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Weekly News Published - August 15, 2017 by the Central Office


Sept. 1 marks opener for mourning dove, early teal and early goose hunting seasons

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.

Wisconsin will again be offering an early teal hunting season in 2017.
Wisconsin will again be offering an early teal hunting season in 2017.
Photo Credit: DNR

To view a full list of waterfowl hunting seasons [PDF] and the 2017 Migratory Game Bird Regulations, search keyword "waterfowl."

Canada Goose

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.

Mourning Dove

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.

Go Wild

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 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.

Band Reporting

If you find or harvest a banded bird, please report it at 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

Fields and Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool

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."



Lake Trout season closure in Apostle Islands region

BAYFIELD, Wis. -- Lake Trout fishing in Lake Superior has been exceptionally good this season. So good that harvest quotas have been reached requiring the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to close the lake trout season for sport and charter anglers at 11:59 p.m. on August 20, 2017 in the Apostle Island region (WI-2) of Lake Superior.

Lake Superior lake trout zones
Lake Superior lake trout zones

"Following a slow start to the season, July lake trout fishing has been very good, nearly equaling harvest the prior seven months" said Terry Margenau, DNR Lake Superior fisheries supervisor.

The recreational season for lake trout started Dec. 1, 2016 and typically runs through Sept. 30, 2017. However, the Natural Resources Board approved an emergency rule last December that included conditions where the season would close prior to September 30 if the recreational lake trout harvest reaches 7,350 fish or 75 percent of the total allowable recreational lake trout harvest of 9,800 fish for WI-2

According to Darryl Fenner, owner of D's Superior Fishing Charters, fishing has been outstanding in the Apostle Islands area in the past couple months. However, he added, "We as charter fishermen support protection of the resource however that needs to be done."

Lake trout are managed in Lake Superior using a quota system where various user groups are allocated an allowable catch. These user groups include: sport and charter fishers, state licensed commercial fishers, and tribal home use and commercial fishers. While commercial fishers are given their allotment in the form of tags at the beginning of the season, sport harvest is monitored by using a creel survey.

The emergency rule was approved by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board at its December meeting following a series of public meetings and an online survey where anglers were given the opportunity to select their preferred regulation.

Margenau said "we provided anglers with four regulation options last fall and the associated risk of reaching the quota with each regulation. The current regulation was the most preferred by those responding to the poll".

Even though the lake trout season will end early, there are still plenty of other fish in the lake for recreational anglers to enjoy. Shortly there will be opportunities for fishing coho salmon and brown trout as they return nearshore.

Chequamegon Bay offers great fishing for numerous species including walleye, northern pike, perch, and even sturgeon. Lake trout fishing will continue to provide a recreational fishery in WI-1, from Superior to Bark Point.



Pick your favorite park for recreation activities in the 2017 Gold Seal Contest

MADISON - It may be the peak of summer, but people have an opportunity to vote for their favorite Wisconsin State Park system property for winter recreation. That is one of the 10 categories in the 2017 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Gold Seal Award contest.

It may be the peak of summer, but people have an opportunity to vote for their favorite park for winter recreation in the 2017 Gold Seal Contest.
It may be the peak of summer, but people have an opportunity to vote for their favorite park for winter recreation in the 2017 Gold Seal Contest.
Photo Credit: DNR

The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is the umbrella organization for the more than 80 local friends groups organizations organized to provide support for state park system properties. The organization's mission is preserving, promoting, protecting, and enhancing Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas. The organization runs the Gold Seal Award program each year to highlight Wisconsin's parks, trails, and forests.

"If you are a cross-country skier, camper, biker, hiker, angler, or park visitor, cast your vote for your favorite state park, forest, or trail in one of our new categories," said Patty Loosen, state park friends coordinator.

The contest ends on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 and the winning parks, forests, trails, or recreational areas will be honored with a Gold Seal Award at the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Awards Banquet on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017.

The 2017 categories are:

Still time to enter Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar photo contest

People have until August 31, 2017 to enter their favorite photographs from a Wisconsin state park, forest, trail or recreation areas in a contest with winning photos to be included in the 2018 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar. Photos are needed from all four seasons in state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas.

Again in 2018, in addition to being available for purchase, the calendar will be distributed to more than 85,000 subscribers of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine in the December 2017 issue.

A winning entry in the 2017 calendar - Big Bay State Park, Photo by Michael Knapstein
A winning entry in the 2017 calendar - Big Bay State Park, Photo by Michael Knapstein
Photo Credit: Michael Knapstein

Submissions are only accepted from amateur photographers ages 14 and over. Professional photographers who earn more than half of their income taking pictures are not eligible. Employees of the DNR and board members of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and their immediate family members are not eligible to win. Photographs must have been shot within the past three years (since Jan. 1, 2015) and no more than four photos may be entered.

More information and details on entering both contests and rules are available on the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks website [] by clicking on the tab for "Gold Seal Contest" and "photo contest."

For more information about Wisconsin State Park System properties, search the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website,, for keyword "parks."



Wisconsin Bat Festival swoops into Milwaukee Aug. 26

Live bat shows, interactive displays, bat houses and more

MILWAUKEE - The public can see bats from around the world up close, including one with a six-foot wingspan, and enjoy hands-on activities and interactive displays at the Wisconsin Bat Festival on Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory "The Domes" in Milwaukee.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is presented by the Organization for Bat Conservation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory and Milwaukee County Parks. The festival is FREE with general admission to the Domes, located at 524 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee, WI 53215.

