Hunting News

Public hearings scheduled for 2017 fall waterfowl hunting season structure

MADISON, WI - Public hearings in March will provide the public with an opportunity to offer feedback on the proposed Wisconsin fall waterfowl hunting season structure.
The public input process for establishing the 2017 waterfowl hunting seasons is slightly different from previous years due to a decision by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to set season structures using data from the prior year. Through this new process, hunters will know waterfowl hunting season dates by late April, rather than late August as in years past.
"The 2017 waterfowl seasons will be based on the 2016 continental waterfowl population estimates that were at near record estimates since USFWS surveys began 61 years ago," said Taylor Finger migratory game bird ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "Due to very wet fall and winter seasons we expect populations to remain high in 2017 and if we have favorable conditions this fall, hunters can expect good waterfowl hunting opportunities"
Public hearings at 7 p.m., will be held at the following locations:
* Monday, March 13, La Crosse - State Office Building, Rooms B-19 and B-20, 3550 Mormon Coulee Rd.
* Tuesday, March 14, Rice Lake - AmeriVu Inn, 1710 South Main Street,
* Wednesday, March 15, Appleton - Agricultural Services Center, Main conference room, 3369 West Brewster St.
* Thursday, March 16, Pewaukee - Wildwood Lodge, N14 W24121 Tower Place.
DNR staff will accept public comments on the proposed waterfowl season structure at each public hearing. Those who would prefer to provide input directly or are unable to attend a hearing can send written comments through midnight Friday, March 17, to Taylor Finger, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707, via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or via phone at 608-266-8841.
After public comments have been collected, the final season structure will be set by the Natural Resources Board at its April 12, meeting in Madison.
To view the proposed waterfowl seasons online, visit and search keyword "waterfowl."
Proposed 2017 migratory bird season structure and daily bag limits
Proposed Early Migratory Bird Seasons:
Early Teal - Sept. 1-7 (6 birds per day) (Extended to fourth year due to USFWS regulatory timeline),
Early Goose - Sept. 1-15 (5 birds per day).
Mourning Dove - Sept. 1 to Nov. 29 (15 birds per day).
Woodcock - Sept. 23 to Nov. 6 (3 birds per day).
Proposed regular duck season structure and daily bag limits:
Proposed opening day shooting hours:
Opening day shooting hours would begin one-half hour before sunrise for all regular waterfowl hunting seasons.
Proposed season structure:
Youth Hunt - Sept. 16-17.
North Zone - Sept. 23 to Nov. 21.
South Zone - Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 and Oct. 14 to Dec. 3 ( five-day split).
Mississippi Zone - Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 and Oct. 14 to Dec. 5 (seven-day split, closed Oct. 7-13).
The proposed daily bag limit statewide would be six ducks, including no more than:
* Four mallards, of which only one may be a hen.
* One black duck.
* Two canvasbacks.
* Three wood ducks.
* One pintail.
* Three scaup.
* Two redheads.
* Five mergansers could be harvested daily, of which no more than two may be hooded.
*15 coot could be harvested daily.
Proposed Canada goose regular season structure and daily bag limits
Proposed daily bag limits:
Two geese each in the Exterior and Horicon zones.
Exterior Zone (92 days total):
North - Sept. 16 to Dec. 16.
South - Sept. 16 to Oct. 8 and Oct. 14 to Dec. 21.
Mississippi - Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 and Oct. 14 to Jan. 4.
Horicon Zone (one period, 12 tags per hunter):
Horicon - Sept. 16 - Dec. 16
Snow/Blue Geese, Ross' Geese, Brant, White-fronted Geese and other geese season structure and daily bag limits
Proposed daily bag limits:
* 20 white geese (snow/blue geese and ross' geese).
* One brant.
* One Greater White-Fronted Geese.
Exterior Zone (92 days total):
North -Sept. 16 to Dec. 16;
South -Sept. 16 to Oct. 8 and Oct. 14 to Dec. 21; and
Mississippi -Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 and Oct. 14 to Jan. 4.
Horicon Zone
Sept. 16 to Dec. 16.
Coot, moorhen, rail, and snipe season structure and daily bag limits
Season structure for coot, moorhen, rail, and snipe will be the same as wild ducks in the zone in which you hunt.
Proposed Daily Bag Limits:
* 15 coot and moorhen.
* 25 sora and Virginia rail.
* Eight snipe.
For more information regarding waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin, search the DNR website,, for keyword "waterfowl."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

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