Duck Hunting 101

License Requirements

License Requirements

All migratory game bird hunters must possess a General New Mexico Hunting license, a Habitat Management & Access Validation, Harvest Information Program (HIP) number and a Federal Duck stamp.  Duck stamps must be signed on font by hunter.

Duck Stamp:  All hungers of water fowl who are 16 year of age or older must possess a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp (Duck stamp).   Available online and at U.S. Post Office, NM DGF Offices.

Hunter Education or Mentored Youth Number required:  Before purchasing any type of firearm hunting license, individuals under 18 years of age must either 1) possess a Hunter Education number from New Mexico or other State or 2) possess a New Mexico Mentored-Youth Hunter Program number.  Certification and/or registration number must be carried at all times while hunting.

Legal Shooting Hours


Legal Shooting Hours:

Shooting hours for migratory game birds are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset.


Storage & Transportation

Storage & Transportation:


One fully feathered wing must remain attached to all migratory game birds until transported to the hunters home or storage facility.  No game of any kind may be placed or left t at any location nor given to another person, unless that game is properly tagged by the hunter with a written statement.  The statement must   include the kind and number of game, the date and county when taken, the name and license number of the hunter and the date and place where the donation occurred.


Duck Stamp

Duck Stamp:

Federal law required all waterfowl hunters 16 years or older to carry a valid federal migratory bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp (Duck Stamp) which is signed in ink across the face.


Legal Sporting Arms

Legal Sporting Arms:

Migratory game birds may be taken with a shotgun fired from the shoulder, provided it is no larger than 10-gauge and incapable of holding more than three shells, or it is plugged with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembly which renders it incapable to holding more than three shells.  Migratory game birds also may be taken with muzzle-loading shotguns firing shot, bow and arrows and crossbow and bolts.


Nontoxic Shot Mandatory

Nontoxic Shot Mandatory:

Persons hunting any waterfowl with shotguns must use and possess only USFWS-approved non-toxic shot.  Non-toxic includes: bismuth-tin, iron (steel), copper-clad iron, iron-tungsten, iron-tungsten-nickel, tungsten-bronze, tungsten-iron-copper-nickel, tungsten matrix, tungsten polymer, tungsten-tin-iron, tungsten-tin-bismuth.

Legal Methods


Legal Methods:

It is legal to use artificial decoys, blinds and dogs.

It is illegal to shoot at any protected species from within a motor vehicle power boat, sailboat or aircraft.  Migratory birds may be taken from a motor-driven boat (or other craft with attached motor) or sailboat, provided that craft is resting at anchor, fastened within or alongside a fixed hunting blind or used solely as a means for retrieving killed birds.


Illegal Methods

Illegal Methods:

No person shall take migratory birds from the following:

  1. From a sink box
  2. From or with the aid or use of a car or other motor-driven land conveyance or from or with the aid of any aircraft.
  3. By baiting (placing or directing placement of feed such as corn, wheat, salt, etc. for the purpose of causing, inducing or attempting to take any migratory game bird. Hunters should be aware of a baited area is considered to be baited for 10 days after the removal of the bait.


Central Flyway Seasons

Central Flyway Seasons:

South Zone

Possession limits are 3 times the daily bag limit for all species, unless otherwise noted.


Season Dates

Season Dates:

Oct. 23-Jan 19, 2015


Bag Limit


Bag Limit per day:

6 ducks singly or aggregate.  Aggregate may consist of no more than 5 mallards only 2 which may be female (Mexican-like ducks are considered part of the mallard bag limit), 3 scaup ducks; 3 wood ducks; 2 red heads; 2 hooded merganser; 2 pintail and 1 canvasback.

Dark Goose     Dec 27-Jan 20, 2015   2 per day/2 per season

Light Goose     Oct 11-Jan 25, 2015   50 daily/no possession limit

Federal Regulations


Federal Regulations:

In addition to the New Mexico regulations, Federal regulations also apply.  The complete federal regulations (50 CFR-Part 20) is available on-line at

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