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Contact(s): Jeff Williams, DNR assistant migratory game bird ecologist, 608-261-6458
August 20, 2019

Sept. 1 marks the opening of early migratory seasons in Wisconsin. - Photo credit: DNR
Sept. 1 marks the opening of early migratory seasons in Wisconsin.Photo credit: DNR

MADISON, Wis. - The wait is almost over to get back out on the marsh. Sept. 1 marks the opener for Wisconsin's mourning dove, early teal and early Canada goose hunting seasons.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose hunting begins with the early season Sept. 1-15, with a daily bag limit of five geese during this time. This early season targets locally breeding geese with a higher daily bag limit, before the arrival of migrating geese from Canada. During the early goose season, regulations apply statewide, with no zone-specific regulations.


The early teal season will run Sept. 1-9, with a daily bag limit of six teal. Shooting hours for the early teal season are sunrise to sunset (see page 28 in Migratory Bird Regulations). Early teal season hunters are at minimum required to purchase the following licenses and permits:

  1. Small game license;
  2. Federal duck stamp;
  3. State duck stamp; and
  4. HIP registration.

The duck identification quiz found at, keyword "waterfowl," gives hunters an opportunity to brush up on duck identification before the early season.

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 before the regular duck season, and Lake Mills Wildlife Area (Zeloski Marsh) has unique shooting hour restrictions. Contact a local wildlife biologist or consult the 2019 Migratory Bird Regulations for a list of areas with additional requirements or limitations.

To view a full list of waterfowl hunting seasons and the 2019 Migratory Game Bird Regulations, search keyword "waterfowl."

Mourning Dove

In 2019, the mourning dove hunting season will run from Sept. 1 to Nov. 29. This season structure is identical to 2018. The daily bag limit is 15 doves, and possession limits for doves are three times the daily bag limit.

Go Wild

Early and regular goose permits print 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; department-approved PDF displayed on a mobile device; Wisconsin driver's license, or Go Wild Conservation Card. As a reminder to Canada goose hunters, registration of Canada geese and in-field validation of the Canada goose hunting permit is no longer required.

For more information regarding Go Wild, visit

Band Reporting

If you find or harvest a banded bird, please report it at [Exit DNR]. You'll need the band number, or numbers, where, when and how you recovered the bird. Even if the band you recover has a 1-800telephonenumber inscribed on it, you can only report it at [Exit DNR].

Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool

Dove hunters are encouraged to check out the Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool. FFLIGHT helps hunters of all types locate young aspen and alder habitat for grouse and woodcock hunting, pheasant-stocked public hunting grounds, and managed dove fields.

FLIGHT 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."

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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