Today the state Natural Resources Board set the 2013 waterfowl seasons, which include a 60-day duck season and six- bird total bag limit.

“With strong total duck populations and improved water conditions from last year, Wisconsin waterfowl hunters can expect a good season,” said Kent Van Horn, DNR waterfowl ecologist. “Waterfowl hunting is a blend of traditions, friendships and memorable days on the marsh. We wish you a successful hunt and leave you with a reminder to be safe. As always, hunters who take the time to scout preseason are going to be the ones with the best chance of success on opening day.”

“Thanks to all who took time to get involved, attend public meetings and participate in the regulatory process,” added Van Horn. “As always, we heard from hunters with a range of desires and practices. The final season dates represent a compromise of diverse hunter preferences.”

The season structure includes:

Youth Waterfowl Hunt – Sept. 14-15.

  • Daily bag is the same as the normal season bag. Youth participants who may hunt geese should note that these dates are during the early goose season (early season permit required, five bird daily bag).

Ducks – (Opening day shooting hours begin at 9 a.m. in all zones)

  • Northern Zone: Sept. 21 – Nov. 19
  • Southern Zone: Sept. 28 – Oct. 6 and Oct. 12 – Dec. 1
  • Mississippi River Zone: Sept. 21-29 and Oct. 12 – Dec.

Duck bag for all seasons

Daily bag of six ducks total which may include no more than:

  • 4 mallards of which only 1 may be a hen
  • 3 wood ducks
  • 1 black duck
  • 2 redheads
  • 3 scaup
  • 2 pintail
  • 2 canvasback


For species of duck not listed, such as teal and ring-necks, the combined bag total with all other species may not exceed six ducks.

Water conditions on the prairies were significantly improved from last summer and continental duck numbers remain above or near the long-term averages, according to Van Horn.

“This is good news and means a liberal 60-day duck season is offered again in 2013.Additionally, federal rule changes allow an increase in the possession limit from two to three times the daily bag limit,” said Van Horn.

Changes to the allowable daily bag limits include two canvasbacks and three scaup.

“Spring duck counts in Wisconsin were good to average overall, in spite of the late spring and variable conditions at the time of breeding,” said Van Horn. “Sufficient water on the landscape and high continental numbers of ducks should provide good opportunity this fall.”

After several years of review and public input through committees, meetings, and hearings, an additional 10 lakes have been added to the list of water bodies where open water duck hunting is allowed. For a list of these lakes and further details on the approved waterfowl rule, please see the 2013 final waterfowl rule summary at and search keyword, “waterfowl.”

Canada Geese

Early September Canada goose season

  • Sept. 1-15, daily bag limit of five geese.

Exterior Zone

  • North: Sept. 16 – Dec. 16
  • South: Sept. 16 – Oct. 6 and Oct. 12 – Dec. 21
  • Mississippi River subzone: Sept. 21-29 and Oct. 12 – Jan 2
  • Daily bag of 2

Horicon Zone

  • Period 1: Sept. 16 – Oct. 27
  • Period 2: Oct. 28 – Dec. 16
  • Daily bag of 2 with 6 tags per hunter

“In 2013 and beyond, we will again have the extra week of goose hunting that was added last year after a flyway evaluation of stable hunting seasons over the previous five years,” said Van Horn. “Wisconsin now has a total of 107 days of Canada goose hunting statewide, which is the maximum allowed by international treaty.”

For more information on the approved waterfowl rule, please see the 2013 final waterfowl rule summary at and search keyword, “waterfowl.”

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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