50 CFR 20.21 - What hunting methods are illegal?

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§ 20.21 What hunting methods are illegal?
Migratory birds on which open seasons are prescribed in this part may be taken by any method except those prohibited in this section. No persons shall take migratory game birds:
(a) With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machinegun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance;
(b) With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells. However, this restriction does not apply during:
(1) A light-goose-only season (greater and lesser snow geese and Ross' geese) when all other waterfowl and crane hunting seasons, excluding falconry, are closed.
(2) A Canada goose only season when all other waterfowl and crane hunting seasons, excluding falconry, are closed in the Atlantic, Central, and Mississippi Flyway portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, as set forth below:
(i) During the period of September 1 to September 15, when approved in the annual regulatory schedule in subpart K of this part; and
(ii) During the period of September 16 to September 30, when approved in the annual regulatory schedule in subpart K of this part.
(c) From or by means, aid, or use of a sinkbox or any other type of low floating device, having a depression affording the hunter a means of concealment beneath the surface of the water;
(d) From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft of any kind, except that paraplegics and persons missing one or both legs may take from any stationary motor vehicle or stationary motor-driven land conveyance;
(e) From or by means of any motorboat or other craft having a motor attached, or any sailboat, unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sails furled, and its progress therefrom has ceased: Provided, That a craft under power may be used to retrieve dead or crippled birds; however, crippled birds may not be shot from such craft under power except in the seaduck area as permitted in subpart K of this part;
(f) By the use or aid of live birds as decoys; although not limited to, it shall be a violation of this paragraph for any person to take migratory waterfowl on an area where tame or captive live ducks or geese are present unless such birds are and have been for a period of 10 consecutive days prior to such taking, confined within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audibility of their calls and totally conceals such birds from the sight of wild migratory waterfowl;
(g) By the use or aid of recorded or electrically amplified bird calls or sounds, or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird calls or sounds. However, this restriction does not apply during:
(1) A light-goose-only season (greater and lesser snow geese and Ross' geese) when all other waterfowl and crane hunting seasons, excluding falconry, are closed.
(2) A Canada goose only season when all other waterfowl and crane hunting seasons, excluding falconry, are closed in the Atlantic, Central, and Mississippi Flyway portions of Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, as set forth below:
(i) During the period of September 1 to September 15, when approved in the annual regulatory schedule in subpart K of this part; and
(ii) During the period of September 16 to September 30, when approved in the annual regulatory schedule in subpart K of this part.
(h) By means or aid of any motordriven land, water, or air conveyance, or any sailboat used for the purpose of or resulting in the concentrating, driving, rallying, or stirring up of any migratory bird;
(i) By the aid of baiting, or on or over any baited area, where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited. However, nothing in this paragraph prohibits:
(1) the taking of any migratory game bird, including waterfowl, coots, and cranes, on or over the following lands or areas that are not otherwise baited areas—
(i) Standing crops or flooded standing crops (including aquatics); standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation; flooded harvested croplands; or lands or areas where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, post-harvest manipulation or normal soil stabilization practice;
(ii) From a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation;
(iii) From a blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, as long as such camouflaging does not result in the exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of grain or other feed; or
(iv) Standing or flooded standing agricultural crops where grain is inadvertently scattered solely as a result of a hunter entering or exiting a hunting area, placing decoys, or retrieving downed birds.
(2) The taking of any migratory game bird, except waterfowl, coots and cranes, on or over lands or areas that are not otherwise baited areas, and where grain or other feed has been distributed or scattered solely as the result of manipulation of an agricultural crop or other feed on the land where grown, or solely as the result of a normal agricultural operation.
(j)
(1) While possessing loose shot for muzzle loading or shotshells containing other than the following approved shot types.
Approved shot type * Percent composition by weight Field testing device **
* Coatings of copper, nickel, tin, zinc, zinc chloride, and zinc chrome on approved nontoxic shot types also are approved.
** The information in the “Field Testing Device” column is strictly informational, not regulatory.
*** The “HOT*SHOT” field testing device is from Stream Systems of Concord, CA.
Bismuth-tin 97 bismuth, and 3 tin Hot Shot ®. ***
Iron (steel) iron and carbon Magnet or Hot Shot ®.
Iron-tungsten any proportion of tungsten, and ≥1 iron Magnet or Hot Shot ®.
Iron-tungsten-nickel ≥1 iron, any proportion of tungsten, and up to 40 nickel Magnet or Hot Shot ®.
Tungsten-bronze 51.1 tungsten, 44.4 copper, 3.9 tin, and 0.6 iron, or 60 tungsten, 35.1 copper, 3.9 tin, and 1 iron Rare Earth Magnet.
Tungsten-iron-copper-nickel 40-76 tungsten, 10-37 iron, 9-16 copper, and 5-7 nickel Hot Shot ® or Rare Earth Magnet.
Tungsten-matrix 95.9 tungsten, 4.1 polymer Hot Shot ®.
Tungsten-polymer 95.5 tungsten, 4.5 Nylon 6 or 11 Hot Shot ®.
Tungsten-tin-iron any proportions of tungsten and tin, and ≥1 iron Magnet or Hot Shot ®.
Tungsten-tin-bismuth any proportions of tungsten, tin, and bismuth. Rare Earth Magnet.
Tungsten-tin-iron-nickel 65 tungsten, 21.8 tin, 10.4 iron, and 2.8 nickel Magnet.
Tungsten-iron-polymer 41.5-95.2 tungsten, 1.5-52.0 iron, and 3.5-8.0 fluoropolymer Rare Earth Magnet or Hot Shot ®.
(2) Each approved shot type must contain less than 1 percent residual lead (see§ 20.134).
(3) This shot type restriction applies to the taking of ducks, geese (including brant), swans, coots (Fulica americana), and any other species that make up aggregate bag limits with these migratory game birds during concurrent seasons in areas described in § 20.108 as nontoxic shot zones.
[38 FR 22021, Aug. 15, 1973, as amended at 38 FR 22896, Aug. 27, 1973; 44 FR 2599, Jan. 12, 1979; 45 FR 70275, Oct. 23, 1980; 49 FR 4079, Feb. 2, 1984; 52 FR 27364, July 21, 1987; 53 FR 24290, June 28, 1988; 60 FR 64, Jan. 3, 1995; 60 FR 43316, Aug. 18, 1995; 61 FR 42494, Aug. 15, 1996; 62 FR 43447, Aug. 13, 1997; 64 FR 29804, June 3, 1999; 64 FR 32780, June 17, 1999; 64 FR 45405, Aug. 19, 1999; 64 FR 71237, Dec. 20, 1999; 65 FR 53940, Sept. 6, 2000; 66 FR 742, Jan. 4, 2001; 66 FR 32265, June 14, 2001; 68 FR 1392, Jan. 10, 2003; 69 FR 48165, Aug. 9, 2004; 70 FR 49196, Aug. 23, 2005; 71 FR 4297, Jan. 26, 2006; 71 FR 45986, Aug. 10, 2006; 72 FR 46407, Aug. 20, 2007; 73 FR 65277, Nov. 3, 2008; 73 FR 70914, Nov. 24, 2008; 74 FR 53671, Oct. 20, 2009; 74 FR 57615, Nov. 9, 2009]

