Wisconsin Duck and Goose Hunting Report Archive

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

12-03-2012 09:04
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Hunted Saturday morning and ended the season on a good note. Shot my 4 green heads and left the river with ducks still flying. Didn’t see a ton of birds but enough to keep us interested. My lab had some great retrieves and reminded me that she has the nose and I need to remember when she takes off and is looking in other places, that is probaly where the bird is. She is starting to really get the game figured out.

Overall the season was a bit slower but did have enough birds for several meals and even some jerky was made(geese). If we get rain next year could be really good. These dried up marshes and small ponds are full of weeds and habitat, fill those with water and we will hold birds.

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

The last weekend 12-03-2012 05:58
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On Saturday we hunted a river. This is ussually our go to place at the end of the season. It turns out it was the go to place for 2 other groups. We were the 2nd one there so we got the second best place to hunt. It didn’t matter because we only saw two groups of ducks all the time we were out there. However the first group had 2 ducks working that were swinging so wide that they could have gone into their decoys or ours until they decided that they could hit them at 70 yards. the amazing part was after the first shot and the duck didn’t even flinch they emptied their guns anyway. This was worse than the skybusting you see at Horicon. We talked to both groups and they both complained about the lousy year. No shots fired.
On Sunday I went solo to Horicon because my buddy had tickets to the Packer game. I saw 2 ducks when I was going up the main ditch. I set up in Stoney Bay. As I was finishing getting the boat into the reeds I saw 6 more ducks to the east. Now I’m thinking this could be a good day. Nope, those were the last ducks I saw all day. As I was picking up I thought this is errie out here. I wasn’t hearing any background noise at all. No motors running, no shooting, no city noise, no rustling of the reeds. Oh yeah, the marsh had about 5% ice.

So the season is done. This is for anyone that hunted Horicon. You won’t be giving up your spot so here’s some questions. Did anyone get back to Cotton Island? I tired on Sunday and got about 50 yards into the path and had to turn back. There was a path in the reeds next to the waterway that looked like someone tried to ski back there but that would be a hell of a ski. Speaking of skiing, did anyone find anywhere to ski. I tried my usual places and a few more and never could find a place. I really don’t remember any of the boats having skis in them.

I took a trip around the marsh and the only person I saw was a trapper. When I got back to the dock there were no more trailers at either launch. I may have been the last knucklehead in the marsh.

Finally congrats to Rearney on their great season. He mave have been the only one on this forum that didn’t have their worst season ever. If he shot 100 of the 400 ducks that’s 4 boxes of shells and that doesn’t count the misses. I didn’t even go through 1 box!

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 12-02-2012 16:19
Cloudy, High Winds – 35-40 Degrees
Well finished the season yesterday on a very good hunt. My nephew and I end should have filled up but bad shooting hurt us. We set up wrong in wind and birds were swinging wide and outside our decoys. Saw a lot of mallards early and shot 3 which all birds hit water and dove right away and we never saw them come up. Alot of bluebills and goldeneys along with thousands of Mergansers. Blue bills decoyed nice and we each filled with them and finished with some beautiful drake goldeneyes. This was the best season in the last 15 years as our group of 4 shot over 400 birds. I believe the low water conditions played a big part in it as alot of small water dried up and the river attracted more birds. I also noticed the low water helped with new vegetation which held birds. What seems crazy is that there is alot of mallards and divers still around and there still is alot of open water. Hope everyone has a great holiday season.

Posted By:
lliska
Web Member

horicon 11-27-2012 16:32
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To the Mallardking. You are right. With a dam at Horicon and at Hustiford there is no reason why they couldn’t keep the water levels at both areas at a decent depth. Thanks.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

11-27-2012 15:29
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I hunted lake sinnissippii 3 or 4 times this year, the water level was a good foot lower on that lake than normal years. And like normal years, not that many ducks on the lake!

We were checked by the DNR on the opener and the warden said duck numbers were very low and the water level was also a challenge in some places and they were even using a go devil and jon boat to get around.

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Horicon 11-26-2012 19:17
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lliska,
Not defending the DNR but their explanation is that a certain amount of water must flow downstream so that Lake Sinnissippi maintains a certain level. It’s some law, regulation or contract. I know someone that has a cottage on the lake and he verified that they are guaranteed a certain water level. That doesn’t answer the question why they couldn’t have raised the dam in Hustiford so that Horicon could keep its dam up. I wonder if when Horicon put the last dam up in the 20’s or 30’s, Hustiford already had their dam up and in order to get the one in Horicon they had to agree to a certain level of water flowage.

Posted By:
lliska
Web Member

horicon 11-26-2012 16:36
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This is for the Mallardking. I’ve hunted Horicon since I was a teenager. I’m 54 now. This by far was my worst season ever there. Got six ducks this year. Three gadwalls, two shovelers and one hen mallard. I really think the DNR mismanaged the water level. Even though there was a drought this summer the water level is contoled by the dam. They should just keep the level at a good depth and stop varing it. That’s why it was a poor year there! The cold weather this week will form alot of ice and I don’t think it will help with the warm up this weekend. Good luck and good luck next year!

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Horicon 11-26-2012 16:10
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Hunted on Friday and Sunday afternoons. Friday was almost “normal”. Big winds, cloudy skies, the decoys were moving in the water. Nothing really happened until around 3 and then we got a flock to come into the decoys. I went for the first duck and dropped that one and then the gun did not cycle correctly and the shell was hanging out of the chamber. My buddy missed on the first shot and then his gun jammed. It’s been that kind of year.
On Sunday the marsh was about half frozen, which typically makes for great conditions because when your decoys are in the open water they come right in. Not this day. There was no wind for the last hour and a half and that was when the ducks we saw started flying they were real high. No shots were taken.
It will be interesting this week because I’m sure more of the marsh froze last night and today without any wind and below freezing. So will the ducks be back later in the week when it warms up?
Talked to another hunter at the dock and I mentioned that we had only taken 2 ducks in the marsh this year and his reply was, you are one ahead of me. I’ve seen his car around quite a lot. Did anyone do anything in the marsh this year?

