Contact(s): Trenton Rohrer, DNR assistant migratory game bird ecologist, 608-261-6458
MADISON - Migratory game bird hunters are reminded that Friday, Sept. 1 marks the opener for Wisconsin's mourning dove, early teal and early goose hunting seasons.
Canada Goose hunting begins with an early season Sept. 1-15, with a daily bag limit of five geese. Goose hunters are required to complete registration within 48 hours of harvest; however, in-field validation of harvest permits is no longer required. During the early goose season, regulations apply statewide, with no zone-specific regulations.
An additional year of the experimental early teal-only duck hunting season will run Sept. 1-7, with a daily bag limit of six teal. Wisconsin is required to have an additional year of this experimental season due to a change in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulatory timeline. Opening day shooting hours for the teal season will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., followed by sunrise to 7 p.m. for the remainder of the season. Early teal hunters are not required to purchase any licenses or permits in addition to those required for hunting ducks during regular waterfowl seasons.
While the early teal season is offered statewide, some state-owned properties have special waterfowl hunting limitations. For example, Mead Wildlife Area does not allow waterfowl hunting prior to the regular duck season, and Lake Mills Wildlife Area (Zeloski Marsh) has unique shooting hour restrictions. Contact a local wildlife biologist or consult the 2017 Migratory Bird Regulations for a list of areas with special requirements or limitations.
The 2017 mourning dove hunting season will run from Sept. 1 to Nov. 29. This season structure is identical to 2016. The daily bag limit is 15 doves, and the possession limit for doves is three times the daily bag limit.
With the transition to Go Wild in 2016, the Canada goose harvest registration phone number is now consistent with all other species registered in Wisconsin - this system also provides for online registration. Hunters can register online at gamereg.wi.gov or via phone at 844-426-3734 (844 GAME-REG).
In addition, Early, Exterior and Horicon zone goose permits are printed on regular white paper, rather than green thermal paper. While afield, hunters must carry their Canada goose harvest permit - acceptable methods of proof include a paper copy, DNR-approved PDF displayed on a mobile device, Wisconsin driver's license, or Go Wild Conservation Card. In-field validation of a goose harvest permit is no longer required, but hunters are still required to register their geese within 48 hours of harvest.
If you find or harvest a banded bird, please report it at www.reportband.gov. To report the bird, you will need the band number (or numbers), location, time, and method of recovery. Even if the band you recover is inscribed with a 1-800 telephone number, it must be reported at www.reportband.gov.
Dove hunters are encouraged to check out the Fields and Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool. FFLIGHT helps hunters of all types locate young aspen and alder habitat, pheasant-stocked public hunting grounds, and managed dove fields.
FFLIGHT also allows users to print maps and find GPS coordinates to assist in navigation and provides measuring tools to help estimate acreage and walking distance. Mobile users can use this tool on-the-go to find suitable habitat for hunting. For more information, search keyword "FFLIGHT."