Waterfowl Hunting Methods

Note: The 2005-2006 Waterfowl Digest will be available in the fall.

Lawful Hunting Methods

Legal shotguns, lawful archery equipment, falconry, dogs, artificial decoys and manual or mouth-operated bird calls. Hunting is permitted in the open or from a blind or other type of concealment or from any floating craft (except a sinkbox) provided that all motion resulting from sail or motor has ceased (sails furled and motor shut off). Powerboats and sailboats may be used to pick up dead or injured birds.

Unlawful Hunting Methods

Any firearm other than a legal shotgun, trap, snare, net, crossbow, fishhook, poison, drug, explosive or stupefying substance, live birds as decoys, recorded or electronically amplified bird calls or sounds, sinkbox or by means of baiting or hunting over a baited area. It is unlawful to hunt from or by means of motor-driven vehicles and land conveyances or aircraft of any kind except paraplegics and single or double amputees of legs may hunt from stationary motor-driven vehicles or land conveyances. It is unlawful to use motor-driven land, water or air conveyances or sailboats to concentrate, drive, rally or stir up any migratory game bird.


A hunter MAY hunt any migratory game bird:

A hunter MAY NOT:

Nontoxic Shot

No person, while hunting waterfowl anywhere in the state, may possess shotgun shells containing lead shot or loose lead shot for use in muzzleloaders. Approved shot includes steel, including copper, nickel or zinc coated steel, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer (i.e., molyshot), and any other non-toxic material approved by the director of the USFWS. Tungsten-matrix and tin shot are temporarily approved for this season.

Species Identification

One fully feathered wing or head must remain attached to dressed migratory game birds while being transported between the place taken and the personal residence of the hunter, the personal residence of another person receiving the dressed birds or a public cold storage plant. This regulation does not apply to doves taken in Texas. One fully feathered wing or head must remain attached to all migratory game birds imported from Mexico.

Daily Bag and Possession

No person shall possess more than one daily bag limit of freshly killed birds while in the field or while returning from the field to one's hunting camp, automobile or temporary lodging facility (see General Rules - Donation or Gift). For the first day of any season the possession limit is the daily bag limit. A person may possess additional migratory birds after they leave the field, if the additional birds they possess are tagged with a wildlife resource document from the hunter who killed them. Migratory birds finally processed at the permanent address of the possessor are not considered part of the possession limit.

Importation Limit

It is illegal to import into the United States migratory game birds belonging to another person. The number of migratory game birds imported from Mexico may not exceed the export limit set by the Mexican State from which they were taken.

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