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Chippewa Valley 11-26-2012 12:35
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The mallards and geese started to show up. Fall Creek pond doubled in number over the week, but it is starting to freeze up and may be frozen by the weekend. Eau Claire had an sizable increase in mallards both on Dell’s Pond and by the mall. Too bad season closed yesterday for them. I heard Wissota had some birds show up too.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

11-24-2012 20:26
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I think the winds brought in some new birds. While sitting in the tree stand this evening saw 3-4 groups of mallards working the river. Giving the deer a break(more like me) and chasing some ducks.

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Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 11-24-2012 20:08
Arctic Blast – 10-20 Degrees – Ice
Yesterday morning the stage was set, 20-30 MPH NW winds, blowing snow. Thought we would need to be at launch to get a good spot and see who the real duck hunters were. We were at launch a 4:00 am. Nobody showed up until 5:00 and only 2 other groups. We took a spot off a point out of wind and absolutely pounded the mallards. We had a 5 hunters in our group with just 2 dozen mallard decoys and one robo. In less than 2 hours we shot (15) Greenheads (5) Hen Mallards (1) Gaddy and (2) teal. They just kept coming in even after we were filled up. I posted a a pic in the memebers photo gallery. We went out this morning and only shot 4 mallards but were fortunate to get them as all backwaters and bays were froze up.

[Edited By REARNEY on 2012-11-24 20:09]

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

11-20-2012 17:35
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DU870 I agree with you that the ducks must have shifted to the west. I know there was some early success for guys with Pro Drives in Horicon but after that it just seems dead at any of the spots I have gone to. This was under all kinds of different weather conditions so you would have thought one of the days you would have hit the jackpot. The most birds I have seen are by the pond at work and at a quarry not in any huntable areas.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

Columbia County 11-20-2012 13:53
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Spent the weekend chasing whitetails. My deer stand over looks a small river and I have 5 small ponds with a mile. Sat all day on Saturday and Sunday and the hunted Monday afternoon. Grand total of 13 ducks spotted. 9 wood ducks and 4 mallards. I am wondering with the lack of water up until a week or so ago, did the birds shift towards the Missip or even farther west? So far this is the worst season I have had in wisco in 8 years of chasing birds up here.

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Pool 9 11-19-2012 13:12
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Took a field trip with two buddies to Pool 9. Tried different spots but had poor success at all. The birds were there, but they didn’t want anything to do with us. Actually, they didn’t leave the no hunting areas or the middle of the big lakes. It was fun driving back through them and watching thousands part in front of us though. Heard a lot of shooting so I’m sure some people got into them. I was impressed with the number of hunters. I thought deer hunting would have thinned them out some! Guess not.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 11-19-2012 06:17
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 35-40 Degrees
Hunted last Friday with buddy, winds were calm with no movement in decoys. Had a bunch of Divers in decoys before shooting time. Waited on mallards. Lots of mallards but couldnt get them to commit with decoys or calling. Ended up shooting 3 mallards and a GW teal. Could have shot 1/2 dozen buffies and bluebills but so many mallards around we let them come in decoys and back out. Had a big flock of Cans come in and were not ready for them. The mallards are here but weather this warm/calm makes them hard to decoy. They want back into the small cuts and sloughs. Going to take Thanksgiving week off and hit the ducks and walleyes hard on the Mississippi. Good luck the final 2 weeks everyone. For our group of four it has been and awesome year with over 225 birds shot as I document success of every hunt. It is not all about the kill, but this years large amount of birds coming through our area was incredible. We watched many beautiful sunrises and had good times with close friends which is priceless.

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Poygan 11-17-2012 20:48
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Hunting in Southeastern Wisconsin has been bad so why not go up north and try Lake Poygan. Had to drive up all the way in fog. Different location same results. No shots taken and few ducks seen. Lots of guys fishing on the wolf river and lots of guys deer hunting. Only saw one other duck hunter. At the end of the day my hunting buddy said, you know we were gone 13 hours. We could have been in North Dakota by now. HHHMMMMMMMM

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Horicon 11-12-2012 19:49
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I thought this would be a great day because of the weather; cloudy, windy, cold. Took one shot and that was it. I thought we had the marsh to ourselves because we had not heard a shot for two hours. Turns out there were 7 trailers at the dock and I know some of the boathouse people were out. We don’t even see any flocks up high anymore. I think the ducks are gone from Horicon and the area in general. We drove past Sinissippi and no ducks. Drove by Pike Lake and no ducks. Couldn’t find any ducks in the field. Found about 6 ducks in the pond in front of someone’s house but they were too close to the road. I doubt if I will go back to Horicon this year.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

Columbia County 11-12-2012 11:13
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Hunted a small river this morning before work. With the winds and weather forecast, how could one not hunt!

Got setup and ready by legal shooting. Didn’t see a duck for 15 minutes. A pair of woodies buzzed by then 20 minutes later a small flock of mallards and that was it for the morning. Ended at 8:00. Not sure if my spot has changed as in years past we would be covered up with green heads right now or they are not down yet.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 11-12-2012 08:41
Cloudy, High Winds – 30-34 Degrees – Open Water
Hunted Saturday and only shot (3)GW teal and a gadwall. Surprised that we did not see more birds flying with the weather out west coming our way. Sunday was a different story. Had mallards, teal multiple divers around. Wind was blowing out of NW and cold rain off and on. Lots of Swans starting to come through. Shot 4 (Mallards) and 2(Buffies)Could have shot more Buffies and Goldeneyes. Saw lots of hooded mergansers. The flight is on. Lots of mallards showing up. Should be great hunting now through December based on weather. We have had a great season in which four have shot over 150 birds and a few geese.

