Waterfowl hunting zone survey

Waterfowl hunters, we’re asking you to weigh in on your preferences for potential changes to the current waterfowl hunting zones by filling out an online survey. The online survey will be available until Nov. 8. It is available to anyone that bought a Michigan waterfowl hunting license within the last five years. You may take the survey only once.

Every five years, states may make changes to their duck hunting zones; however, any changes must be maintained for the next five years. The DNR has worked with the Citizens Waterfowl Advisory Committee to review the current waterfowl hunting zone and season split structure and identify several proposed options for waterfowl hunting zone boundaries that would affect the 2021-2015 waterfowl hunting seasons. 

Options for potential changes are largely based on feedback from CWAC and other hunters from their experiences related to weather and duck abundance. Data related to freezing dates, as well as duck abundance before and after duck hunting seasons, was reviewed. Potential zone boundary options were developed to potentially provide improved duck hunting opportunities such as taking advantage of early or late migrating duck species.

There are three regions of Michigan that these proposed zone boundaries primarily impact: eastern Upper Peninsula, northwestern Lower Peninsula and Saginaw Bay.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service establishes frameworks for migratory bird hunting seasons, and states must establish hunting seasons within those frameworks. This framework includes duck hunting zones and season splits. 

Responses from the survey will help the DNR develop recommendations for waterfowl hunting zones, which will be presented to the Natural Resources Commission in early 2020. The NRC will make a final decision in early 2020. Any changes to zone boundaries wouldn’t go into effect until the 2021 waterfowl hunting season and would last through the 2025 hunting season.

The survey will only take about 10 minutes of your time, and your opinion is very important to help us understand Michigan waterfowl hunters better.

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