he popular two-day youth waterfowl hunt takes place Sept. 14-15 this year, followed by the regular Canada goose hunting season in the Exterior and Horicon zones, which kicks off Monday, Sept. 16.

Youth Waterfowl Hunt

This special hunt offers youth age 12-15 – or those 10 and over hunting under the mentored hunting law – the opportunity to learn skills from an adult without some of the pressure that might be encountered during the regular season.

Normal season bag limits apply. All license and stamp requirements are waived, although participants still need to be HIP registered(free of charge) and if they wish to hunt geese during this time they would need to possess an early season goose permit. Licensed adults may also hunt geese since the early goose season is open during these dates.

While many youth enjoy this special hunt alongside a parent or relative, each year about one in seven hunters are able to participate solely because a family friend, neighbor, or volunteer mentor was generous enough to take the time to teach them the tradition of waterfowling, said Kent Van Horn, DNR migratory game bird ecologist.

Another great opportunity would be a learn to hunt waterfowl clinic. For information on this and other learn-to-hunt opportunities, visit dnr.wi.gov and type “learn to hunt” in the search box.

Regular goose season

“With resident Canada goose breeding numbers similar to recent years and improved production of the Ontario breeders, hunters should have ample opportunities this year, and will again enjoy a full 92 days of hunting in the Exterior zone with a two bird daily bag limit.” said Van Horn.

“When combined with the 15 days of the early season, this puts Wisconsin at 107 days of Canada goose hunting this year, the maximum season length allowed by international treaty”.

On opening day of duck season in each zone, the 9 a.m. start of shooting hours also applies to goose hunters in both the Exterior and Horicon zones.

Exterior Zone Canada goose seasons

  • In the Northern zone: Sept. 16 – Dec. 21
  • In the Southern zone: Sept. 16 – Oct. 6 and Oct. 12 – Dec. 21
  • In the Mississippi River subzone: Sept. 21 – Sept. 29 and Oct. 12 – Jan. 2

The goose season is closed during the duck season split in both the south zone, which is closed Oct. 7-11, and the Mississippi subzone, closed Sept. 30 – Oct. 11.

Horicon Canada goose season

The Horicon zone Canada goose season has two time periods:

  • H1 runs Sept. 16 – Oct. 27
  • H2 goes from Oct. 28 – Dec. 16.

Hunters who applied for the Horicon zone will receive six harvest tags. The daily bag limit is two Canada geese. Boundary and tagging requirements were discussed and approved during the summer regulatory process. These changes to the Horicon zone will take effect in 2014. For more information search for “waterfowl” on the DNR website.

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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