A wilson's snipe during the migration

Tracking the Snipe Migration

Written by | Bird Hunting Articles, Snipe Hunting

A look into snipe hunting and their migration south.

Did you know snipe are a migratory bird much like their cousin the beloved woodcock? 

These little birds make an ambitious flight south each fall, generally tracking behind teal but arriving before the big pushes of woodcock and waterfowl. 

To no surprise, snipe seasons line up with their migration as they move from their summer breeding grounds in September to their winter grounds on into November and December. 

Depending on where you live, your snipe season may compete with dove and early teal or extend well into February after other wingshooting seasons have closed. 

Moving from the northern to central and on to the southern latitudes, we can see that state snipe seasons fall into three categories—September, October and November openers. 

Early Season: September Openers

Snipe season comes early in the Northern states where many snipe have bred, raised their clutch, and may or may not even be migrating yet. Most of these states can keep you busy in the uplands well into December and January so long as the weather hasn’t pushed them out. 

State2019-2020 Season DatesDaily/Possession Limit
AlaskaSoutheast Units 1 – 4:
Sep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 2020
8/24
Gulf Coast Units 5 – 7, 9, 10:
Sep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 2019
Pribilof/Aleutian Unit 10:
Oct. 8, 2019 – Jan. 22, 2020
Kodiak Unit 8:
Oct. 8, 2019 – Jan. 22, 2020
North Units 11 – 13, 17 – 26:
Sep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 2019
ColoradoSep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 20198/24
DelawareSep. 13, 2019 – Nov. 30, 2019
Dec. 7, 2019 – Jan. 21, 2020
8/24
IllinoisSep. 7, 2019 – Dec. 22, 20198/24
IndianaSep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 20198/24
IowaSep.7, 2019 – Nov. 30, 20198/24
KansasSep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 20198/24
KentuckySep. 18, 2019 – Oct. 27, 2019
Nov. 28, 2019 – Feb. 2, 2020
8/24
MaineSep. 2, 2019 – Dec. 17, 20198/24
MarylandSep. 30, 2019 – Jan. 31, 20208/24
MassachusettsSep. 2, 2019 – Dec. 16, 20198/24
MichiganSep. 1, 2019 – Nov. 9, 20198/24
MinnesotaSep. 1, 2019 – Nov. 4, 20198/24
MissouriSep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 20198/24
MontanaSep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 20198/24
NebraskaSep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 20198/24
New HampshireSep. 15, 2019 – Nov. 14, 20198/24
New JerseySep. 14, 2019 – Jan. 16, 20208/24
New YorkSep. 1, 2019 – Nov. 9, 20198/24
North DakotaSep. 14, 2019 – Dec. 1, 20195/15
OhioSep. 1, 2019 – Nov. 26, 2019
Dec. 14, 2019 – Jan. 2, 2020
8/24
Rhode IslandSep. 1, 2019 – Nov. 9, 20195/15
South DakotaSep. 1, 2019 – Oct. 31, 20195/15
West VirginiaSep. 2, 2019 – Dec. 17, 20198/24
WyomingSep. 1, 2019 – Dec. 16, 20198/24
WisconsinNorth Zone: 
Sep. 28, 2019 – Nov. 26, 2019
South Zone: 
Sep. 28, 2019 – Oct. 6, 2019
Oct. 12, 2019 – Dec. 1, 2019
Mississippi Zone:
Sep. 28, 2019 – Oct. 4, 2019
Oct. 12, 2019 – Dec. 3, 2019
8/24

Mid Season: October Openers

Fourteen states enjoy the start of their season in October, with ideal fall weather. If you live in one of these you will likely get multiple pushes of birds as they follow the cold fronts and frost lines south.

State2019-2020 Season DatesDaily/Possession Limits
ArizonaDesert Zone:
Oct. 18, 2019 – Jan. 26, 2020
Mountain Zone:
Oct. 4, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020
8/24
CaliforniaOct. 19, 2019 – Feb. 2, 20208/24
ConnecticutOct. 21, 2019 – Nov. 16, 2019
Nov. 18, 2019 – Dec. 11, 2019
8/24
IdahoArea 1:
Oct. 12, 2019 – Jan. 24, 2020
Area 2: Oct. 5, 2019 –
Jan. 17, 2020
8/24
NevadaNE Zone:
Sep. 21, 2019 – Oct 20, 2019
Oct 23, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020
NW Zone:
Oct. 19, 2019 – Jan 31, 2020
S Zone – Clark and Lincoln County:
Oct 19, 2019 – Jan 31, 2020
S Zone – Moapa Valley:
Nov 2, 2019 – Jan 31, 2020
8/24
New MexicoCentral Flyway:
Oct. 12, 2019 – Jan. 26, 2020
Pacific Flyway: 
Oct 17, 2019 – Jan 31, 2020
8/24
North CarolinaOct. 28, 2019 – Feb. 28, 20208/24
OklahomaOct. 1, 2019 – Jan. 15, 20208/24
PennsylvaniaOct. 19, 2019 – Nov. 29, 2019
Dec. 16, 2019 – Dec. 24, 2019
8/24
TexasOct. 26, 2019 – Feb. 9, 20208/24
VermontOct. 1, 2019 – Nov. 14, 20208/24
UtahNorthern Zone:
Oct. 5, 2019 – Jan. 18, 2020
Southern Zone:
Oct. 12, 2019 – Jan. 25, 2020
8/24
VirginiaOct. 11, 2019 – Oct. 14, 2019
Oct. 2, 2019 – Jan. 31, 2020
8/24
WashingtonOct. 12, 2019 – Oct. 30, 2019
Nov 2, 2019 – Jan. 26, 2020
8/24

Late Season: November Openers

Down South the seasons start late but run well into February. Some push on to Mexico, but for many it’s the end of the line. As the season rolls on, a southern snipe will definitely get educated and become more flighty.

State2019-2020 Season DatesDaily/Possession Limits
AlabamaNov. 14, 2019 – Feb. 28, 20208/16
ArkansasNov. 1, 2019 – Feb. 15, 20208/24
FloridaNov. 1, 2019 – Feb. 15, 20208/24
GeorgiaNov. 15, 2019 – Feb. 28, 20208/24
LouisianaNov. 2, 2019 – Dec. 8, 2019
Dec. 21, 2019 – Feb. 28, 2020
8/24
MississippiNov. 14, 2019 – Feb. 28, 20208/24
OregonZone 1:
Nov. 2, 2019 – Feb. 16, 2020
Zone 2:
Oct. 5, 2019 – Dec 1, 2019
Dec 4, 2019 – Jan 19, 2020
8/24
South CarolinaNov. 14, 2019 – Feb. 28, 20208/24
TennesseeNov. 14 2019 – Feb. 28, 20208/24

Go Plan a Snipe Hunt

If snipe are on your radar this fall, the snipe habitat and gear guide are natural follow-on reading. You’ll learn about where to locate them and what you need for a day afield.

Last modified: January 31, 2020

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