DNR gives 2018-19 waterfowl season update

MANISTEE COUNTY — It is almost time to polish up the shotgun, warm up the retriever with some practice throws and don that camouflage as the season approaches for hunting ducks and geese in Michigan.

Area wildlife managers have been working hard all summer to make sure that migrating waterfowl have great habitat conditions on Michigan’s state game and wildlife areas this fall.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has information ready for those interested.

Early teal season

During this early season, blue-winged and green-winged teal are the only ducks that can be harvested. Hunting hours are from sunrise to sunset, and the bag limit is six teal. Hunters are strongly encouraged to study their duck identification skills for early teal season. Don’t shoot if you aren’t sure of your target.

The season is statewide from Sept. 1-16.

Goose seasons

Canada geese, white-fronted geese (or specklebellies) and brant are now part of a dark goose aggregate daily bag limit. From Sept. 1-30, the dark goose aggregate daily bag limit for Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant is five, only one of which can be a brant.

After Sept. 30, the daily limit for dark geese is five, only three of which can be Canada geese and one of which can be a brant.

In simpler terms, hunters can harvest five dark geese per day in September, only one of which can be a brant. All five dark geese harvested could be Canada geese. After Sept. 30, hunters can still harvest five dark geese per day; however, only three can be Canada geese, and only one can be a brant.

Three Canada geese can be harvested daily after Sept. 30, and the remainder of the aggregate daily bag limit can be filled with two white-fronted geese or a white-fronted goose and a brant. This change was made to make it easier for hunters to harvest any of the goose species they encounter during the season.

An aggregate bag limit is also in place for light geese including snow, blue and Ross’s geese. Hunters may harvest 20 light geese per day during goose seasons.

The north zone runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 16; the middle zone from Sept. 1-30 and Oct. 6 to Dec. 21.; south zone from Sept. 1-30, Oct. 13 to Dec. 9, Dec. 29-30 and Jan. 26 to Feb.11, 2019.

Youth waterfowl season

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend will be Sept. 15-16 statewide for properly licensed youth 16 years of age and younger.

Ducks, mergansers, geese, coots and moorhens may be harvested; accompanying adults are not permitted to harvest these species during the hunt unless hunting during the September portion of the Canada goose hunting season or the early teal season.

The daily limits and species restrictions are the same as the regular waterfowl hunting season. Youth 16 years of age also must possess a waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp.

Duck seasons

Regulation changes for 2018-19 include an increased pintail limit. Hunters may take two pintails per day this season. Also new this year for nonresident waterfowl hunters, a nonresident seven-day or a non-resident three-day small game license allows the purchase of a waterfowl license without the purchase of a nonresident base license.

Waterfowl hunting regulations and bag limits can be found in the 2018-19 Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Digest.

Duck seasons are in north zone from Sept. 29 to Nov. 25 and Dec. 1-2; middle zone from Oct. 6 to Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-16; and south zone from Oct. 13 to Dec. 9 and Dec. 29-30.

Call (517) 284-WILD (9453) or email dnr-wildlife@michigan.gov, with any questions.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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