DNR column: Early goose, teal and dove seasons


Saturday, Sept. 1 marks the opener for Wisconsin's mourning dove, early teal and early Canada goose hunting seasons.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose hunting begins with the early season Sept. 1-15, with a daily bag limit of five geese during this time. This early season targets locally breeding geese with the higher daily bag limit of five geese per day during the early season. During the early goose season, regulations apply statewide, with no zone-specific regulations. As a reminder to Canada goose hunters, registration of Canada geese and in-field validation of the Canada goose hunting permit is no longer required.


This is the first year of the operational early teal-only duck hunting season. The early teal season will run Sept. 1-7, with a daily bag limit of six teal. Shooting hours for the early teal season have changed and are now sunrise to sunset for the entirety of the season (see page 28 in Migratory Bird Regulations [PDF] ).

The duck identification quiz, found at dnr.wi.gov, keyword "waterfowl" gives hunters an opportunity to brush up on duck identification prior to this early season.

While the early teal season is offered statewide, some state-owned properties have special waterfowl hunting limitations. For example, Mead Wildlife Area does not allow waterfowl hunting prior to the regular duck season, and Lake Mills Wildlife Area (Zeloski Marsh) has unique shooting hour restrictions.

Contact a local wildlife biologist or consult the 2018 Migratory Bird Regulations for a list of areas with additional requirements or limitations.

To view a full list of waterfowl hunting seasons [PDF] and the 2018 Migratory Game Bird Regulations [PDF] , search keyword "waterfowl."

Early teal season and early goose hunters are, at minimum, required to purchase the following licenses and permits and carry one of appropriate proof of authorization:

Small game license;

Federal duck stamp (16 years and older);

State duck stamp (16 years and older)

HIP registration.

Mourning Dove

In 2018, the mourning dove hunting season will run from Sept. 1 to Nov. 29. The daily bag limit is 15 doves, and possession limits for doves are three times the daily bag limit. Dove hunters are at minimum required to purchase the following licenses and carry appropriate proof of purchase:

Small game license

HIP registration

Go Wild

While afield hunters must carry proof of the license, permit and authorization purchase. Acceptable methods of proof include a paper copy, Go Wild Conservation Card, authenticated Wisconsin Driver License, or DNR generated PDF on your mobile device.

To purchase the required license, permit and authorization and for more information For more information regarding Go Wild, visit gowild.wi.gov [EXIT DNR].

Band Reporting

Hunters who find or harvest a banded bird, should report it at www.reportband.gov . You'll need the band number, or numbers, where, when and how you recovered the bird. Even if the band you recover is inscribed with a 1-800 telephone number, you can only report it at www.reportband.gov .

Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool

Dove hunters are encouraged to check out the Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool. FFLIGHT helps hunters of all types locate young aspen and alder habitat for grouse and woodcock hunting, pheasant-stocked public hunting grounds, and managed dove fields.

FFLIGHT also allows users to print maps and find GPS coordinates to assist in navigation and provides measuring tools to help estimate acreage and walking distance. Mobile users can use this tool on-the-go to find suitable habitat for hunting. For more information, search keyword "FFLIGHT."

For any questions or to report a violation, call Conservation Warden Paul Sickman at 715-684-2914 ext. 120.