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Chippewa Valley 11-12-2012 07:47
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Got out this weekend. Stanley had birds, plenty of geese but hardly any ducks. Not much pressure except for the field I wanted to hunt of course! Three groups trying it. The group before us invited us to join which was very nice. They had the field and we didn’t want to set up and short change them. The last group came in and short changed us by setting up short. Tried it the next day too and had the field to ourselves. Much more difficult the second day.

Scouted by Wissota and didn’t see much or anything that would say the migration has started.

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Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

11-10-2012 15:49
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November 10th and I finally got my first bird to take home. Hunted a river this time and saw a lot more ducks than I had recently at Horicon. Also lost a nice drake mallard. It dropped in the water and I couldn’t see it until it just about ran on the top of the water to get a away. Too far to ground swat. Tracked it to some brush and still couldn’t get a shot off. I just made some coyote, fox or racoon happy.

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Horicon 11-09-2012 06:44
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Hunted yesterday from about 10:30 to 3:00 in one of my favorite spots when the wind come from the south. As we were setting up a nice flock of a dozen went by someone else’s decoys. Oh, Boy, this is gonna be great. NOT! That was the last flock we saw all day. Saw 3 birds up high and 3 in the refuge and that was it. Usually on a day like yesterday you would get flocks coming back from the field evry half hour or so. I sure hope something happens on Monday and Tuesday when that front comes through.
The water level in the marsh was down about an inch from last week when we came and I swear it went down another inch before we left based on the water level at the dock.

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Chippewa Valley 11-08-2012 10:54
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Not much new around here, hence not many reports coming from me. Eau Claire has had the same number of birds for the last two weeks, maybe a few more. Fall Creek pond has geese but last time I saw them (2 days ago) they were in the corn field by the school. Not much going on around Augusta…a little action on Lake Eau Claire I guess.

Going to check out Wissota and Stanley this weekend. Hopefully the weather pushes new birds in.

Heading down to Lower Pool 9 next Friday for the opener of deer season. Figured it would be safe on the water. The crazies in orange scare me! If any one has any info about how things are going or a general point in the right direction, it would be GREAT! First time I am hunting there. Or if you are hunting there, would you mind a couple die-hards (2 of us) tagging along. We got gear.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

Sauk Cty 11-07-2012 15:14
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Seems like there is a migration going on. 2 of my buddies that are bow hunting in sauk county txted me they have heard many flocks of snow geese and other geese going over them. Seems like the birds are pushing ahead of this storm.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 11-06-2012 10:53
Mostly Cloudy, No Precipitation – 30-34 Degrees – Open Water
Hunted last Saturday with buddy, shot 2 mallards and 3 teal. Lots of GW teal around. Went Sunday in a spot where we saw a couple hundred drop in the day before. Pretty sad we decided to not shoot any teal which poured in at shooting time. We had about 100 sitting in decoys, and we decided not to shoot and wait for big birds. That was a mistake because we only had a pair come in to decoys. We got both but let all the teal go with out a pop.We ended with 2 mallards and 3 teal.

Posted By:
webmaster
root

Jefferson County 11-05-2012 12:08
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The early divers were here and moved on. Saw about a dozen very large flocks of mallards and gadwall heading to fields and wanted nothing to do with the lake.

Less shooting than the previous week. Goose numbers seemed the same and it sounded like the best shooting was on the river.

The water level on Koshkonong has dropped considerably with the draw down for winter. Water is nearly 20 yards from the bank now in some areas and still seems to be dropping.

Posted By:
stone
Web Member

Jeffferson 11-05-2012 08:54
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 25-30 Degrees – Ice
I think we are toast for the year. Long range forecast is blah, no major winds. Looked good yesterday for this coming weekend but now not good. If we dont have something cooking by 11/11, not good. It will get real cold at once and just freeze up and the flight(if there will be one) will last about a day or so. Again, we need to forget about this split season. We lost again this year.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

11-01-2012 21:37
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Still hunting ol chocolate horns but the good news is my stand over looks the river. The ducks have all but disappeared from my area. Saw a flock of 4 drake wood ducks 3 times today. 1 flock of 5 mallards and that was it for me. No shots from the area marshes. The geese are everywhere but you can expect that in the horicon zone. I don’t mind sittin in the tree when the ducks are not on the river. If I was seein ducks, it would be a very hard decision!

Posted By:
webmaster
root

Jefferson County – big water 11-01-2012 09:39
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The moon and north winds have kept birds moving. Here today and gone tomorrow. GWT, Bufflehead, mergansers are most abundant with Ringed-necks, redheads mallards and gadwall numbers fair to good.

Coots are still present on most lakes in south central WI — bluebill, cans and goldeneye usually don’t appear until they start to bug out.

Posted By:
webmaster
root

Walworth County 10-29-2012 11:31
Mostly Sunny, No Precipitation – 45-50 Degrees
Finally a good diver hunt for my son — first ever. He got to hear the F-16 sounds of ringers. Shot a smattering of birds; buffies, ringers, gw teal, a stray goose etc…

Even let him take his first hooded merganser.

The cold front really brought a nice number of ducks down. Most shooting I’ve heard and my son has ever done — he burned through a box before he got used to shooting fast flying birds on the deck.

Great memories were made.

