Special Report

Best States for Hunting Ducks and Geese

Nina Nelson / iStock via Getty Images

Hunting has long been a popular pastime in the United States, and interest in the sport appears to be picking up. After falling by over 2.3 million between 1980 and 2008, the number of paid hunting license holders in the U.S. climbed in seven of the last 10 years, and now stands at a nearly four-decade high of 15.9 million.

While deer is the most commonly hunted game in the United States, for many hunters, waterfowl is the preferred quarry. Waterfowl hunting is a specialized and challenging undertaking. It requires knowledge of the migratory patterns of ducks or geese and is often done in fields, swamps, ponds, bays, or along marine shorelines. Some of the most common methods involve bird calls and decoys to attract game, as well as blinds and full camouflage to conceal the hunter. (Here is a look at America’s top shotgun companies.)

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, over 913,000 Americans actively hunted waterfowl in 2022, harvesting more than 8.2 million ducks and nearly 2 million geese. Though waterfowl are hunted across the continental U.S., in some states, hunters are far more likely to be successful than others. 

Using data from the FWS, 24/7 Wall St. identified the best states for waterfowl hunters. States were ranked on the estimated waterfowl harvested per hunter in 2022. Waterfowl harvest totals were calculated by combining the number of geese and duck harvested in 2022. Due to a lack of data, Hawaii was not included in this ranking.

Among the 49 states on this list, the number of ducks and geese harvested per hunter in 2022 ranges from about 4.5 to nearly 23. 

The most popular region for both goose and duck hunting is the Mississippi Flyway, an area spanning 14 states along the Mississippi River and its tributaries that serves as a corridor for migratory birds. The region is home to about 41% of American waterfowl hunters and accounted for an estimated 40% of all ducks and geese harvested in 2022. (Here is a look at the most popular American hunting destinations.)

However, Louisiana is the only state in the Mississippi Flyway to rank among the five states with highest hunter-to-harvested waterfowl ratio. Three of the top five states are in the Pacific Flyway, a region that encompasses eight Western states. 

Here are the best states for waterfowl hunting.

49. New Hampshire
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 4.5 per hunter (approx. 11,600 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 8,100 (4.2 per hunter – 5th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 3,500 (2.4 per hunter – 9th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 2,600 (18.6 per 10,000 people – 18th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

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48. Rhode Island
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 4.6 per hunter (approx. 4,600 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 3,200 (3.7 per hunter – 2nd fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 1,400 (3.2 per hunter – 18th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 1,000 (9.1 per 10,000 people – 6th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

47. Pennsylvania
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 4.9 per hunter (approx. 92,600 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 49,100 (3.4 per hunter – the fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 43,500 (3.5 per hunter – 21st fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 18,900 (14.6 per 10,000 people – 13th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

46. Georgia
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 5.0 per hunter (approx. 101,000 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 97,500 (5.0 per hunter – 11th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 3,500 (0.8 per hunter – the fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 20,200 (18.5 per 10,000 people – 17th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

 

45. Maryland
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 5.0 per hunter (approx. 132,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 88,700 (4.3 per hunter – 6th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 44,000 (3.1 per hunter – 14th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 26,300 (42.7 per 10,000 people – 17th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

44. West Virginia
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 5.2 per hunter (approx. 8,800 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 5,700 (4.1 per hunter – 4th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 3,100 (2.4 per hunter – 9th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 1,700 (9.6 per 10,000 people – 8th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

43. Maine
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 5.8 per hunter (approx. 33,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 25,500 (4.7 per hunter – 10th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 8,200 (2.8 per hunter – 13th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 5,800 (41.9 per 10,000 people – 18th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

42. Massachusetts
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 5.9 per hunter (approx. 28,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 19,400 (3.9 per hunter – 3rd fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 9,300 (3.4 per hunter – 19th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 4,900 (7.0 per 10,000 people – 3rd fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

41. Connecticut
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 6.0 per hunter (approx. 12,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 7,100 (4.5 per hunter – 8th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 5,600 (4.2 per hunter – 23rd most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 2,100 (5.8 per 10,000 people – 2nd fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

