Skip to main content

Waterfowl Hunting

Hunters-waiting-inside-a-blind-or-hind-on-a-shoot-885759688_8660x5773.jpeg

The Wisconsin waterfowl hunter is one of the most dedicated and involved conservationists in the nation, contributing time and money to waterfowl management and habitat restoration. Wisconsin is a great waterfowl hunting state, thanks in part to hunter enthusiasm and dedication to the sport. Look below for more information on waterfowl reports and surveys, hunting regulations and other current issues.

GETTING READY FOR THE SEASON

2022 Migratory Game Bird Season

Looking for a place to waterfowl hunt? Check out this helpful resource.

For updates on statewide conditions and migration check out our Notes from the Field.

INFORMATION ON WATERFOWL AND HPAI

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been detected in Wisconsin in domestic poultry and some species of waterfowl and raptors beginning in spring 2022. Unlike previous strains of HPAI, this strain has caused mortalities in waterfowl in the state of Wisconsin.

Hunters should never harvest wild birds that appear sick. This fall our HPAI surveillance efforts will prioritize investigating reports of 5 or more sick or dead waterfowl and waterbirds. Investigations into reports of sick or dead raptors or avian scavengers will continue to consider HPAI as a cause. If you observe waterfowl that appear sick, contact the DNR's Wildlife Hotline by emailing DNRWildlifeSwitchboard@wisconsin.gov or by leaving a voicemail for a return phone call at 608-267-0866.

This strain of HPAI does not pose a food safety risk. However, hunters should always ensure proper handling of game meat and harvested birds should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.

Additional precautions include wearing gloves while handling wild birds, washing hands and equipment thoroughly with soap and water, and preventing hunting dogs from coming into contact with any sick or found dead birds. 

Further information can be found through the US Fish and Wildlife Service and hunters with backyard poultry flocks can refer to USDA Hunters Protect your Poultry and Pet Birds from AI.

Visit the DNR's wildlife diseases page for more information on avian influenza and other diseases affecting wildlife health.

Waterfowl Resources

Wisconsin Waterfowl Season Public Input

Public Input

Hunter Resources

Invasive Species Management

Becoming a better hunter

Recipes

Check out these wild game recipes [PDF] provided by DNR staff.

Waterfowl identification

Dabbling Duck Wing Identification

Diving Duck Wing Identification

Mapping tools

Waterfowl Program Photos

WDNR Banding

Waterfowl Banding Wood Duck

WDNR Waterfowl Surveys

Mississippi River Aerial Flight

Wisconsin DNR Wild Wisconsin Podcast

Check out our Wild Wisconsin: Off the Record Podcast. In this episode, we cover the basics of migratory game birds in Wisconsin and give you an inside look at work done to help improve your time afield and our efforts to keep you engaged. Sit back and listen in. And if you like what you hear, click the button to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform.