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Public informational hearings near on proposed waterfowl seasons

Wildlife officials expect a 60-day duck season and 92-day goose season

MADISON – While waterfowl hunters won’t know the official season dates and bag limits until after federal wildlife officials set the annual framework and the season is approved by the State Natural Resources Board, state wildlife officials expect another 60-day season for ducks and possibly an additional seven days for Canada geese.

“We won’t have a final waterfowl season proposal for the fall 2012 seasons until Monday, July 30,” said Kent Van Horn, Wisconsin state waterfowl biologist who just returned from the Mississippi Flyway Council meetings. “However, much of the news this year is good. Although we saw average wetland conditions across most of North America at the time of breeding, waterfowl numbers remain high from last year. Late summer and early fall rains will be particularly important to providing fall waterfowl habitat this year.”

State waterfowl hunting seasons are structured within the bounds of an annual framework decided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. With the overall picture on the 2012 waterfowl breeding populations being good, hunters can expect average to liberal season frameworks in 2012.

Season to be set by Natural Resources Board, August 8

Later this week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service be releasing the final frameworks within which the state agencies can set the fall 2012 waterfowl hunting seasons. However, based on available survey results and analysis, state wildlife officials expect the following season parameters:

  • 60-day overall duck hunting season with a total duck bag limit of six ducks
  • 60-day, two bird bag on pintails
  • 60-day, one bird bag on canvasback
  • 60-day, four bird bag on scaup
  • Early September Canada goose season from September 1-15
  • Two Canada goose hunting season periods in the Horicon zone - Period 1 – Sept. 16-Oct. 28, Period 2 – Oct. 29- Dec. 16
  • An extra seven days of Exterior zone Canada goose hunting, for a total of 92 days.

The Natural Resources Board will set the 2012 season structure at its Aug. 8 meeting in Germantown. At that time, Wisconsin waterfowl hunters will know the final hunting season structure for 2012:

“We expect to post the season proposals on the waterfowl page of the DNR website dnr.wi.gov/ early next week,” said Van Horn.

Waterfowl hunters are reminded of upcoming public meetings and hearings on the 2012 duck and Canada goose hunting seasons. The latest information on the status of waterfowl and waterfowl management decisions in Wisconsin will be presented. Anyone interested in ducks and geese is encouraged to attend these meetings. Citizens can attend one of several hearings or submit comments to: James Christopoulos, assistant migratory game bird ecologist, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 (608) 261-6458 james.christopoulos@wisconsin.gov through midnight Aug. 2, 2012.

Post-Flyway meetings will be held July 28 at the Holiday Inn Wausau-Rothschild, 1000 Imperial Ave. with a Conservation Congress meeting at 9 a.m. and a Public Meeting at 1p.m. The public informational hearings will all be at 7 p.m. on the following dates:

  • July 30, La Crosse - DNR State Office Building, Rooms B-19 and B-20, 3550 Mormon Coulee Road.
  • July 31, Spooner – Spooner High School, choir room, 801 County Road A.
  • August 1, Appleton –Agricultural Services Center, main conference room, 3369 West Brewster St.
  • August 2, Pewaukee –Wildwood Lodge (formerly Comfort Suites Lake Country), N14 W24121 Tower Place.

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

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