Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland

2012 Light Goose Conservation Order Season

Light Goose Conservation Order season allows hunters to harvest light geese beyond the established regular hunting period. Greater and lesser snow geese and Ross's geese are collectively referred to as light geese. A Conservation Order is a special management action authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that is used to control wildlife populations when traditional management programs are unsuccessful in preventing overabundance. This action is granted under the authority of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The intent of the expanded hunting methods and Conservation Order season is to reduce light goose populations. The Atlantic Flyway greater snow goose population now exceeds 900,000 birds. Relaxing these regulations is aimed at minimizing the ecological and agricultural damage caused by the current over-abundance of geese.

Waterfowl hunters participating in the Light Goose Conservation Order season (Nov. 28 - Dec. 10, Jan. 30 - April 14) must possess a Light Goose Conservation Order permit. Participants will also be required to possess a valid Maryland hunting license (resident Delaware licenses are also acceptable) and a 2011-2012 Maryland Migratory Game Bird Hunting Stamp. Possession of a federal duck stamp is not required during the Conservation Order season. Once registered, hunters are required to keep the permit receipt in their possession while hunting light geese during the Conservation Order season.

Season Dates: Nov. 28 - Dec. 10, 2011
Jan. 30 - April 14, 2012
Daily Bag Limit: No bag limit or possession limit

Light Goose Conservation Season Harvest Zone (not open in special sea duck zone):

Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne's, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties; that portion of Carroll County east of Route 31 to the intersection of Route 97, and east of Route 97 to the Pennsylvania line; that portion of Prince Georges County east of Routes 3 and 301; and that portion of Charles County east of Route 301 to the Virginia line.

Special Hunting Methods may be used only from January 30 to April 14 in the Light Goose Conservation Order Season Harvest Zone:

1. Hunters may use unplugged shotguns and electronic calls.
2. Extended shooting hours to one-half hour after sunset; and

Hunters must possess a Snow Goose Conservation Order Hunting Season Permit while hunting light geese.
Permits available from DNR sport license agents, online at or by phone (1-800-918-2870) for a $5 fee.

Migratory Game Birds