40. Delaware
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 6.2 per hunter (approx. 27,200 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 14,200 (4.6 per hunter – 9th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 13,000 (4.7 per hunter – 20th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 4,400 (43.2 per 10,000 people – 16th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

39. Ohio
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 6.3 per hunter (approx. 107,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 57,400 (4.4 per hunter – 7th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 50,300 (4.1 per hunter – 25th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 17,100 (14.5 per 10,000 people – 12th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

38. Virginia
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 6.6 per hunter (approx. 112,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 88,900 (5.7 per hunter – 12th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 23,800 (3.2 per hunter – 18th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 17,000 (19.6 per 10,000 people – 20th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

37. New Jersey
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 6.9 per hunter (approx. 53,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 40,800 (6.2 per hunter – 17th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 12,900 (3.2 per hunter – 18th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 7,800 (8.4 per 10,000 people – 5th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

36. Utah
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 7.0 per hunter (approx. 110,400 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 96,000 (6.9 per hunter – 21st fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 14,400 (2.3 per hunter – 7th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 15,700 (46.4 per 10,000 people – 13th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Pacific Flyway (2,182,300 waterfowl harvested; 135,900 active waterfowl hunters)

35. Florida
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 7.1 per hunter (approx. 123,300 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 123,300 (7.1 per hunter – 22nd fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 00 (2.2 per hunter – 5th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 17,400 (7.8 per 10,000 people – 4th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

34. New Mexico
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 7.1 per hunter (approx. 17,100 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 12,200 (5.8 per hunter – 15th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 4,900 (5.3 per hunter – 14th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 2,400 (11.4 per 10,000 people – 11th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Central Flyway (2,530,700 waterfowl harvested; 193,400 active waterfowl hunters)

33. South Carolina
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 7.5 per hunter (approx. 153,500 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 150,000 (7.4 per hunter – 25th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 3,500 (0.9 per hunter – 2nd fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 20,500 (38.8 per 10,000 people – 19th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

32. Arizona
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 7.8 per hunter (approx. 24,300 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 21,400 (7.4 per hunter – 25th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 2,900 (5.0 per hunter – 16th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 3,100 (4.2 per 10,000 people – the fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Pacific Flyway (2,182,300 waterfowl harvested; 135,900 active waterfowl hunters)

31. Wyoming
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 8.3 per hunter (approx. 42,900 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 19,400 (5.8 per hunter – 15th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 23,500 (6.0 per hunter – 10th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 5,200 (89.4 per 10,000 people – 6th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Central Flyway (2,530,700 waterfowl harvested; 193,400 active waterfowl hunters)

30. Montana
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 8.4 per hunter (approx. 129,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 79,300 (5.9 per hunter – 16th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 50,400 (4.9 per hunter – 18th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 15,500 (138.0 per 10,000 people – 3rd most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Pacific Flyway (2,182,300 waterfowl harvested; 135,900 active waterfowl hunters)

29. Indiana
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 8.4 per hunter (approx. 103,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 68,800 (6.9 per hunter – 21st fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 34,900 (4.2 per hunter – 23rd most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 12,300 (18.0 per 10,000 people – 15th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

28. Michigan
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 8.5 per hunter (approx. 291,600 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 203,200 (7.4 per hunter – 25th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 88,400 (4.0 per hunter – 24th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 34,500 (34.4 per 10,000 people – 23rd most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

27. North Carolina
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 8.9 per hunter (approx. 294,200 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 265,200 (8.6 per hunter – 18th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 29,000 (2.6 per hunter – 11th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 33,000 (30.8 per 10,000 people – 24th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

26. Alaska
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 9.0 per hunter (approx. 47,800 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 42,200 (7.8 per hunter – 22nd most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 5,600 (2.5 per hunter – 10th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 5,300 (72.2 per 10,000 people – 11th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Alaska (47,800 waterfowl harvested; 5,300 active waterfowl hunters)

