Light Goose Conservation Order Season
Attention Snow Goose Hunters
In addition to the regular snow goose hunting season, we are again offering an extended hunting season for snow geese this year in Virginia. This opportunity is available because of recent changes in Federal Regulations that are aimed at increasing the harvest of light geese (Greater and Lesser Snow Geese, and Ross's Geese). Expanding populations of light geese are continuing to cause damage to sensitive arctic breeding habitats and also to wintering habitats here in the Atlantic Flyway.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) developed a separate Federal Rule (Light Goose Conservation Order) which permits the use of special hunting measures for light goose, and allows the taking of light geese outside of the general hunting seasons. In Virginia, we have established a special Light Goose Conservation Order Season (see season dates below) that is offered after the regular season in a designated Conservation Order Season Zone (see map below). During this Conservation Order season, special hunting measures (unplugged shotguns, electronic calls, shooting to ½–hour after sunset, no daily bag limit) will be permitted.
The USFWS is requiring us to monitor hunter participation and harvest during this extended season. Therefore, hunters planning to participate in this Light Goose Conservation Order Season in Virginia will be required to register for the season prior to hunting. In addition, hunters will be required to complete a Harvest Report Form that must be returned after the season ends, to provide information on their hunting activity and snow goose harvest.
The registration process will begin on December 15, 2012. Hunters may register online through our website or by calling our Customer Service center, Monday–Friday, 8 AM–5 PM, excluding holidays, at 1-866-721-6911. The Harvest Report Form must be filled out and returned within 2 weeks after the close of the season. Hunters can submit this harvest report several different ways; they can complete it online at our website, they can download the report form (PDF) and mail it to the return address listed, or they can obtain a copy by calling the Customer Service center. Participants must also possess a valid Virginia hunting license, a 2012-2013 Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp (unless license exempt), and a Virginia HIP number.
Note: Hunters do not need to register to participate in the general light goose (snow goose) hunting season (October 4, 2012–January 31, 2013); they only need to register if they plan to participate in the extended Light Goose Conservation Order season (February 1–March 30, 2013).
General Light Goose Season
- Light Goose Season Zone: Statewide
- Season Dates: October 4–January 31
- Bag Limit: 25 daily (no possession limit)
Light Goose Conservation Order Season
- Conservation Order Season Zone: The same as the AP Canada Goose Zone — The area east of the Stafford/King George County line from the Potomac River south to the Rappahannock River, then west along the Stafford County line to Interstate 95, then south along I-95 to Route 460 in Petersburg, then southeast along Route 460 to Route 32 in the City of Suffolk, then south to the North Carolina border.
- Season Dates: February 1–March 30, 2013
- Bag Limit: No daily or possession limit
- Special Hunting Methods: Electronic calls, unplugged shotguns and extended shooting hours to one-half hour after sunset.
- Special Requirements: Hunters planning to participate in the Conservation Order Season must register either online at the VDGIF website or by phone (1-866-721-6911), and obtain a harvest report form which must be returned to VDGIF within two weeks following the close of the season.