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Posted By:
Stu-Soper
Field Editor

Potosi 10-29-2012 11:28
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Was out Saturday, seen some good numbers of hi flyers moving down the river. Slow on Sunday. River still down.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

10-29-2012 09:27
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Mainly deer hunted this weekend but my tree stand over looks the river. Did see a couple nice groups of green heads working up and down the river. The couple hundred woodies I had been seeing, were gone. Didn’t even see one. Hunted up by green bay on Saturday. saw some birds but they weren’t interested in decoying. Shot 1 bluebill and a gadwall.

While deer hunting sunday morning and evening, didn’t hear any shots from the area marshes. I think the ice moved the birds off the smaller ponds in my area.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 10-29-2012 06:31
Mostly Sunny, No Precipitation – 10-20 Degrees – Open Water
Hunted Sunday with my brother, cold temps and no wind so we didnt expect much. We did have some action though. Ended up with (3)wooducks (3) mallards and (2) Teal. Had some buffies, hooded mergansers and bluebills come in but wanted to shoot some edible ducks. So far this has been the best season in the last ten years. We are getting more normal weather this fall and with drought I think more ducks are staying to the river.

Posted By:
pipewrench
Web Member

Lake Pepin 10-26-2012 20:50
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – 25-30 Degrees – Open Water
My buddy and I hunted this morning and saw a lot of new ducks in the area! Gaddys, mallards,divers! Greenwing teal are still here! We had a great hunt with a mixed bag! 7 teal, 2 big greenheads,1 bufflehead, 1 gaddy, and 1 redhead! Had 50 ducks in the decoys before shooting hours! Pretty slow between 8 and 9am,then things picked up again! Some birds slammed into the decoys and some birds were really shy! Had the best hunt of the year, so far! Water levels are finally up a little. Hunted last weekend and shot only 1 duck! Hunting should only get better from here on out! Good luck to everyone and take a kid hunting! I’ll be posting when I’m not in the tree stand!

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Chippewa Valley 10-24-2012 13:02
– – –
Didn’t get out hunting, but got a little info.

Eau Claire; the geese heading west are still using the field in the city limits. Hundreds of geese and I’d say a hundred or so mallards. They must be getting close to eating the field out, I saw them on the edges two days in a row. I mean edges, 2 feet from the fence rows and grass strips! The birds on the south side are heading out of town.

Stanley still has birds, hunting pressure has been up and down. Maybe the pressure will decrease now that the rut is getting going. Maybe not.

Fall Creek pond has huntable numbers but no clue on where they are going if they aren’t going to the field adjacent to the pond in the city limits. I did see a pair in the field behind the school in the city limits and if they draw more, I don’t know if they will be huntable either.

Not much around Augusta. News from Lake Eau Claire is the numbers are low, but my students are scratching a couple here and there. Mostly/all wood ducks and teal yet.

My buddy hunted Miller Dam. Plenty of ducks, but very little shooting.

News came to me that Chippewa Falls and Lake Wissota have birds but I haven’t gotten up there to scout so I don’t know where to start.

Posted By:
webmaster
root

Walworth County 10-24-2012 12:16
Cloudy, Heavy Fog – 60-65 Degrees
Lots of ruddy ducks on the bigger lakes. From Koshkonong to Lake Geneva.

Some of the rafts are mind numbing in size. At distance you swear they were coot rafts but through the binoculars you’ll find most are ruddies — by the thousands.

Few big ducks mixed in those rafts. Still lots of woodies around.

Geese seem to be providing the most shooting in the exterior zone. Mallards and all others are for this time of year.

Dang it’s hot.

Should be in the 20s the next three nights in the Dakotas and Northern MN. Should kick more woodies and GW teal down.

Posted By:
Stu-Soper
Field Editor

Potosi 10-23-2012 07:02
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Was out on the river Saturday. Lots of hunters and blue sky to look at. River is down, 7’6″. Just enough to cover those lower unit collectors. Thanks to the guys who marked the “cut”.

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

10-22-2012 21:12
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Webmaster hit the nail on the head. Hunted Horicon on saturday and the boat is still getting stuck in the mud. Hunted a river on a public marsh on Wednesday and the hunters were stacked up on the river to see a half dozen ducks during shooting hours. Hunted a corn field on Sunday and saw maybe a half dozen flocks of geese.
Incidently, when we hunted the cornfield on Sunday, we were the second group to come to the same field. the first group suggested we hunt with them instead of having two groups trying to outcall the other group. I would like to thank them for being accomodating to us. We learned a lot from them about setups and camoflaging the layout blind. This was only our second time out field hunting and I can see how we goofed up the first time.
Unfortunately we didn’t get any shots. I’m thinking I have some kind of antiduck stink to me because I have only fired the gun once this year.

Posted By:
webmaster
root

Walworth and Dane Counties 10-22-2012 14:16
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Did a few scouting hunts over the weekend and put some miles on the truck.

Most public marsh areas are still very dry. The creeks have water, few birds and lots of hunters.

Most geese are stacked on suburban edges in the retention ponds and ducks are on the big lakes rafting in areas closet to the homes and far, far away from emergent vegetation.

No many divers around — a few bufflehead. Lots of coots and some ruddy ducks.

The coming weekend should see new ducks as overnight temperatures in the Dakotas and Northern MN will drop into the high 20s for a few days.

