Waterfowl Hunters Reminded of Upcoming Season Proposal Hearings and Meetings

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The Canada goose is a popular game bird. Wisconsin has two populations of Canada geese; those produced within Wisconsin are known more correctly as the Giant Canada Goose and its slightly smaller cousin, the Canada Goose, which is reared along the shores of Hudson's Bay Ontario. - Photo credit: Jack BartholmaiMADISON – Waterfowl hunters are reminded of upcoming public meetings and hearings on the 2008 duck and Canada goose hunting seasons. Citizens can attend one of several hearings or submit comments directly through midnight Aug. 7, 2008.

State waterfowl hunting season are structured around the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s framework. That federal agency is expected to issue its final decision on that framework after Aug. 1, 2008. With the overall picture on the 2008 waterfowl breeding populations mixed, hunters can expect some significant changes in 2008 hunting seasons, according to Kent Van Horn, the Wisconsin state waterfowl biologist who just returned from Mississippi Flyway Council meetings.

In Wisconsin, a total duck breeding population of 627,000 was up from 2007 and 45 percent above the long-term average. However, key breeding areas in the U.S. and Canadian prairies were dry when surveyed in May and these results impact the federally mandated hunting season structure, Van Horn said. Mallard, blue-winged teal and green-winged teal numbers from across Canada and the United States were at good levels and similar to 2007. Canvasback and pintail counts dropped significantly from 2007 while scaup and redhead numbers were similar to 2007.

Season to be set by Natural Resources Board, Aug 13, 2008
The Natural Resources Board will set the 2008 season structure at its Aug. 13 meeting in Platteville. At this time, Wisconsin waterfowl hunters can anticipate the following hunting season proposals for 2008:

  • 60 day overall duck hunting season
  • Season closure on canvasback ducks
  • In many opinions the Wood Duck is among the most colorful of Wisconsin's native waterfowl. About 1 in 5 ducks harvested in Wisconsin is a "woodie". - Photo credit: Jack Bartholmai60 day, one bird bag on pintails
  • A daily bag limit reduction or a partial season closure on scaup
  • Potential bag limit change for wood duck
  • Two Canada goose hunting season periods in the Horicon zone – Period 1 Sept. 16-Nov. 2, Period 2 Nov. 3- Dec. 16
  • A Sept. 27 opening day for the northern duck zone and an Oct. 4 opening day for the southern duck zone
  • A southern zone duck and exterior zone Canada goose season closure from October 13-17

“We expect to post the season proposals on our Web site, dnr.wi.gov, early next week,” Van Horn said.

In addition to the scheduled meetings and hearings listed below, comments can be submitted to: James Christopoulos, 101 S. Webster St. , PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, (608) 261-6458, or via e-mail: james [dot] christopoulos [at] wisconsin [dot] gov.

2008 Post-Flyway Meetings
Aug. 2, Wausau
, 9 a.m. (Conservation Congress Meeting), the Plaza Hotel & Suites, Three Rivers room, 201 N. 17th Ave., 1- (800) 754-9728

Aug. 2, Wausau, 1 p.m. (DNR Public Meeting), the Plaza Hotel & Suites, Three Rivers room, 201 N. 17th Ave. 1- (800) 754-9728

2008 Public Hearing Locations
Aug. 4, La Crosse
, 7 p.m., State Office Building, Rooms B-19 and B-20, 3550 Mormon Coulee Road. (608) 785-9000

The Mallard Duck is the most common waterfowl found in hunter's game bags making up nearly 40 percent of the annual duck harvest. Most of the Mallards harvested by Wisconsin hunters are produced in Wisconsin. - Photo credit: Jack BartholmaiAug. 5, Rice Lake, 7 p.m., WI Indianhead Technical College (WITC), Room 241, 1900 College Dr. (715) 234-7082 ex: 5249

Aug. 6, Appleton, 7 p.m., Agricultural Services Center, Main conference room, 3369 West Brewster St. (920) 832-1804

Aug. 7, Delafield, 7 p.m., Kettle Moraine State Forest – Lapham Peak Unit, Trecker Lodge, W329 N846 Co. C. (262) 646-3025. Park entry fee will be waived for participants.

Natural Resources Board Meeting
Aug. 13, Platteville,
8:30 a.m., Governor Dodge Hotel and Convention Center, 300 W. Business Hwy 151. 1 (888) 447-5457

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kent Van Horn, (608) 266-8841