March 9, 2016 - Portage, WI - Wisconsin FORCE is a committee member representing the Hunters Rights Coalition
An update was given on the new Regulatory Process which is close to being up and running with the new “Go Wild” format. A report was given on the Migratory Bird Status and 2015 Season. Generally a good year, and the early Teal season continues to go well. The open Waterfowl Professor position is in the process of being filled with the hiring of Professor Jake Straub. The Professor will be part of UW Stevens Point and will be partially funded by an endowment with gifts totaling $2 million to UWSP Foundation from James C. Kennedy of Atlanta, Ga., and David F. Grohne of Wilmington, Ill. Part of the responsibilities of the position will be to teach about management of marshes, swamps, and migratory bird habitat. An update on the Mississippi Flyway, the results from waterfowl hunter survey, and an overview of public input and communications was given.
Work will continue on simplifying and liberalizing the goose regulations. The goose populations continue on a slight decline. As only 41% of geese taken are native birds, the Ontario population is critical to our harvest. We may be looking at shortening the season or reducing bag limits in the future. Funding is an issue with several of the user groups discussing an increase in the Duck Stamp fee.
After a review and discussion, the committee voted to keep the same relative starting dates, splits, and zone boundaries.
Public hearings regarding Wisconsin’s proposed 2016 waterfowl season structure will be held March 14-17. After public comments have been collected, final season structure will be set by the Natural Resources Board at its Apr. 13 meeting in Madison.
To view proposed 2016 waterfowl seasons online, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword “waterfowl.”
The public input process employed to establish 2016 waterfowl hunting seasons is slightly different due to a change in process by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2016, hunters will know waterfowl hunting season dates by late April, rather than late August as in previous years.
Public hearings will be held at the following locations – each will begin at 7 p.m.:
Monday, March 14, 7 p.m., La Crosse, Wis. - State Office Building, Rooms B-19 and B-20, 3550 Mormon Coulee Rd.;
Tuesday, March 15, 7 p.m., Rice Lake, Wis – AmeriVu Inn, 1710 South Main Street;
Wednesday, March 16, 7 p.m., Appleton, Wis - Agricultural Services Center, Main conference room, 3369 West Brewster St.; and
Thursday, March 17, 7 p.m., Pewaukee, Wis - Wildwood Lodge, N14 W24121 Tower Place
The department will accept public comments regarding proposed waterfowl season structure at each public hearing. If you would like to provide input directly or are unable to attend a hearing, please submit written comments to Taylor Finger, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707, via email to Taylor.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 608-261-6458. Comments must be received before midnight Friday, March 18.
To stay informed on Migratory Birds please see http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/waterfowl.html for additional information.