Light Goose Conservation Order Season

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).  These 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 geese, 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 within 2 weeks after the close of the season, to provide information on their hunting activity and snow goose harvest.

Beginning December 1, hunters will be able to register online through their Go Outdoors account or by calling our Customer Service center, Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, excluding holidays, at 1-866-721-6911. When registering, hunters should obtain a copy of the Harvest Report Form so they can keep track of their hunting activity and harvest. 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, they can download the report form 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 Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Stamp (unless license exempt), and a Virginia HIP Permit.

Note: Hunters do not need to register to participate in the general light goose (snow goose) hunting season; they only need to register if they plan to participate in the extended Light Goose Conservation Order season (February 1–April 5, 2023).

General Light Goose Season

  • Light Goose Season Zone: Statewide
  • Season Dates: October 17, 2022–January 31, 2023
  • Bag Limit: 25 daily (no possession limit)

Light Goose Conservation Order Season

  • Conservation Order Season Zone: 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 Interstate 95 to Route 460 in Petersburg, then southeast along Route 460 to Route 32 in the city of Suffolk, then south along Route 32 to the North Carolina border.
  • Season Dates: February 1-April 5, 2023
  • Bag Limit: No daily or possession limit
  • Special Hunting Methods: Electronic calls, unplugged shotguns, and extended shooting hours are allowed.
  • Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
  • Special Requirements: Hunters planning to participate in the Conservation Order Season must register either online at the DWR website or by phone (1-866-721-6911), and obtain a Harvest Report Form (or complete it online) which must be returned to DWR within two weeks following the close of the season.

Conservation Order Season Hunt Zone