Notable Changes This Season in Wisconsin…

 2018 Wisconsin migratory game bird regulations are now available online – hard copies of the 2018 Migratory Game Bird Regulations should be available in the next few weeks. It’s never too early to get familiar with the hunting regulations, especially with some important changes in place for 2018.

Notable changes include:

  • North duck zone will open one week later than in previous years, resulting in a single statewide opener for the North, South and Mississippi zones onSept. 29;
  • Elimination of the Horicon Canada goose Management Zone (resulting in a single statewide regular goose zone);
  • Increase in the daily Canada goose bag limit to three birds per day;
  • A second split in the Southern Canada goose zone resulting in the season closing on December 3 and reopening on December 16-January 3 so it is open during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays;
  • Increase in the pintail daily bag limit (from one to two) based on US Fish and Wildlife Service season framework.
  • Registration of Canada geese and in-field validation of the Canada goose hunting permit is no longer required as of September 18, 2017.  
  • Proof of Canada goose harvest permits must be carried while afield.  Acceptable methods of proof include an original paper copy, a hard copy (paper) reprint of the original, an authenticated Wisconsin driver’s license, a Conservation Card or a digital PDF file issued by the department and displayed on an electronic device. The “forms of proof” table has been updated to show these allowable options for carrying proof of goose permits.

Impacts of the elimination of the Horicon Zone

Hunters who purchased their Horicon Permit earlier in the license year will not be required to purchase an Exterior Permit.  Hunters possessing a 2018 Horicon Canada goose permit are authorized to hunt statewide during the Regular Canada goose season.

All Horicon Goose permits sold to date have been updated to read ‘Horicon or Exterior Goose’ within the license system.  Customers that view their account online or reprint their permit will see the updated name, but hunters are NOT required to reprint their permit.

As a reminder, the final season framework was approved by the state Natural Resources Board at its April 11, 2018 meeting in Madison. Here’s Taylor Finger, DNR migratory game bird ecologist, to show you the final season migratory game bird season structure and explain some notable changes for the 2018 seasons:

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