In keeping with modern tradition, Wisconsin’s 2022 hunting seasons will begin when the calendar hits September.
Early Canada goose, early teal, and mourning dove seasons begin Thursday, with most other hunting opportunities, including bow deer, ruffed grouse, and wild turkey, beginning later in the month.
Early goose season runs statewide for 15 days, while teal season is open for nine days and mourning dove season continues through November 29.
The deer hunt, which attracts the most license buyers each year, opens on September 17 with the crossbow and archery seasons.
Bow deer hunting opportunities in Wisconsin continue through at least January 8 in all management units, with many open through January 31. Gun deer season, which has more participants than any other hunting season, will run from November 19-27. .
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In a preseason press release, the Department of Natural Resources highlighted two regulation changes for 2022.
Waterfowl can now hunt in the open waters of the Great Lakes, Green Bay and Big Green Lake, as long as they are within 500 feet of the shoreline.
And the 2022-23 squirrel season will close on February 28 instead of the last day of January.
The list continues to grow, too, of counties offering extended deer crossbow and archery seasons, as well as antlerless deer firearm opportunities during the holiday hunt from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day.
The 2022-23 season format includes a record 37 counties (up from 36 in 2021) with the Holiday Hunt and a record 29 counties (up from 27 in 2021) with the Extended Bow Seasons.
Hunters should refer to the 2022 Wisconsin Hunting Regulations booklet for complete rule details before heading out into the field. Licenses are available for purchase at gowild.wi.gov and at many retail locations.
Hunter Safety Classes Offered by DNR, Volunteers
As they do every year, the DNR and volunteer instructors from across the state are offering hunter education courses. Classes are required for new hunters and recommended as a refresher for experienced hunters.
Approximately 20,000 people take hunter education courses annually in Wisconsin, according to the DNR. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1973 must complete a hunter education course and have a registered hunter education certification to purchase a Wisconsin hunting license, unless hunting under the Mentored Hunting Act.
Anyone 17 years of age or younger must complete a course in person.
There are three ways to earn a hunter education certification: online plus Field Day; Traditional class; and Online Only (for ages 18+).
Before enrolling in any course, interested students must first obtain a Wisconsin Client Identification Number.
For more information on course options, links to enroll, and cost, visit the DNR’s Outdoor Skills and Safety Education webpage.
CWD Findings at Maple Hill Farms
Sixty-one of 238 captive white-tailed deer at Maple Hill Farms in Gilman have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
All 301 deer held at the facility were killed the week of July 25 under a DATCP depopulation order. It was the largest depopulation of a deer farm in state history.
The fatal deer disease was discovered in a 6-year-old doe at the farm in August 2021. An animal transferred from Maple Hill Farms to Van Ooyen Whitetails in Antigo was also found to be CWD positive.
However, the extent of CWD in the Maple Hill Farms herd was not known until depopulation. Animals around 1 year of age and older were tested for CWD after they were sacrificed.
State and federal officials have removed three herds of captive deer in Wisconsin this year (Maple Hill Farms, Van Ooyen Whitetails, and Red Wing Deer Farm in Waukesha). Each of the farm owners received federal severance payments in compensation for the loss of their animals.
Sixteen other CWD-positive facilities remain open, according to DATCP. The agency said Friday that there was no current plan to do more depopulation this year.
Lake Michigan Salmon and Trout Gathering
The DNR will hold a meeting Tuesday in the Manitowoc County village of Cleveland and via Zoom to gather information on future management of salmon and trout in Lake Michigan, including population levels.
The meeting will include presentations by DNR staff of the latest information from the Lake Michigan survey, as well as a comment session for the public to share ideas on future fisheries management initiatives.
The entry is part of a process that will culminate in a plan for Lake Michigan salmon and trout stockpiling starting in 2023, according to the DNR.
The meeting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Centennial Hall West, Lakeshore Technical College, 1290 North Ave.
It can also be viewed via Zoom. The DNR encourages people to register before the meeting. To register, view the agenda and presentation materials, and more, visit the Lake Michigan Fishing page on the DNR website.