Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Approves 2020 Migratory Bird Hunting Season Framework And Regulations | Wis.Community

Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Approves 2020 Migratory Bird Hunting Season Framework And Regulations

April 1, 2020 - 5:37pm
DNR

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Wednesday voted unanimously for the Department of Natural Resources to move forward with proposed rules for the 2020 migratory bird season framework and regulations. Thanks to input from hunters and new scientific research, Wisconsin will see some notable changes.

Highlights from the approved season structure include:

  • North duck zone will open one week earlier than last season, resulting in two statewide openers, one for the North on Sept. 26 and one for the South and Mississippi zones on Oct. 3. The regular duck season will run for 60 days;
  • A 92-day regular goose season with a second split in the South Canada goose zone resulting in a goose season that is open during the Christmas and New Year's holidays;
  • An increase in the hen mallard daily bag limit (from one to two) based on US Fish and Wildlife Service season framework; and
  • A decrease in the scaup bag limit to one scaup for 15 days and two scaup for 45 days based on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service season framework.
  • Shooting hours for all migratory bird seasons are open from one half hour before sunrise to sunset with the exception of the early teal season. Shooting hours for early teal open at sunrise and close at sunset.

"These season frameworks were based on the most current scientific data and input we received from the public, input from conservation and hunting groups and results from a waterfowl hunter survey," said Taylor Finger, DNR migratory bird ecologist. "We expanded our outreach efforts in 2020 using social media to increase our engagement with our users, and we saw great attendance at statewide public hearings. In total, we received more than 2,100 comments regarding the 2020 waterfowl season proposals."

Additionally, the NRB set a new zone structure to go into effect for the 2021-2025 seasons. The board approved a three-zone/one-split structure that includes the North Zone, South Zone and an Open Water Zone. The Open Water Zone falls 500 feet from shore on the coasts of Lake Michigan and Green Bay. This decision moves the previously held Mississippi River Zone into the South Zone beginning fall of 2021. Learn more about waterfowl hunting here.

The public plays a crucial role in setting the waterfowl season structure, and Finger thanked those who submitted a comment or attended a meeting. View the 2020 public input results and comments here.

Early season dates are as follows:

Early Species Season

Open

Close

Limit

Early Teal

Sept. 1

Sept. 9

Six birds per day

Early Goose

Sept. 1

Sept 15

Five birds per day

Mourning Dove

Sept. 1

Nov. 29

15 birds per day

Woodcock

Sept. 19

Nov. 2

Three birds per day

Duck season dates and bag limits are as follows. Opening day shooting hours will begin one-half hour before sunrise for all regular waterfowl hunting seasons.

Duck Season

First Open

First Close

Second Open

Second Close

Youth Hunt

Sept. 19

Sept. 20

  

North Zone

Sept. 26

Nov. 24

  

South Zone

Oct. 3

Oct 11

Oct 17

Dec. 6

Mississippi Zone

Oct. 3

Oct 11

Oct. 17

Dec. 6

The daily bag limit statewide is six ducks, including no more than:

Duck Bag Limits

Species

Daily limit (total daily bag limit is six ducks of any species)

Mallard

4 (of which only 2 may be a hen)

Black Duck

2

Canvasback

2

Wood Duck

3

Pintail

1

Redhead

2

Merganser

5

There is a 60-day restrictive scaup bag limit (federal restriction; 15 days at one scaup/day and 45 days at two scaup/day):

60-day Restrictive Scaup Bag Limit

Zone

Period

Scaup/day limit

North Zone

Sept. 28 - Oct. 10

One/day

Oct. 11 - Nov. 24

Two/day

South Zone

Oct. 3 - Oct. 10

One/day

Oct. 11 - Nov. 24

Two/day

Mississippi River Zone

Oct. 3 - Oct. 11

One/day

Oct. 17 - Oct. 22

Two/day

Regular goose season dates are as follows for the Exterior Zone (92 days total):

Regular Goose Season Dates

Zone

First Open

First Close

Second Open

Second Close

Third Open

Third Close

North Zone

Sept. 16

Dec. 16

    

South Zone

Sept. 16

Oct. 11

Oct. 17

Dec. 6

Dec. 22

Jan. 5, 2021

Mississippi Zone

Oct. 3

Oct. 11

Oct. 17

Jan. 5

  

DNR Office of Communications

Sarah Hoye
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
101 S Webster, P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707
Media Line: (608) 266-3143 TDD: 711
Email: [email protected]
dnr.wi.gov   |   wisconsin.gov

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