Posted By:
lliska
Web Member

Horicon? 10-22-2012 09:32
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Has anybody been hunting in the marsh at Horicon? If so has the water level gotten any better with the rain we have had? Thanks

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Posted By:
stone
Web Member

Fort Atkinson, Wis 10-15-2012 14:45
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 50-60 Degrees
Very light wind. Disappointing morning but did not get very cold last night, mid 40’s and not enough to really push anything new in. Just a few smart locals. Hopefully later in the week. Geese have also relocated.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 10-14-2012 17:11
Mostly Cloudy, No Precipitation – 40-45 Degrees
Hunted this morning with friend, not as many birds today as yesterday. We shot (5) Teal and surprising enough they were all Blue Winged. Heading to Manitoba this week. Farmer friends, said they are loaded up with geese. Alot of Snow geese and Canadians.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 10-13-2012 17:40
Cloudy, Light Rain & Drizzle – 40-45 Degrees
4 of us had a very good morning. We had our 24 birds in the first hour, (4) Mallards (3) Spoonies (1) Gadwall (4) BW Teal (12) GW Teal. We also shot a canada goose. Birds every where, decoyed well. 2 other groups around us stayed on the big water and all shot their canvasbacks and alot of buffle heads. Alot of mixed bags, tomorrow should be good.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

10-12-2012 12:32
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With much needed rain the forecast it will hurt our second opener but will be a good trade off!

Scouting has provided some birds but still not a lot. Did see larger flocks of mallards around but the teal and woodies seem to have all but vanished.

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Stanley 10-09-2012 13:01
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Got one hunt in over in Stanley. Tougher time decoying the birds, but we managed our limit. Plenty of birds to go around.

Had an altercation with another hunter. We were the first to the field and he was upset, spouted a lot of nonsense. I started out being very polite and asked him to join us; he talked to his friends and then they stormed off. Unfortunately I think he was going to complain to the land owner. I told him not too since that only shuts down land. Just because someone gives you permission doesn’t mean they didn’t give everyone else permission. Let’s keep them giving us permission!

Remember boys and girls, first one to the spot gets it. If your second, ask to join or go to another spot. We are all in this together, lets work together! I had my 6 year old along, and I had to explain to him why this guy was yelling at me. NOT COOL.

Be Respectable, Be Responsible, Be a person of Integrity

[Edited By Kris-Bertelsen on 2012-10-09 13:02]

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Horicon & Big Muskego Lake 10-08-2012 14:25
– – –
Hunted Horicon on Saturday. Went out the Greenhead Launch and got as far as Malzone’s Bay. One duck was 10′ over the decoys 10 minutes before opening and that was the only shot we could have taken all day. We heard some sporatic shooting but it was all in areas that only a Pro-Drive could get to. So a few hunters are getting some birds and most are getting none. Talked to someone at the dock that had a Pro-Drive and he said he got stuck this morning and had no shots. Also saw a flock of 50 to 100 birds that were high and headed south. If it were late November I would have said they were migrating. Out of all the places I have hunted I have seen the most birds here. We checked the city dock and the water was up one inch from the week before.
On Sunday I decided to hunt Big Muskego Lake because I thought it would be easier with my setup. That lake is so far down that I was either churning mud or getting tangled in the weeds. The cattails are up above the water level just like Horicon so I could only get the boat 2/3 of the way into the reeds to hide. Never took a shot and only heard three other shots fired. I hunted from 1 to 4 which is not prime time but to only see a half dozen ducks is disappointing.
Next stop may be the river by my buddy’s house but he hasn’t seen many birds down there either. We have a pond accross the street from work that was holding 75 ducks. Even those have disappeared. I’m thinking there just are not that many ducks around.

Posted By:
webmaster
root

Walworth County 10-08-2012 12:26
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 45-50 Degrees
Like Scott — I ventured to WI yesterday from IL to get a hunt in with the boys. Cold front gave us the bug and the IL opener is still two weeks away.

Scouted some usual public haunts. More than a few were dry and we ended up on one of our favorite creeks for the evening.

No shots were fired. Saw a handful of woodies that had other destinations in mind.

Nice to be out though. Talked to another hunter in the parking area — he said shooting on Koshkonong and Delevan had picked up since the cold front.

Posted By:
Scott-Martin
Field Editor

SE Wisco 10-08-2012 00:34
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – 50-60 Degrees
Ventured north from IL to a favorite spot and watched for birds over my decoys. Mostly a lot of watching as there were very few ducks around, but a lot of geese that were interested. Came home with my geese and a couple of curious blue wing teal. Wish I had been with a couple more hunters as the geese were cooperating and responsive. Nice quick am on them but only saw 4 mallards… Watch north.

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Fall Creek 10-05-2012 11:08
– – –
Forgot to mention on my last report the the canadas have came back to the pond in Fall Creek also. First saw them on Wed. This morning there must have been about 50.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 10-05-2012 06:42
Cloudy, High Winds – 40-45 Degrees
Took a drive to scout for the second opener. With this 20-30 MPH WNW wind it made the back bays drop in water levels . I had to stay wide open with my surface drive and ran about 2″ of water where it is usually 6-8″. Saw some new birds but not alot. Maybe a couple hundred in one bay we hunt mostly Wegion, GW Teal and mallards.

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Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Chippewa Valley 10-04-2012 11:17
– – –
Not many new birds if any. I heard the mall area in Eau Claire has huntable numbers again. They are flying out south/southwest. Still birds flying west of town.

Not much word from Chippewa so I don’t know where the right direction would be there. I haven’t heard anything about the Lake Wissota area so I’m assuming there is birds that people are keeping a secret!

My buddy has been hunting Stanley/Boyd. Plenty of birds, but no really patterns. It will take some scouting.