25. New York
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 9.2 per hunter (approx. 171,000 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 89,100 (6.4 per hunter – 18th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 81,900 (7.8 per hunter – 4th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 18,600 (9.5 per 10,000 people – 7th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

24. Alabama
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 9.4 per hunter (approx. 95,500 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 90,700 (9.0 per hunter – 17th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 4,800 (1.8 per hunter – 4th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 10,200 (20.1 per 10,000 people – 21st fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

23. Kansas
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 9.5 per hunter (approx. 219,800 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 138,300 (6.6 per hunter – 19th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 81,500 (6.1 per hunter – 9th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 23,200 (79.0 per 10,000 people – 8th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Central Flyway (2,530,700 waterfowl harvested; 193,400 active waterfowl hunters)

22. Minnesota
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 9.6 per hunter (approx. 561,400 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 438,500 (8.2 per hunter – 21st most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 122,900 (3.6 per hunter – 22nd fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 58,400 (102.1 per 10,000 people – 5th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

21. Colorado
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 9.7 per hunter (approx. 105,400 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 47,900 (5.8 per hunter – 15th fewest of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 57,500 (7.7 per hunter – 6th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 10,900 (18.7 per 10,000 people – 19th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Central Flyway (2,530,700 waterfowl harvested; 193,400 active waterfowl hunters)

20. Wisconsin
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 9.7 per hunter (approx. 448,400 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 344,300 (8.4 per hunter – 19th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 104,100 (3.8 per hunter – 23rd fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 46,300 (78.6 per 10,000 people – 10th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

19. Kentucky
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 9.9 per hunter (approx. 82,100 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 71,500 (9.7 per hunter – 15th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 10,600 (2.7 per hunter – 12th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 8,300 (18.4 per 10,000 people – 16th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

18. Mississippi
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 10.2 per hunter (approx. 106,100 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 103,100 (9.9 per hunter – 13th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 3,000 (1.4 per hunter – 3rd fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 10,400 (35.4 per 10,000 people – 22nd most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

17. Missouri
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 10.3 per hunter (approx. 290,200 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 250,100 (9.8 per hunter – 14th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 40,100 (3.2 per hunter – 18th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 28,100 (45.5 per 10,000 people – 15th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

16. Iowa
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 10.5 per hunter (approx. 121,300 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 92,500 (9.3 per hunter – 16th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 28,800 (3.5 per hunter – 21st fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 11,500 (35.9 per 10,000 people – 21st most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

15. Tennessee
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 10.6 per hunter (approx. 229,500 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 212,900 (10.5 per hunter – 12th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 16,600 (2.3 per hunter – 7th fewest of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 21,600 (30.6 per 10,000 people – 23rd fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

14. Oklahoma
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 11.8 per hunter (approx. 220,200 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 138,300 (7.7 per hunter – 24th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 81,900 (10.8 per hunter – 2nd most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 18,600 (46.3 per 10,000 people – 14th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Central Flyway (2,530,700 waterfowl harvested; 193,400 active waterfowl hunters)

13. Nebraska
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 12.7 per hunter (approx. 171,300 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 93,600 (8.4 per hunter – 19th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 77,700 (7.8 per hunter – 4th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 13,500 (68.6 per 10,000 people – 12th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Central Flyway (2,530,700 waterfowl harvested; 193,400 active waterfowl hunters)

12. Nevada
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 12.8 per hunter (approx. 39,600 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 34,500 (11.7 per hunter – 11th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 5,100 (5.4 per hunter – 12th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 3,100 (9.8 per 10,000 people – 9th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Pacific Flyway (2,182,300 waterfowl harvested; 135,900 active waterfowl hunters)

11. Illinois
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 13.4 per hunter (approx. 261,000 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 203,600 (12.7 per hunter – 8th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 57,400 (4.6 per hunter – 21st most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 19,500 (15.5 per 10,000 people – 14th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

