Public asked to help shape waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin

(Wisconsin DNR photo)

MADISON — Public hearings in March will provide the public with an opportunity to offer feedback on the proposed Wisconsin fall waterfowl hunting season structure.

The public input process for establishing the 2017 waterfowl hunting seasons is slightly different from previous years due to a decision by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to set season structures using data from the prior year. Through this new process, hunters will know waterfowl hunting season dates by late April, rather than late August as in years past.

“The 2017 waterfowl seasons will be based on the 2016 continental waterfowl population estimates that were at near record estimates since USFWS surveys began 61 years ago,” said Taylor Finger migratory game bird ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “Due to very wet fall and winter seasons we expect populations to remain high in 2017 and if we have favorable conditions this fall, hunters can expect good waterfowl hunting opportunities”

Public hearings will be held at the following locations — each will begin at 7 p.m.:

  • Monday, March 13, La Crosse – State Office Building, Rooms B-19 and B-20, 3550 Mormon Coulee Rd.
  • Tuesday, March 14, Rice Lake – AmeriVu Inn, 1710 South Main Street.
  • Wednesday, March 15, Appleton, – Agricultural Services Center, Main conference room, 3369 West Brewster St.
  • Thursday, March 16, Pewaukee – Wildwood Lodge, N14 W24121 Tower Place.

DNR staff will accept public comments on the proposed waterfowl season structure at each public hearing. Those who would prefer to provide input directly or are unable to attend a hearing can send written comments through midnight Friday, March 17 to Taylor Finger, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707, via email to Taylor.finger@wisconsin.gov, or via phone at 608-266-8841.

After public comments have been collected, final season structure will be set by the Natural Resources Board at its April 12 meeting in Madison.

To view the proposed waterfowl seasons online, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword “waterfowl.”

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