By KEVIN NAZE
It’s still summer on the calendar, and feels like it, too, but the first “fall” hunting seasons already start next week.
September 1 is opening day for early hunts for geese, teal and mourning doves, and black bear enthusiasts lucky enough to snag a tag can start on September 7.
The early goose hunt has a liberal daily limit of five Canada geese and runs through September 15.
It is designed to reduce a booming population of locally born Canada Geese.
The regular goose hunt begins on September 16.
There is a three-bird daily bag limit for most, but a five-bird bag returns for the South Zone holiday hunt December 18-January 1. 3.
While migratory birds attract a small percentage of the state’s roughly 800,000 hunters, thousands of venison lovers have been exploring in anticipation of archery and crossbow deer opening on September 17.
That’s also the opening day for wild turkey, gray squirrel and fox, North Zone cottontail and Zone A ruffed grouse seasons.
Youth Waterfowl Weekend is September 17-18; the North Zone duck season begins on September 24 and the South Zone split duck hunt takes place October 1-9 and October 15-December 15. Four.
learn to hunt
The Department of Natural Resources is hosting the second of several educational webinars at 7 pm on August 31 for those with a new interest in hunting.
This series has been made in collaboration with Becoming an Outdoorswoman, National Wild Turkey Federation and Pheasants Forever.
Guest speakers share experiences on getting started in hunting and include common challenges faced by those new to hunting, fishing or trapping.
Wednesday’s webinar is titled “You Want to Go Hunting: What Can We Hunt?” and covers a wide variety of available hunting opportunities and basic equipment needs to get you started.
Tune in at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdejnOkO9ec.
The webinar will be recorded and can be viewed on YouTube at any time using the same link.
In the meantime, you can find links on guided hunting, hunter education classes, licenses, and more at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Hunt.
shooting sport month
More than 20 state governors, all Republicans except Tony Evers, have signed a proclamation dedicating August as National Shooting Sports Month for the positive impacts of recreational hunting and shooting.
Governor Evers said the state would join the DNR and all Wisconsinites who participate in hunting and shooting sports in recognizing these activities and continuing to promote a culture of safety, responsibility and environmental stewardship.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation says that more than 56 million adults and youth practice responsible firearm ownership.
Shooting sports is a $70 billion industry that provides more than 375,000 jobs across the country.
The proclamation signed by Evers highlighted those contributions, as well as the millions raised for wildlife and conservation efforts through excise tax payments paid by firearms and ammunition manufacturers.
These payments are returned to the states based on the size of the land and the number of paid hunting license holders.
Report wildlife sightings
Wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to report game bird sightings this month and deer sightings through September 30.
Game Bird Brood Survey and Operation Deer Watch are easier than ever to use, thanks to an online app.
For information on how to set it up, visit https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/GameBirdBroodObservations and
Zoom into the meeting
The DNR will share the latest state and federal Lake Michigan fisheries research and take public input on salmon and trout stocking at a meeting on August 30 from 6-9 pm at Lakeshore Technical College’s Centennial Hall West in Cleveland.
Anyone can attend in person or online via Zoom.
More information, including a link to pre-register, is available at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Fishing/lakemichigan/LakeMichiganSalmonandTroutMeetings.html.
water levels fall
As of August 19, Lake Michigan water levels dropped two inches last month, nine inches last year, and 26 inches from the monthly record set in 2020.
Lake levels were still 39 inches above the record monthly low, set in 1964, and seven inches above the 100-year average.