Little change to Wisconsin waterfowl, migratory game bird hunting regs, seasons

The law prohibits people from repeatedly bothering hunters.

MADISON, Wis. — Migratory game bird hunters in Wisconsin will have seasons for duck, geese, dove, woodcock and other migratory game birds that are nearly identical to the structure seen in 2016 under a rule approved by the state Natural Resources Board at its April 12 meeting in Madison.

Similar to last year, the Horicon Canada goose hunting zone will have one single continuous 92-day time period, rather than the two split time periods experienced in the past. In addition, the pintail daily bag limit based on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service frameworks, has been reduced from two to one.

The first of the 2017 migratory game bird seasons will open with the early Canada goose, mourning dove and early teal seasons. Regular waterfowl hunting seasons will include a 60-day duck season and 92-day goose season.

As a reminder to Canada goose hunters, registration of Canada geese within 48 hours of harvest is still required. However, in-field validation of the Canada goose hunting permit is no longer required. Canada goose harvest registration can be conducted via phone at 1-844-GAME-REG (1-844-426-3734) or online at GameReg.Wi.Gov.

Early season dates:

  • Early Teal – Sept. 1-7 (six birds per day; extended to fourth year due to USFWS regulatory timeline);
  • Early Goose – Sept. 1-15 (five birds per day);
  • Mourning Dove – Sept. 1 to Nov. 29 (15 birds per day); and
  • Woodcock – Sept. 23 to Nov. 6 (three birds per day).

Duck season dates and bag limits:

Opening day shooting hours would begin one-half hour before sunrise for all regular waterfowl hunting seasons.

  • Youth Hunt – Sept. 16-17;
  • North Zone – Sept. 23 to Nov. 21;
  • South Zone – Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 and Oct. 14 to Dec. 3 ( five-day split); and
  • Mississippi Zone – Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 and Oct. 14 to Dec. 5 (seven-day split, closed Oct. 7-13).

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

  • Four mallards, of which only one may be a hen.
  • One black duck.
  • Two canvasbacks.
  • Three wood ducks.
  • One pintail.
  • Three scaup.
  • Two redheads.

Five mergansers can be harvested daily, of which no more than two may be hooded.

Regular goose season dates:

The state is apportioned into two goose hunting zones for the regular season: Horicon and Exterior. The Mississippi River is a sub-zone within the Exterior Zone. Daily bag limits are two geese each in the Exterior and Horicon zones.

Exterior Zone (92 days total):

  • North – Sept. 16 to Dec. 16;
  • South – Sept. 16 to Oct. 8 and Oct. 14 to Dec. 21; and
  • Mississippi – Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 and Oct. 14 to Jan. 4.

Horicon Zone (one period, 12 tags per hunter):

  • Horicon – Sept. 16 – Dec. 16.

For more information regarding waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin, visit and search keyword “waterfowl.”

Categories: Hunting News, Waterfowl

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