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 50.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2013-12-26; vol. 78 # 248 - Thursday, December 26, 2013
    1. 78 FR 78275 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Revision of Language for Approval of Nontoxic Shot for Use in Waterfowl Hunting
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      DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Fish and Wildlife Service
      Final rule.
      This rule is effective on January 27, 2014.
      50 CFR Part 20

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United States Code
Statutes at Large

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 50 CFR 20 after this date.

  • 2014-06-04; vol. 79 # 107 - Wednesday, June 4, 2014
    1. 79 FR 32418 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations for the 2014-15 Hunting Season; Notice of Meetings
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      DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Fish and Wildlife Service
      Proposed rule; supplemental.
      Comments: You must submit comments on the proposed regulatory alternatives for the 2014-15 duck hunting seasons on or before June 27, 2014. Following subsequent Federal Register notices, you will be given an opportunity to submit comments for proposed early-season frameworks by July 29, 2014, and for proposed late-season frameworks and subsistence migratory bird seasons in Alaska by August 29, 2014. Meetings: The Service Migratory Bird Regulations Committee will meet to consider and develop proposed regulations for early-season migratory bird hunting on June 25 and 26, 2014, and for late-season migratory bird hunting and the 2015 spring/summer migratory bird subsistence season in Alaska on July 30 and 31, 2014. All meetings will commence at approximately 8:30 a.m.
      50 CFR Part 20