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State officials predicting good season for duck and goose hunting


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- The Natural Resources Board has approved a special extra duck season this fall thanks to some promising numbers coming from federal and state wildlife officials.

There will be both a regular duck season and an early teal season this fall. DNR migratory bird ecologist Kent Van Horn says they're expecting a very good fall season. "Here in 2014 it's 49 point 2 million ducks, estimated, breeding across the major portions of North America, so it's pretty good news. Our Canada goose populations are about average, so expect good production there as well." The early teal season is set for the first week in September and will not require any special tags or permits other than the usual ones you need for ducks.

Despite the record number of birds expected to be in the field, Van Horn says hunters will still need to put some work in while they're out on the marsh or at their favorite pond. "Despite high duck populations, what's going to determine their success in the fall is water conditions, weather in the fall, and how much they scout." Effort now will pay off with bigger harvest come duck season. "The surveys that we've done in the past show if people scout two or three times prior to duck season and get a handle where the ducks are and where the opportunity is, their success goes up three or four times."

If you'd like to learn more about the early teal season and everything else about this fall's duck and goose hunts, check the DNR's website for new and updated information.