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10. Arkansas
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 13.7 per hunter (approx. 829,200 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 721,700 (12.6 per hunter – 9th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 107,500 (4.9 per hunter – 18th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 60,500 (198.6 per 10,000 people – 2nd most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

9. Vermont
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 13.9 per hunter (approx. 30,500 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 14,500 (7.8 per hunter – 22nd most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 16,000 (11.8 per hunter – the most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 2,200 (34.0 per 10,000 people – 24th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Atlantic Flyway (1,392,500 waterfowl harvested; 204,400 active waterfowl hunters)

8. Washington
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 14.1 per hunter (approx. 370,400 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 312,100 (13.1 per hunter – 7th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 58,300 (5.0 per hunter – 16th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 26,300 (33.8 per 10,000 people – 25th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Pacific Flyway (2,182,300 waterfowl harvested; 135,900 active waterfowl hunters)

7. Texas
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 14.4 per hunter (approx. 1,139,200 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 1,064,400 (14.5 per hunter – 4th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 74,800 (4.3 per hunter – 22nd most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 79,000 (26.3 per 10,000 people – 22nd fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Central Flyway (2,530,700 waterfowl harvested; 193,400 active waterfowl hunters)

6. North Dakota
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 14.8 per hunter (approx. 437,700 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 336,900 (12.5 per hunter – 10th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 100,800 (5.4 per hunter – 12th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 29,600 (379.8 per 10,000 people – the most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Central Flyway (2,530,700 waterfowl harvested; 193,400 active waterfowl hunters)

5. Louisiana
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 16.0 per hunter (approx. 578,600 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 544,200 (15.2 per hunter – 3rd most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 34,400 (5.3 per hunter – 14th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 36,100 (78.6 per 10,000 people – 9th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Mississippi Flyway (4,106,100 waterfowl harvested; 374,700 active waterfowl hunters)

4. Idaho
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 16.1 per hunter (approx. 259,600 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 205,700 (14.5 per hunter – 4th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 53,900 (5.9 per hunter – 11th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 16,100 (83.0 per 10,000 people – 7th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Pacific Flyway (2,182,300 waterfowl harvested; 135,900 active waterfowl hunters)

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3. South Dakota
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 16.3 per hunter (approx. 177,300 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 128,500 (13.3 per hunter – 6th most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 48,800 (7.7 per hunter – 6th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 10,900 (119.8 per 10,000 people – 4th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Central Flyway (2,530,700 waterfowl harvested; 193,400 active waterfowl hunters)

2. Oregon
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 20.7 per hunter (approx. 327,100 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 281,900 (18.8 per hunter – 2nd most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 45,200 (6.9 per hunter – 8th most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 15,800 (37.3 per 10,000 people – 20th most of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Pacific Flyway (2,182,300 waterfowl harvested; 135,900 active waterfowl hunters)

1. California
> Waterfowl harvest, 2022: 22.9 per hunter (approx. 921,300 total)
> Duck harvest, 2022: Approx. 727,200 (19.1 per hunter – the most of 49 states)
> Goose harvest, 2022: Approx. 194,100 (10.6 per hunter – 3rd most of 49 states)
> Active waterfowl hunters, 2022: Approx. 40,200 (10.3 per 10,000 people – 10th fewest of 49 states)
> Flyway region: Pacific Flyway (2,182,300 waterfowl harvested; 135,900 active waterfowl hunters)

Methodology:

To identify the best states for waterfowl hunting, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the August 2023 report Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest during the 2021–22 and 2022–23 Hunting Seasons from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. States were ranked on the estimated waterfowl harvested per hunter in 2022. Waterfowl harvest totals were calculated by combining the number of geese and duck harvested in 2022. Due to a lack of data, Hawaii was not included in this ranking. 

It is important to note that reported figures are based on estimates extrapolated from survey data and often have a high margin of error. Harvest and hunter sums between states and within states may not match state, regional, or national totals due to rounding and margins of error.  

Although the ratio of hunters to harvested waterfowl may be impacted by state and local restrictions, bag limits were not considered in our ranking. 

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