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Wisconsin fall hunting forecast now online

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has posted its annual Wisconsin fall hunting forecast online.

The forecast is available on the DNR Web site at

The site has information about all hunting categories in the state along with information on the state's deer season, bear populations and waterfowl hunting changes.

Among the highlights in the report is the state's deer herd estimate.

DNR officials say that this year's Wisconsin's deer herd remains above population goals.

Wildlife managers estimate it to be at 1.5 to 1.7 million animals going into the hunting season.

"That projection is well above established population goals, but better than expected," said Keith Warnke, big game ecologist for the DNR.

The DNR reports that state duck hunters will enjoy a full 60-day Wisconsin duck hunting season, the longest allowed under federal guidelines.

The Natural Resources Board approved a 2006 Wisconsin waterfowl season structure that also includes expanded opening day shooting hours beginning at 9 a.m. instead of noon as in previous years.

The Web page provides all dates for the state's waterfowl seasons.