Wisconsin duck hunters may file online comments through March 18 on 2016 season framework
Waterfowl hunters have a week to express their opinions on the framework for the 2016 duck and goose hunting seasons.
Beginning this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is changing the timing of releasing the framework for the fall seasons.
Previously the framework was established following spring surveys of pond numbers and preliminary numbers of ducks returning to the prairie breeding grounds.
But beginning this year, the USFWS is establishing hunting seasons based on last fall’s harvest and expected wintering numbers.
That means that the USFWS will give the states the general framework in early April and the state Natural Resources Board will meet April 13 to finalize the season regulations.
Kent Van Horn, DNR migratory bird ecologist, expects to receive a season that is 60 days in length and have the same six-duck daily bag limit as last year.
Some of the dates that could be considered this year would be the youth hunt on Sept. 17-18, the North Zone opening date of Sept. 24, the South Zone opening on Oct. 1 with a five-day split season, and the Mississippi River Zone opening Oct. 1 with a seven-day split.
The Canada goose season could be 92 days in length, with a daily bag limit of two birds.
The Horicon Zone could run from Sept. 16 to Dec. 16, and rather than having two different time periods for hunting, there may only be one period for the entire time.
The DNR is holding public hearings on proposals: March 14 in LaCrosse; March 15 in Rice Lake; March 16 in Appleton; and March 17 in Pewaukee.
Hunters can also e-mail their comments on the season, what they want or what they don’t want, to email@example.com by midnight Friday, March 18.