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Vernon & Horicon 10-02-2012 19:24
– – –
Went to Vernon for the opener on Saturday. We got there about 6:30 to see if birds were flying early in the morning because we had not seen many birds on the previous scout. We saw one flock of teal and three other ducks before opening. At opening we heard a few shots by Frog Alley but nothing to get excited about. We saw three birds that were shot at and one that found a spot to land without being shot at but that was it before we left.
I went to Horicon on Sunday to do more scouting/hunting. I saw three birds in about 4 hours. I went out the greenhead launch. I talked to someone at the dock that had a Pro-Drive. He got alot of birds on Saturday but said most of the guys he talked to didn’t get anything. Only the guys that have mud motors and can get back to the potholes with feed in them seem to be getting birds. I had to push pole shortly after the dock because of the sand bar in the river. I also had to push pole to get into Malzone’s Bay. Can’t get past West Bay without a mud motor. Tired push poling into the area north of the Rock River and got as far as the big ponds but really need mud motor after that. Three guys in a boat with a go-devil gave me the “what the heck are you doing back here” look.
It is interesting to get out of the boat and walk back to areas we have skied in the past. You can find all kinds of areas that you missed on the skis.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

10-01-2012 11:21
– – –
Hunted lake sinnisippi on Sat sept 29th. Set dekes and were ready by 9:00. 9 came and went with not much happening. Had a flock of 3 teal buzz in, 2 left 1 stayed. Another couple hours went by and had a pair of mallards work us, communication issue on taking em let both fly away. Around 1:00 we were checked by the warden. He said it was very slow, with most groups of guys having 0 ducks, only a few blinds had birds. Heard maybe a hundred shots all day. Saw a total of 20-30 birds. I think we picked the wrong spot. Hunted sunday on a small creek with a couple little ponds on it. Hardly saw a bird. Ended the morning with 2 very nice drake wood ducks, almost full plumage.

This cold front should push some birds down at the end of this week.

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Stanley 10-01-2012 11:11
– – –
Plenty of birds. Find the right field and it is almost anti-climatic. Good thing my my buddy (Trial Lawyer) kept it exciting by showing me my first one shot double on geese. That was exciting.

Eau Claire had plenty of birds too, but they have been using a field inside the city limits for the past couple days. I guess hunting pressure has gotten to them!

A slow down around the Augusta area. Small flocks scattered around. Our hunt Saturday morning got foiled by the farmer flail chopping and raking the corn stubble. Now there is round bales sitting in that field. Hunted the adjacent field this morning but didn’t see a goose (or duck for that matter). Had to bug out at 7:30 though for school so maybe they came in later.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 09-30-2012 20:37
Mostly Sunny, No Precipitation – 40-45 Degrees
Saturday-2 hunters (9) birds/ Mixed bag mostly wegion. Sunday 2 hunters (3) birds all wegion. Has really slowed, water is very low but getting back to areas ok with mud motor. Good time for the split season. Need new birds down. Cant wait to be back at it October 13th. Had a very good first week, the best in the last 3 years. My group has shot over 70 birds.

Posted By:
pipewrench
Web Member

Miller Dam 09-29-2012 21:11
Sunny & Clear, Morning Fog – 35-40 Degrees
Hunted the south end in the rice on Fri. morning to noon. Saw a lot of woodies. The teal were gone! Only saw a couple of small flocks! Water levels are very low everywhere! We got skunked, except Remington found a drake mallard cripple next to the boat landing when we were loading up to leave! I never hit it good on this lake! I have friends that do really well there, but not me! Colder weather is on its way! Hopefully there will be a push of some new ducks! Good Luck and shoot’em with their feet down!

Posted By:
pipewrench
Web Member

Lake Pepin 09-29-2012 20:59
Sunny & Clear, Morning Fog – 40-45 Degrees
Hi everyone! Another season is here so soon! Hunted 9/23/12 in the morning back in a bay! Had to drag the boat to shore in the mud because the water levels are so low! So much for having a mud motor! Hunted off a point and saw quite a few ducks! Saw a lot of spoonbills. Two of us shot 7 ducks total. We had a mixed bag of green wings, blue wings, 2 spoonbills, and 1 mallard. We had the best spot that morning, not to many shots all around us. We seemed to have the best shooting. It was nice not having skyblasters around us once! Ducks weren’t working the best. Suppose they were spooky from the opener on Sat. We had a fun hunt and my 11 yr. old lab, Remington did a great job. He is in semi-retirement and this will be his last year in the field! Sure is sad knowing this is our last hunting season together, but on the bright side, I have a new puppy reserved for the spring and look forward to the many training sessions to get her ready for the 2013 duck season! Good Luck to everyone this season. Keep the posts coming!

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 09-28-2012 16:19
Mostly Sunny, No Precipitation – 40-45 Degrees
Hunted before work and never fired a cap. Had ducks in decoys at shooting time but could tell what they were. Did some scouting and found a bunch of ducks and will set up on them tomorrow. Good luck this weekend everyone.

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

Chippewa Valley 09-27-2012 13:40
– – –
Sorry for being delayed on my posting. Too much going on.

I’ve been hunting the Augusta area with good success on geese. Not a lot of geese yet, but huntable numbers. We did see a couple flocks of cacklers, got 2 one day, so some are starting to migrate. They looked like teal next to the local birds we shot! I did pick up my second banded goose from the same field I shot the other one in 5 years ago. Now that’s irony.

I haven’t seen anything around the Fall Creek area, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any there.

Eau Claire and Chippewa have plenty of geese to hunt. It will just take some scouting.

I missed opening weekend last weekend due to a wedding so I haven’t tried any duck spots. I have only seen 1 duck on the way to work in the last 3 weeks. All of our ponds are dried up, my swamp hole I hunt opening weekend had weeds growing in it. The creek I jump woodies on was stagnant and gross. Boy is it dry!

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 09-26-2012 19:56
Mostly Sunny, No Precipitation – 35-40 Degrees
Come on guys-where is all the hunting reports!!!! Hunted for first hour this morning with my brother before work. We got (4) wood ducks. No hunters around.

