Madison, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) - The Natural Resources Board set 2011 waterfowl season dates and bag limits and approved creation of a third waterfowl hunting zone at its meeting today in Spring Green.
“Waterfowl hunters can look forward to a full 60-day duck season with a six-duck daily bag, and an 85-day exterior goose zone season,” said Kent Van Horn, Department of Natural Resources waterfowl ecologist. “It was a good year for duck production in Wisconsin and across the continent. Overall conditions were very good for breeding ducks. The continental breeding duck estimates hit a record level at 45.6 million ducks making 2011 good year to be a duck hunter."
2011 waterfowl season structure:
During the 60-day season duck season, the daily bag limit is six ducks in total. The six-duck total may include no more than four mallards, of which only one can be a hen, three wood ducks, two redheads, one black duck, two pintail, two scaup and one canvasback. In addition, five mergansers to include not more than two hooded mergansers. Coot daily bag of 15. (For duck species not listed such as teal and ring-necked ducks, the combined total with all other species may not exceed six ducks).
Northern Zone-Sept. 24 at 9 a.m.-Nov. 22.
Southern Zone-Oct. 1 at 9 a.m.-Oct. 9, and Oct. 15 –Dec. 4.
Mississippi River Zone-Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. – Oct. 2, Oct. 15-Dec. 4 (12 day split Oct 3-14),
Youth Waterfowl Hunt:
The youth waterfowl hunt will be Sept. 17-18. Youth may harvest Canada geese in all zones during these 2 days. All bag limits and tag requirements apply for the zone hunted. These days overlap with open goose seasons in most areas so adults will also be able to harvest geese but not ducks during the youth hunt.
The state is apportioned into two goose hunting zones: Horicon and Exterior. Other goose management subzones within the Exterior Zone include Brown County and the Mississippi River.
Exterior Zone: 85 days. Daily bag of two Canada geese.
North Zone: Sept. 16-23 and Sept. 24, (9a.m.)-Dec. 9.
South Zone: September 16-30, October 1 (9 a.m.)-Oct. 9 and Oct. 15-Dec. 14.
Mississippi River Subzone: Sept. 24 (9a.m.)-Oct. 2, Oct. 15-Dec. 29.
Horicon Time Periods: Hunters with Horicon zone permits will be issued six tags for the time period that they are awarded. The daily bag limit will be two geese with a possession limit of six.
Horicon : 92 days Period 1 Sept. 16-Oct. 30, Period 2 Oct. 31 –Dec. 16
Other Geese: Brant and Light geese Seasons will be the same as for the Canada goose zones/subzones. The daily bag limit will be one brant and 20 snow, blue or Ross' geese. White fronted geese season will be the same as Canada geese for the Exterior zone and within the Horicon zone the season will be from Sept. 20-Dec. 16. The daily bag limit will be one.
Third Waterfowl hunting zone added
The new three-zone season structure adds a third waterfowl zone to the existing northern and southern duck zones. The new third zone consists of the Mississippi River from roughly Prescott to the Wisconsin – Illinois border, west of the railroad, and is identical to the current Mississippi River Canada goose subzone. What is now identified as the Mississippi River Zone for duck hunters will open Sept. 24 – Oct. 2; reopening Oct 15 through Dec. 4. Goose seasons in this zone will continue through Dec. 29.
Wisconsin’s mentored hunting law allows any registered hunter age 18 and older to introduce anyone age 10 and older to hunting without the mentee first passing a hunter safety education course.