Last week, I wrote about the morning dove season that opens September 1st. There also is an early Canada goose season and teal season that also opens on the first of September. All of Wisconsin has a very good population of Canada geese throughout the state. In some locations, there are so many geese that some municipalities have declared them a nuisance and even added special regulations to scare the geese away from areas where the geese congregate and foul piers, backyards, golf courses, and city parks to name a few of the areas where Canadian geese can be a problem.
Living on the waters of the Wisconsin River myself, I have Canadian geese regularly coming into my yard for some of the black oil sunflower seed and corn that is for the numerous songbirds that come to my feeders and spill seeds on the ground. Up and down the Wisconsin River, I regularly see large numbers of Canada geese and many duck species including both the blue and green winged teal ducks which also have a short one week season starting September 1st at 9:00 am.
The early Canada goose season and the early green and blue winged teal season both open on September 1st. The Canada goose season opens a half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily limit on geese is 5 geese per day during the early season with possession limit 3 times the daily limit or 15 geese. A hunter must have a valid Wisconsin small game hunting license, a Wisconsin waterfowl stamp, a Wisconsin early goose permit, a Federal migratory bird stamp, and be HIP (Harvest Information Program) certified.
To hunt blue and green winged teal all the same requirements that one needs for Canada goose hunting are also required for hunting these ducks. One of the main reasons that hunters are allowed an early teal season is that teal migrate early and without the early season many of the teal will already have moved south for the winter. The early teal season opens on September 1st like the Canada goose season, but shooting is not allowed till 9:00 am on the opening day and closes at 7:00 pm that day. After September 1st, the hours are the same as the Canada goose season with hunting from a half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily limit of teal is 6 per day with the possession limit being 18 birds or 3 times the daily limit too. The blue and green winged teal season lasts only from September 1st to September 7th.
I would make sure that I pick up an Early Season Migratory Bird booklet and be familiarized with all the Wisconsin’s rules and regulations. There are maps and tables that show the shooting times and all the rules and regulations for the goose and duck hunter in Wisconsin. One of the most important regulations to remember is that you must use non-toxic shot when hunting migratory waterfowl and morning doves.
The 2016 hunting season is based upon the waterfowl surveys done last year in the United States and Canada. This is why being HIP certified is so important to pass on the vital information to those who make the duck limits. Last year, there was record high numbers of ducks in the continental United States. So, this year there are liberal duck limits and seasons based upon last year’s numbers. There also are large numbers of Canada geese which allow large numbers of geese to be harvested.
I also suggest that you go to the various Wisconsin DNR websites for more information and specific rules and regs for certain locations. Also, make sure that you’re able to ID ducks, geese, and other migratory birds that are illegal to hunt like cranes and swans.
Wisconsin has thousands and thousands of acres of land that you may hunt. There are many acres of state managed wildlife, fisheries, and natural areas, forests and private land enrolled in the Managed Forest Law (MFL), Forest Crop Law (FCL), Voluntary Public Access (VPA), or Wisconsin Damage Abatement and Claims (WDACP) programs. There are over 7 million acres of land that is open to hunters in this state. If you are looking for a place to hunt visit dnr.wi.gov and use the keywords “state lands’ or “public access to law lands.” You’ll most likely find hunting locations in your area or not far away. Plus, my doing some pre-season scouting and knocking on some rural doors you can find people who will permit you to hunt their private land. Be pleasant and respectful of any private land that you gain permission to hunt. Always thank the owner and offer them a dressed duck or two for them to enjoy. If you’re lucky, you may find a place to hunt this season and possibly in future years too!
Most importantly, study the Rules and Regulations book; know how to identify flying ducks, and most of all do your preseason scouting because there are record numbers of ducks for the hunter. Be safe….