Wisconsin Natural Resources Board expected to adopt 60-day duck hunt at April 11 Madison meeting

Members of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) are expected to approve the DNR’s approval for a 2018 60-day duck season when board members gather April 11 in Madison and the DNR’s GEF 2 headquarters. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on that Wednesday in Room G09 (lower level) of GEF 2.

The season is expected to look similar to previous waterfowl seasons overall as far as season length and duck bag limits, but with one significant change on the duck side of the season – the duck zones would all open on the same day, if NRB members approve the season framework as offered by the DNR.

The duck season would open Saturday, Sept. 29, or one week later than “normal” for the northern duck zone. The DNR has fielded grievances from northern Wisconsin duck hunters for years about the one-week difference in openers from north to south. Their objection – southern zone hunters flooded the northern zone during that opening weekend, then went back south a week later for that zone’s opener.

The DNR’s proposal for the 2018 waterfowl season also includes a continuous season in the northern zone, with a five-day closure in the southern zone and a 92-day exterior zone goose season. The DNR is also proposing a bag limit increase for exterior zone Canada geese to three birds per day. The DNR is also suggesting the elimination of the Horicon Canada goose zone.

The NRB will also consider a request from the DNR to buy property for a new Milwaukee office and will hear an update on elk management and Wisconsin’s first elk hunt. The DNR wants to buy 2.1 acres and lease 1.8 acres from the Wisconsin DOT in Milwaukee to build a new DNR Southeast Region headquarters in the Menominee River valley area.

The NRB is also expected to go into closed session at about noon to discuss the DNR’s “competitive bargaining” on a real estate transaction in northern Wisconsin.

NRB meeting agendas are always posts on the DNR website. Citizens may testify on any agenda item, but they must register with Laurie Ross, board liaison. The board also allows time at all meetings for public comments on any topic – again by registering ahead of time with Ross. Registration information is available on the DNR website. Sportsmen who cannot attend an NRB meeting may still view all meetings since they are webcast live. Those webcasts are also archived, so may be viewed at any time.

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