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NRC sets 2013-14 Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Season

August 14th, 2013

Michigan hunters will once again enjoy 60-day duck seasons this fall, as the Natural Resources Commission set waterfowl seasons last week at its regular meeting in Muskegon. In addition, the NRC also approved increasing the possession limit for waterfowl to be three times the daily bag limit to bring Michigan in line with what the federal framework allows, making it easier for hunters on extended hunting trips to bring back more of their take.

The Process

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) establishes frameworks for migratory bird hunting seasons, and states must choose seasons within those frameworks. In Michigan, the DNR has been working with hunters serving on the Citizen’s Waterfowl Advisory Committee (CWAC), to come up with the annual proposal for waterfowl regulations for more than 30 years. MUCC asked for your input, which was then transmitted to our representative on CWAC. CWAC met on August 3 and arrived at consensus recommendations for the waterfowl seasons that were then shared with the NRC in advance of their decision.

The Duck Seasons

Duck seasons will once again be split into two segments in all three of state duck-hunting zones. For those of you that like to plan ahead, there is also agreement among CWAC members to try to set a consistent opening day for each Zone for the next three years (Zone 1–Saturday closest to Sept. 24, Zone 2-First Saturday in October, Zone 3-Second Saturday in October) as long as the future federal framework allows for a 60-day season. For 2013, the dates are as follows:

  • In the North Zone, duck season is set for Sept. 21 –Nov. 10 and Nov. 23 – Dec. 1.
  • In the Middle Zone, duck season is Oct. 5 – Dec. 1 and Dec. 14-15.
  • In the South Zone, duck season is slated for Oct. 12 – Dec. 8 and Dec. 28-29.

The daily bag limit is six ducks, to include no more than four mallards (no more than one hen), three wood ducks, three scaup (bluebills), two redheads, two canvasback, two pintails and one black duck.

The Goose Seasons

Waterfowl hunting starts with the early Canada goose season beginning Sept. 1 statewide. The season is Sept.1-10 in the North Zone and Sept 1-15 in the rest of the state except in Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron counties, where the season is Sept.1-10. The daily bag limit is five.

The regular Canada goose season is Sept. 11 – Dec. 11 in the North Zone; Sept. 21-29 and Oct. 5 – Dec. 26 in the Middle Zone; and Sept. 21-23, Oct. 12 – Dec. 8 and Dec. 28-29 in the South Zone, except in designated goose management units. The daily bag limit is two.

For designated goose management units, the season dates are as follows:

  • In the Saginaw County Goose Management Unit, the season is Sept. 21-23, Oct. 12 – Dec. 8 and Dec. 28 – Jan. 27, 2014, with a daily bag limit of two.
  • In the Tuscola/Huron GMU, the season is Sept. 21-27, Oct. 12 – Dec. 8, and Dec. 28- Jan. 23, with a daily bag limit of two.
  • In the Allegan County GMU, the season is Nov. 2 – Jan, 31, with a daily bag limit of two.
  • In the Muskegon Wastewater GMU, the season is Oct. 16 – Nov. 13 and Dec. 1-22, with a daily bag limit of two.

The late goose season in the South Zone is Jan. 18 – Feb. 15, 2014, with a daily bag limit of five.

The announcement of the 2013-14 waterfowl hunting seasons continues the celebration of the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy (MWL). The MWL is a 10-year, cooperative partnership to restore, conserve and celebrate Michigan’s waterfowl, wetlands and waterfowl hunting community. For more information about MWL, please visit www.michigan.gov/mwl.

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