. George

No hunting allowed on the portions of LWFG in Georgia within 600 feet of a dock, house, structure, bridge, road, boat ramp, marina, or open recreation area. Waterfowl hunting from land is prohibited outside of the specified “Hunting Areas”. A Corps permit is required to hunt waterfowl on all areas of the lake, except the Eufaula NWR. Information on how to purchase a permit (in person or by mail only): or 229-768-2516.

Lake Blackshear, Lake Oconee, Lake Seminole, Lake Sinclair & Lake Oliver (South of Standing Boy Creek State Park)

No hunting allowed within 300 feet of a dock, house, structure, bridge, road, boat ramp, marina or open recreation area.

Final Thoughts

While Georgia lacks the sheer waterfowl densities of states farther north, hunters willing to put in the scouting time before season, study regulations carefully, obtain any required limited permits, and spend days in the field covering ground can experience rewarding public land gunning across the state. 

Effort and preparation are the keys to successful Georgia duck and goose hunting.

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