Wisconsin duck hunters have much to look forward to this fall with an estimated record continental duck population.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates a population of 49.5 million ducks across the country.
“This is exciting news for hunters in Wisconsin,” stated Cathy Stepp, Department of Natural Resources Secretary.
The report released by the Fish and Wildlife Service indicates the total duck population across the country is 43 percent higher than long-term averages. The numbers also indicate the highest continental duck population since they began doing surveys in 1955.
“Record numbers are a positive step toward another great year in the field and we hope this is great news from our federal partners will encourage new hunters to experience waterfowl hunting,” said Stepp.
The estimates break down to 11.6 million mallards, 4.1 million green-winged teal, and 8.5 million continental blue-winged teal. The continental blue-winged teal estimate is the third highest on record.
“The numbers are particularly encouraging for Wisconsin duck hunters since green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, and mallards are three of the top four harvested duck species in Wisconsin,” said Department of Natural Resources migratory game bird ecologist Kent Van Horn.
The final dates for Wisconsin’s waterfowl seasons have yet to be decided. For now, Wisconsin hunters can look forward to what sounds like should be a banner year for waterfowl.