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Jerry Davis: Wisconsin’s hunting seasons coming to close

December 18, 2018

Some recent hunting season changes may come as a surprise to hunters believing the long-standing closures still apply. In some cases they do; others have been changed during the last decade or more recently.

For the current year, Wisconsin’s ruffed grouse season in Zone A closes a month earlier than last year. Because of a concern and survey work on the possibility of birds being infected with West Nile virus, the season in Zone A closes Dec. 31, not Jan. 31, as printed in hunting pamphlets.

Whether or not that change will be enacted again in 2019, or something different from former date and present rule, are yet to be determined.

The ruffed grouse season in Zone B closed Dec. 8.

Pheasant, and wild turkey seasons in zones 1-5, now close Jan. 6,

2019 instead of years ago when the closure was the end of December.

Deer hunting seasons (archery and crossbow) now close Jan. 6, 2019 in most management zones.

Squirrel season, for red, gray and fox squirrels, ends Jan. 31, 2019, while cottontail rabbit season closes Feb. 28, 2019 in both zones.

Some rules and regulations for squirrel and rabbit seasons are more flexible for landowners (see page 20 in the Wisconsin Small Game Hunting pamphlet). For example: “The owner or occupant of any land and members of their family may, without a license and subject to all other restrictions except seasons, hunt or trap on their own property for beaver, fox, coyote, raccoon, woodchuck, rabbit and squirrel year-round,..”

A number of years ago, the possession limit for several gamebirds, including pheasants and ruffed grouse, changed to be three times the daily bag limit.

Check the regulations pamphlet but in this case, with the grouse season early closure, is not up to date.

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