Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Duck season likely ‘moderate to liberal’

DNR Report

Madison

Madison – With the overall picture on the 2009 waterfowl
breeding populations being very good, state wildlife officials say
hunters can expect average to liberal season frameworks for this
fall.

Public hearings on the 2009 duck and Canada goose hunting
seasons were held this week in several locations, and the Natural
Resources Board is scheduled to act on a season proposal – to adopt
a duck and goose season framework – at its Wednesday, Aug. 12
meeting in Hayward.

State waterfowl hunting seasons are structured within the bounds
of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s framework. That federal
agency was expected to issue its final decision on that framework
on July 31, which was after the deadline for this issue of
Wisconsin Outdoor News.

“We’ll have our 2009 fall waterfowl season proposal ready to go
Monday, Aug. 3,” said Kent Van Horn, Wisconsin DNR waterfowl
biologist who attended the Mississippi Flyway Council meeting that
this year was held in Manitowoc.

“There are fewer questions on the federal season frameworks this
year because of generally good waterfowl numbers continentally, but
we will not have the final word on the 2009 waterfowl hunting
season frameworks from them until Friday, July 31,” Van Horn said
early last week.

Across the traditional survey area of the Dakotas, Canada, and
Alaska, total duck numbers were estimated at 42 million prior to
breeding, which is 25 percent above the long-term average. Wetland
conditions in the Dakotas and some areas of Canada were good to
excellent, so 2009 production is expected to be good. Population
estimates for all duck species were either similar to, or higher
than, last year, including increases in both canvasback and scaup
populations.

In Wisconsin, conditions were somewhat drier, producing average
duck breeding population estimates of 502,416 total ducks and
200,497 mallards, Van Horn said. Canada goose breeding conditions
in northern Ontario, where about 50 percent of the Wisconsin
harvest originates, were very poor because of late-winter
conditions. However, in Wisconsin the Canada, the goose breeding
population estimate was up 27 percent from 2008 at 148,293.

Each year the NRB adopts a waterfowl season framework during its
August meeting, following the annual flyway council meeting and
state public hearings. The board usually meets later in the month,
but each August the NRB meets earlier than normal so state
waterfowl hunters have more time to plan their hunting seasons.
When the board meets next week, Aug. 12, at the Flat Creek Inn and
Suites in Hayward, waterfowl hunters can anticipate the following
hunting season proposals for 2009:

€ a 60-day overall duck-hunting season;

€ a 60-day, one-bird bag limit on pintails;

€ a 60-day, one-bird bag limit on canvasbacks;

€ a 60-day, two-bird bag limit on scaup;

€ an early September Canada goose season from Sept. 1-15;

€ Two Canada goose-hunting season periods in the Horicon Zone
(Period 1, Sept. 16-Nov. 1, and Period 2, Nov. 2-Dec. 16);

€ A Sept. 26 opening day for the northern duck zone;

€ An Oct. 3 opening day for the southern duck zone;

€ A southern zone duck and exterior zone Canada goose season
closure from Oct. 12-16.

These season proposals also may be found on the DNR’s web site
at http://dnr.wi.gov.

Citizen participation is allowed at all NRB meetings, including
the Aug. 12 meeting for any waterfowl hunters who wish to address
the board. Requests for citizen participation and public
appearances must be made, and written comments must be submitted to
NRB liaison Laurie Ross no later than 4 p.m. on the Friday prior to
the meeting.

To schedule an appearance, contact Ross at (608) 267.7420, or
laurie.ross@wisconsin.gov.
To submit a written comment, mail the comment to: Laurie Ross,
Natural Resources Board liaison, 101 S. Webster Street, P.O. Box
7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.

In addition, written comments on the 2009 waterfowl season may
be submitted through Aug. 6 to: James Christopoulos, Wisconsin DNR,
P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, call (608) 261-6458 or
e-mail to james.christopoulos@wisconsin.gov.

(Editor’s note: Although this issue is dated Friday, Aug. 7,
subscribers often receive their paper on Tuesday of the issue week
(newsstand distribution runs the following week). Many readers will
receive this issue with three public hearings still to take place.
For those readers, the hearings are:

€ Tuesday, Aug. 4, Rice Lake, 7 p.m., Wisconsin Indianhead
Technical College;

€ Wednesday, Aug. 5, Appleton, 7 p.m., Agricultural Services
Center;

€ Thursday, Aug. 6, Pewaukee, 7 p.m., Comfort Suites Lake
Country.

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