New teal season for Wisconsin and wolf quota update
Milwaukee — Wisconsin has a new seven-day early – and experimental – teal season beginning this fall, as well as a timber wolf harvest quota of 156 animals, based on decisions made by Natural Resources Board members on June 25.
Board members approved a new experimental early teal season that will be open from Sept. 1-7 this fall. Only blue-winged teal and green-winged teal will be eligible for harvest, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requiring the Wisconsin DNR to monitor hunters to be sure they are not shooting at other species, such as wood ducks and mallards.
The bag limit is six teal daily. Shooting hours will open at 9 a.m. on opening morning, Sept. 1, but from Sept. 2-7 shooting hours will open at sunrise and close at 7 p.m.
This is the first year that Wisconsin has been offered this early season, which traditionally has been held in southern states. Wisconsin was not previously offered the season because it was considered a “breeding” state, and there were concerns that other species would be shot by mistake.
Hunters have had concerns that this could chase ducks out of marshes prior to the normal duck season, and that is why the state has limited the season to just seven days when the federal framework would have allowed up to a 16-day experimental season.
The board also approved a wolf quota of 156 animals for the 2014 season. In 2013, the quota was 275 wolves and 257 wolves (134 males and 123 females) were harvested.
The DNR believes that the late winter minimum count of wolves in 2014 is about 660 to 689 wolves, which is down about 18 percent from the winter of 2013.
The 2014 quota will be divided among the six zones in the state, with: Zone 1 (northwest counties), 33 wolves; Zone 2 (northeast counties), 16 wolves; Zone 3 (west-central counties), 41 wolves; Zone Zone 4 (east-central counties), nine wolves; Zone 5 (Central Forest Region), 21 wolves; and Zone 6 (southern two-thirds of Wisconsin), 36 wolves.
The harvest can be adjusted depending on what tribal governments decide to harvest this year.
Hunters must apply for wolf permits by Aug. 1. The season opens Oct. 15 and ends in February, unless the quota is reached earlier.