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Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Horicon 09-26-2012 10:29
– – –
Oh yeah, I forgot. the water is a nice shade of green, almost like pea soup. And when we stopped the boat we kept hearing this splashing sound. Turns out the fish are constantly jumping out of the water. Most of the oxygen is out of the water??? Don’t know fish well but they didn’t seem to be carp but they probably were. One guy at the dock said they lost quite a few walleyes earlier this summer.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 09-25-2012 21:00
Mostly Sunny, No Precipitation – 45-50 Degrees
Hunted this morning before work in a small slough area and filled out in 1/2 hour with (5)Blue Wings and a nice drake wood duck. Not many BW teal left. My try tomorrow. No hunters around.heard shots way off in distance.

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Horicon 09-25-2012 20:25
– – –
I agree with Rearney, this is the lowest water levels I have ever seen in Horicon. Even when they drew down the marsh for carp kills it was never this low by duck hunting season.
We went up to the marsh last Thursday and spent 3 and a half hours on the marsh and basically went up and down the main ditch because everything else was so dry. We got stuck in the mud on the north side of Stoney Bay and had to get out of the boat and drag it back to the main ditch. Normally we can go from the main ditch to the east branch of the Rock River but this year a mud flat is blocking the normal route. This eliminated the access to West Bay.
We started going north on the main ditch to look for an area to get into the West Bay area. We parked the boat got out the skis and walked to some open water. However the open water is 40 yards away from the marsh reeds so there was no cover.
Then we went to the area by Demsey’s Tree. There is a channel there that normally leads back to some excellent pot holes. this was bone dry. We put on some waders and were able to walk the entire channel without sinking in.
We thought we would try Diana’s ditch because it looked like there was water there when I was in the plane. As we traveled up the old river bed the motor started throwing up more and more mud so we turned back before we got stuck in the mud again.
today we went back with a canoe thinking we could get around in that. It helped a little bit but even that got hung up on the mud. We did see some ducks in back bays but it is going to be very hard to hide any kind of boat back there. You are going to have to lift it up onto the reeds to hide it.
When we got back to the launch we talked to two people that said even Go-devils and Mud motors were getting stuck in the mud. One person even described it as dangerous. It could be if you went by yourself and road that Pro-Drive back into an area and shut the motor down and then get stuck in the mud a hundred yards from floatable water.
We were even churning up mud in the main ditch today.
We talked to a guy in a Kayak and he mentioned getting hung up on mud by Greenhead. I didn’t go up there because when the river dumps into Malzohn’s Bay it was shallow before and when I was in the plane I saw a sand bar at the end of the river. I doubt if you can get through there.
If you haven’t scouted, be careful on opening day, there is a good chance you will be stuck in the mud.
Our other hunting spot in Vernon has had the same problem. Where we hunted last year is bone dry.
this is going to be an unusal year. I’m thinking a lot of ducks are going to be killed in the first week as they will all be concentrated on what little water is left.

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 09-24-2012 12:57
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 35-40 Degrees
Opener was very good, three friends and myself sat back in a small cut off the big lake and each shot our 3 wood duck limits. All were very young birds. Sunday morning we decided to go into a bay that was holding birds. Three of us ended up with (5)Drake mallards(1)wood duck (6)Blue Wing and(1) Drake Blue bill (Yes-Not a Ring Neck a Blue Bill)It was 75% colored out. We also could of shot at several flocks of Spoon Bills but held off. Pretty much all the groups around us filled up as it was fast and furious. This is one of the best openers we had in a while. Water is the lowest I have ever seen in my life. Probably head oyt this week sometime.

[Edited By REARNEY on 2012-09-24 13:00]

Posted By:
REARNEY
Web Member

Lake Pepin 09-24-2012 12:48
Cloudy, High Winds – 50-60 Degrees
Hi Everyone, this season has started out great. Hunted with 2 kids on Youth Hunt and they had a ball. They shot all their BW teal but really enjoyed the experience. We easily had 20-30 flocks of teal come into the decoys. Water levels are super low, I invested in a Go Devil surface drive 3 years ago and now it is really paying off.

[Edited By REARNEY on 2012-09-24 12:48]

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Horicon 09-13-2012 18:18
– – –
Holy Mackeral is it dry. Took a flight over the marsh and that pond to the east of Four Mile Island looked dry from the air. There were some channels up near the Federal Refuge that looked like they were dry too. I went over to the dock at Chestnut and it looked like the marsh was at least 18″ down if not two feet. This is looking like mud motors and skiffs are going to be the only way to get around. This weekend I am going to try it with the boat but I have a regular setup so this should be interesting.
The DNR was actually handing out a sheet at the wildlife center on 28 warning about the low water conditions. The pond behind the building was mostly dry.

Posted By:
MallardKingWI
Web Member

Germantown 05-15-2012 20:40
– – –
We have this pond and a little swampy area by the Germantown Business Park. In the 9 years we have been out there I have never seen so many goslings as I have this year. Some families have two or three and some have 8 or 9. I have noticed that two families have joined togther to raise the young. There are about 16 youngs ones swimming with 4 parents mixed in.
I also watched a Sandhill crane on a nest made out of an old muskrat hut. They sucessfully hatched two chicks. As my bird book inidcated one of the chicks dominated to the point where the other died. It was funny watching this 4 inch high chick walking in and out of the legs of the 4 foot tall crane.
We also have a bunch of Blue Heron nests in this same area.

Posted By:
Trial Lawyer
Web Member

April 9, 2012 Conservation Congress 04-03-2012 17:05
– – –
The 2012 DNR & Conservation Congress “Spring Hearings” will be held in each county on April 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM. This is a time when you can make your voice heard on the duck hunting season dates as well as other DNR issues. I encourage each of you to attend and voice your opinion. Here’s a link to more information: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/nrboard/congress/spring_hearings/.

