The last Saturday in September marks the opening of duck hunting in the Wisconsin southern migratory g game bird zone. This season opens at 9 a.m. Sept 29 and runs through Oct. 7, then closes for a five-day split before reopening on Saturday Oct. 13 and running through Dec. 2.

Waterfowl hunters should note that the goose season in the south portion of the Exterior zone will also be closed during the five-day split. This split does not affect goose hunting in the Horicon zone.

Hunters along the Mississippi river are reminded that it is a separate zone with differing season dates. This new zone has a longer split, so hunters should be aware that hunting in the Mississippi river zone will be closed from Oct. 1 through Oct. 12 and reopen on the Sept. 13.

“With encouraging spring breeding counts, Wisconsin waterfowlers could have potential for a good hunting season, especially if water levels improve,” said Kent Van Horn, migratory game bird ecologist for the state Department of Natural Resources.

“Continental breeding surveys that have been ongoing for 57 years reported record high numbers of ducks this spring. However, even with promising breeding indications, local conditions and scouting will be the most important factors when pursuing ducks this fall. Because some areas of the state remain very dry, scouting this fall will be particularly important to identify the areas that are holding water and birds.”

The daily bag limit for the full 60 days is six ducks, not to include more than four mallards of which only one may be a hen, three wood ducks, one black duck, two redheads, four scaup, two pintail, and one canvasback. In addition, the bag limit includes five mergansers to include not more than two hooded mergansers. Coot daily bag is 15.

Duck and other migratory game bird hunters are reminded to make sure they are registered for the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) if they did not do so when purchasing a license. It takes only a minute and is free of charge at any license vendor or online.

More information on waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin is available by searching for “waterfowl” on the DNR website.

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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