View Slideshow SLIDE SHOW | 11 photos

Photos from the 2016 Bat Festival

After the festival, people can remain for Science Night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. as bat researchers show how they use bat detectors, nets and radio transmitters to study bats in Wisconsin.

"Attending the festival is a great way to have fun, learn and show your support for Wisconsin bats," says Jennifer Redell, a DNR cave and mine specialist.

The festival features live bat shows with Rob Mies, TV personality and director of the Organization for Bat Conservation.

Attendees also will be able to:

Wisconsin has eight species of bats, all of which eat insects and are an important part of healthy Wisconsin ecosystems. Four species are known as the cave bats and hibernate in caves and mines throughout the winter. The cave bats are all susceptible to the devastating bat disease white-nose syndrome, which has killed more than 6 million bats in North America since 2006 and is now decimating populations of Wisconsin bats.



Grosbeaks Galore: Birds on Your Landscape workshop will help landowners learn more about managing their land for migratory birds

MADISON -- People have up until August 25 to sign up for an upcoming workshop on how to better attract migratory birds to their property. The next Grosbeaks Galore: Birds on Your Landscape workshop will be held Sept. 9 in Baileys Harbor. This workshop is an opportunity for landowners to learn how to manage their land to attract and benefit migratory birds.

Grosbeaks Galore workshops focu on attracting migratory birds to your property.
Grosbeaks Galore workshops focu on attracting migratory birds to your property.
Photo Credit: David Franzen

The workshop will be held at the Ridges Sanctuary, 8166 Hwy 57, Baileys Harbor and begins at 9 a.m. An admission fee of $10 for Ridges members or $13 for non-members includes excellent speakers, field trips to Door County migratory bird stopover habitats, opportunities to talk with experts, snacks, and door prizes. To register by Aug. 25, contact phone: 920-839-2802 x 110.

"The Grosbeaks Galore workshop is a great way to learn how to attract migratory birds to your property," said Kim Grveles, bird ecologist and workshop coordinator with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "We've got an excellent lineup of speakers, exhibits, field tours and more - anyone with an interest in helping Wisconsin's migratory birds will enjoy this workshop."

Each spring and fall, millions of birds sweep through the Great Lakes region and make pit stops at a variety of sites throughout Wisconsin on their way to breeding grounds as far north as Greenland and wintering grounds as far south as Tierra del Fuego. These "stopover" sites help provide birds with critical food and shelter during migration, and habitat loss can pose a threat to the health and stability of migratory bird populations in the region.

Bill Volkert, a Wisconsin naturalist and wildlife educator, will return to the workshop as the keynote speaker. Volkert served 27 years for the DNR as wildlife educator at Horicon Marsh. Now a world traveler and birder, he appears frequently on Wisconsin Public Radio to share his knowledge of birds.

Other speakers include Grveles, Jay Watson, insect ecologist with the DNR Natural Heritage Conservation Program, Matt Peter, land manager and invasive species expert with the Ridges Sanctuary, and Craig Thompson, bird conservationist with the DNR and Osa Conservation in Costa Rica, will talk about wintering grounds and full life cycle of birds.

Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in field tours with a number of bird and habitat experts. Topics include:

"Join us on Sept. 9 for a fun-filled day learning how to make a small investment on your property that will pay off big for migratory birds," Grveles says.

For more information contact phone: 920-839-2802 x 110.



Deer hunters with disabilities are encouraged to sign up for a sponsored hunt before Sept. 1 deadline

MADISON -- Eligible hunters who are interested in participating in the 2017 gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities are encouraged to contact a land sponsor to sign up for a hunt before the Sept. 1 hunter participation deadline.

As of the June 1, 2017 sponsor application deadline, 70 landowners have enrolled over 80,000 acres of land (an increase from 2016) across 42 counties for the October 7-15 hunt. For a complete list of 2017 sponsors, visit and search keywords "disabled deer hunt."

The deadline to sign up to host a hunt for deer hunters with disabilities is Sept. 1
The deadline to sign up to host a hunt for deer hunters with disabilities is Sept. 1
Photo Credit: DNR

"We are thrilled with the number of sponsors that are willing to provide opportunities for our hunters," said assistant big game ecologist Maggie Stewart. "Giving hunters access to over 80,000 acres of land is instrumental in making this unique opportunity a success and for continuing Wisconsin's deer hunting tradition."

Hunters or assistants should contact sponsors directly to sign up for a hunt. Hunters will be asked to provide their name, contact information, and DNR customer ID number. To be eligible, hunters must possess a valid Class A, Class B long-term permit that allows shooting from a vehicle or Class C or D disabled hunting permit. As in the past, eligible hunters must also possess a gun deer license.

Certain enrolled properties are able to accommodate more hunters than others, and smaller properties may only be able to allow the minimum number of three hunters. Interested hunters are advised to contact potential sponsors as early as possible to determine if space is available.

For more general information regarding deer hunting in Wisconsin, search keyword "deer."



Wisconsin Recycling Excellence Award nominations accepted through August 31

MADISON - The nomination period is open for the Wisconsin Recycling Excellence Awards offered by the Department of Natural Resources.

In its fifth year, the awards are given to recognize recycling initiatives and to encourage communities to increase the effectiveness of their programs from successes and lessons learned.

Awards will be given to both small and large recycling efforts in the following four categories:

Communities and organizations may self-nominate or submit an application for another program. Applications are due August 31. Photos, charts, tables, outreach examples and other relevant information are welcome!

Past award projects and the Award Application [PDF] are available by searching the DNR website,, for "Recycling" and clicking on the link for Wisconsin Recycling Excellence Awards.


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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