Posted By:
pluckaduck
Field Editor

HELP PLEASE 03-10-2012 20:49
– – –
If anyone is traveling from central Wisconsin to or through North dakota in the next few days,please shoot me a message. I have an e-caller that I need out here and would meet you and pay you for bringing it! Feel free to email me at getthenetnd@hotmail.com

Thanks

Posted By:
webmaster
root

01-30-2012 09:22
– – –
The Wisconsin Waterfowl Hunters Conference will be held March 9-10 at Plaza Hotel and Suites in Wausau.

The focus of the conference is preserving and enhancing waterfowl hunting heritage and improving waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin.

The cost is $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

For more information, visit www.wiswaterfowlersconf.org

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Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

12-30-2011 14:10
– – –
Still large numbers of geese and mallards around the Chippewa Valley. Came back from Lake Wissota today and saw hundreds of geese in the fields up there. I watched hundreds of mallards flying to the fields last week on the south side of Eau Claire past highway 93. We got birds yet – anywhere there is open water.

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

12-19-2011 10:46
– – –
John,

We stil have a fair amount of ducks around the southern wisco area. Going over the lake today there was a good 100-150 mallards and other ducks. I do think we have lost a majority of our birds when we froze up a couple weeks ago but that ice has left and we now have a lot of open water.

Posted By:
John-Donelon
Field Editor

12-18-2011 10:38
– – –
Here in Missouri,on
a lease I share,mallard hunting has been poor. We are in a triangle of three water refuges.All I keep hearing and seeing on posts are that mallards are still up north due to mild winter weather in the Dakota’s,Minn. and Wis.,all states reporting very little snow this year.What’s up with the mallards in the northern states?Thanks for any replies.

Posted By:
Duck Toller
Field Editor

Southeast 12-14-2011 13:37
Cloudy, Rain & Thunderstorms – 35-40 Degrees
It’s been awhile. The season in Wisconsin is officially over today. Hunted ducks the last weekend in a down-pour. Had scouted a flock of 150 bluebill on the water but were unable to get them to decoy. We bagged some bufflehead and that was all. Sunday I hunted some private land. Weather again rain but not as bad as the day before. Mallards were still hard to finish. All and all a good season. Now, until next season, I’m a waterfowl watcher! Quite a number of coots on LG along with a few mallards and buffleheads. Yesterday I went into Illinois to Peoria to pick up my daughter from college. South of Rockford there were lots of geese flying over the hwy and in the surrounding fields. South of La Salle I followed the Illinois river and stopped at the Hennipen and Hopper Wetland. Not 1 duck was seen! I climbed the observation tower and glassed the whole area. All I saw were a few Canada geese. When I got home I drove out southwest of town to the water treatment plant. The ponds were frozen but I witnessed well over 500 mallards swarming the adjacent field. With this mild weather and no snow cover it’s hard telling exactly where the ducks are, even with ice on the small water…?

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

12-14-2011 11:22

Posted By:
DU870
Web Member

12-14-2011 11:08
– – –
Trial Lawyer- I think that with a start date that late in October, we stand a good chance of loosing a lot of woodies, teal and some other local birds. The first good frost and woodies are headed south.

Ending in Mid December could be nice. This year especially as we still have open water and birds around. However all it would take is a big cold snap in November and we would be locked up. I think it was 3 years ago I hunted the deer opener with snow and people were ice fishing.

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

12-11-2011 19:26
– – –
I have an editorial that I will post on the forum with my interpretation of looking at the big picture. It is too much for the report page so I’ll just give my thesis.

My thesis is that it is the 12th of Dec, and I would be able to still hunt both ducks and geese especially in the fields. This is the 10th year at least of this. Geography plays a large role in bird numbers and needs to be taken into consideration. Other hunting seasons plays a large role availability of hunting opportunities and needs to be taken into consideration.

I would favor either starting a week later, or closing down during the 9 day deer gun season to add days on too the end of the season. I would also favor moving the split for North/South back to the original HWY 10 boundary from years ago.

Posted By:
ABest
Web Member

12-09-2011 19:55
– – –
Sure would like to see season made 1 week longer. Have a ton of Mallards in front of the house right now. Heading to Nebraska on Sunday Platte river. They are open till end of January.

Posted By:
Trial Lawyer
Web Member

season dates 12-09-2011 10:21
– – –
If you hunt over water, I assume you like the existing season dates. If you hunt in the fields, I expect you would want the season extended. I hunt both and would like to see the season extended.

I will continue to research past migration dates compared to our season ending dates to develop a database of evidence. My tentative suggestion would be to start the 2012 duck season on October 6, 2012, have a 7 day break and end the duck season on December 12, 2012. What is the collective wisdom of the group?

I would encourage each of you to contact your local representative to the Congressional Congress, particularly those members who sit on the Conservation Congress Migratory Committee, to discuss your concerns. Here is a link to the roster of county delegates: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/nrboard/congress/members/local/ and a link to the July 30, 2011 committee minutes where they discussed the new duck zones: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/nrboard/congress/minutes/2011/MigratoryJuly%2030.pdf.

Collectively, let’s continue to share our ideas.

Posted By:
Kris-Bertelsen
Field Editor

DU State Convention 12-07-2011 13:36
– – –
Join us in Green Bay for the 2012 Wisconsin State Convention. The Convention is for all Ducks Unlimited Supporters. Join us to in Celebrating the Ducks Unlimited 75th Anniversary.

Special guest this year include DU Chief Biologist Dale Humburg, WDNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, Director of DU Government Affairs Office in DC Scott Sutherland and Wildlife Biologist and Manager for State Grants for Western Canada Dave Kosterksy.

The official convention start is Friday at 6PM with a Tailgate party and runs through Saturday Night’s Dinner. For full convention details click on the image of the flier below.

For more information www.ducks.org

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