MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) voted unanimously during the April board meeting to approve the 2023 migratory bird season framework and regulations.

Thanks to input from hunters and new scientific research, changes are coming to the 2023 migratory bird hunting season. Highlights from the approved season structure include:

  • Updating the definition of the Open Water Duck Zone boundary. The updated definition incorporates adjacent rooted vegetation, floating cattail mats and Green Bay’s Long Tail and Little Tail points as part of the mainland shore.
  • Simplifying the regulations for the open water restrictions on approved inland open water hunting lakes by decreasing the distance from shore to 500 feet.
  • The Mississippi River Canada Goose Zone will run concurrently with the South Canada Goose Zone, opening on Sept. 16 rather than opening with the duck season.

    “The 2023 season frameworks are based on the most current scientific data, as well as input from the public, conservation and hunting groups and results from a waterfowl hunter survey,” said Taylor Finger, DNR game bird ecologist. “We used everything in our toolbox to collect public input – in-person meetings, virtual meetings and expanded online outreach – to ensure engagement with anyone interested in migratory bird management. In total, we received 500 comments regarding the 2023-2025 migratory bird season proposals.”

    The public plays a crucial role in setting the migratory bird season structure. View the 2023-2025 public input results and comments here. Learn more about Wisconsin waterfowl hunting on the DNR website.

    The 2023 migratory bird hunting seasons are below with the 2024 and 2025 seasons coming later this year in a permanent rule.

Early Season Dates

 Early Species Season OpenCloseLimit
Early TealSept. 1Sept. 96 teal/day 
Early GooseSept. 1 Sept. 15  5 Canada geese/day; 
20 light geese/day 
Mourning DoveSept. 1Nov. 2915 dove/day
Woodcock Sept. 23 Nov. 63 birds/day

Duck Season Dates And Bag Limits

Opening Day Shooting Hours Will Begin One-Half Hour Before Sunrise For All Regular Waterfowl Hunting Seasons.

Duck Season First Open  First Close  Second Open  Second Close 
Youth HuntSept. 16Sept. 17  
North ZoneSept. 23Nov. 21  
South ZoneSept. 30Oct. 8Oct. 14Dec. 3
 Open Water Zone Oct. 14Dec. 12  

Duck Bag Limits

SpeciesTotal daily bag limit is 6 ducks of any species, including no more than the following:
Mallard4 mallards, of which only 2 may be hens
Black Duck2
Wood Duck3
Merganser5 mergansers, of which only 2 may be hooded mergansers

Regular Canada Goose Season Dates And Bag Limits

Canada Goose SeasonFirst OpenFirst CloseSecond OpenSecond CloseThird OpenThird Close
North Zone (3 Canada geese/day)Sept. 16Dec. 16    
South Zone (3 Canada geese/day until Dec. 3 then 5 Canada geese/day Dec. 16 – Jan. 2)Sept. 16Oct. 8Oct. 14Dec. 3Dec. 16Jan. 2, 2024
Mississippi Zone (3 Canada geese/day until Dec. 3 then 5 Canada geese/day Dec. 16 – Jan. 2)Sept. 16Oct. 8Oct. 14Dec. 3Dec. 16Jan. 2, 2024

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