As states scramble to slow the spread of COVID-19 and enact a wide range of regulations to enforce social distance, many hunters, anglers, and outdoor recreators are left wondering what they’re allowed to do. We want to help keep everyone informed, safe, legal, and, whenever possible, outside. Below you’ll find regular updates to regulations and rule changes that impact hunters, anglers, and public land recreators. While we can’t promise that this list will cover every single rule change around the country in real-time, we’ll do our best to keep it current and accurate. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of a regulation change that we’re missing.
- April 24, Illinois: Starting May 1 Illinois will begin opening up select state parks. See the source link below for a complete list of parks scheduled to reopen…
- April 21, Maine: Maine turkey season will open two days early, on May 2 instead of May 4. The planned single day youth season has also changed, moving up from May 2 to April 25 and adding a second day, April 27. Additionally, successful turkey hunters will not be required to register their birds at tagging stations, as is usually the rule. Season limits still apply and these changes are just for this season.
- April 21, New Hampshire: Successful New Hampshire turkey hunters are encouraged to register their harvested birds online this season instead of at the usual check stations. Some physical check stations will still be open this season, and hunters have the option of registering there, though the number of operating check stations will be lower than in normal years. For a list of stations, see the source link. Turkey season will open on the planned date of May 1 and hunters are still required to register their birds within 24 hours of harvest either online or in person.
- April 19, New York: Public boat launches and marinas have been re-opened as part of the state government’s revised guidance on essential businesses.
- April 17, Mississippi: All state parks and state lakes will reopen starting April 20.
- April 16, New York: All public boat launches are closed until further notice.
- April 15, Wyoming: Sale of nonresident fishing licenses has been suspended until April 30, at the earliest.
- April 10, Michigan: The governor’s Stay at Home Order has been extended to include all motorized boat travel. No motorized boats may be used, including electric trolling motors, until May 1 at the earliest.
- April 10, Kansas: All nonresident turkey license sales have been suspended. Nonresident turkey hunters who have already purchased tags can hunt, but if they are from states on Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s “Travel Quarantine List,” they must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the state. Full list of those states in the source link.
- April 9, Oregon: ODFW is shutting down all non-resident hunting, fishing, crabbing, and clamming effective tomorrow, April 10 at midnight. All non-resident hunters can return their tags for full refunds of money and preference points.
- April 9, Wisconsin: Governor Evers directed the Wisconsin DNR to shut down nearly 40 state parks, primarily in the southern part of the state, effective tomorrow, April 10. Hunting and fishing regulations remain unchanged. See source link for a detailed list of park closures.
- April 9, Montana: Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has suspended all spring nonresident turkey and black bear hunting until April 24, at the earliest. All non-resident hunters can return their tags for full refunds.
- April 8, Montana: Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks decided to cancel the paddlefish season on the Lower Missouri and Yellowstone rivers. These sections account for nearly 93% of all paddlefish angling in the state. The Upper Missouri, special draw section is expected to open as planned.
- April 8, Maryland: Maryland’s DNR recently interpreted governor Hogan’s Stay at Home Order to include recreational fishing. According to today’s press release, “Limited fishing is allowed only if you are seeking food for you or your family.” Today’s update also states that “Limited hunting is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family.” We’re not sure how one goes hunting without seeking food.
- April 7, New Jersey: Starting at 8:00 p.m. all county parks, state parks, and state forests are closed until further notice. Fishing and hunting seasons remain open and unchanged.
- April 7, Texas: Starting at 5:00 p.m., all state parks will be closed until further notice. Fishing and hunting seasons remain open and unchanged.
- April 7, Pennsylvania: Without any prior notice, PA opened up trout fishing season this morning, 11 days ahead of schedule. License requirements and bag limits remain unchanged.
- April 6, Washington: Spring bear and turkey hunting seasons are postponed until May 4, at the earliest.
- April 6, Ohio: All nonresident hunting and fishing license sales for the 2020 season have been suspended. Nonresident hunters or anglers who have already purchased their tags and licenses are still allowed to hunt or fish, but they must self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days after traveling to the state.
- April 4, Idaho: Many nonresident hunting and fishing license sales have been suspended until further notice. Nonresidents tags purchased before the suspension remain valid. For a full list of which nonresident licenses are affected by this suspension see source link.
- April 3, Kentucky: All nonresident turkey license sales for the 2020 season have been suspended. Nonresident hunters who have already purchased their tags are still allowed to hunt, but they must self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days after traveling to the state.
- April 3, Rhode Island: All state parks and beaches are closed until further notice.
- April 3, North Dakota: The 2020 paddlefish snagging and harvest season, set to begin March 1, has been canceled. The snag and release paddlefish season, scheduled for May 15-21, has not been canceled yet.
- April 3, Mississippi: Starting at 5:00 p.m., all state parks and state lakes will be closed until further notice. Fishing and hunting seasons remain open and unchanged, but state-owned lands and waters are closed. Wildlife Management Areas remain open.
- April 2, Alaska: After the Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation closed all bear hunting for both residents as well as non-residents on April 1, they reversed their decision the following day in the wake of massive public outcry. Non-resident bear hunting remains closed until at least May 31, but resident sport and subsistence hunts are now unchanged.
- April 2, Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park is closed until further notice.
- April 1, California: California’s recreational ocean salmon fishing season has been delayed. The season was scheduled to begin as early as April 4th in some parts of the state but will now be halted until at least May 1.
- April 1, New Jersey: Trout season opens today, ten days ahead of schedule.
- Timeline continued on MeatEater.com…
To see the full timeline, go check it out on MeatEater.com!