Hunters can kill six teal each day, but can have only 18 in possession. The experimental early teal season runs from Tuesday through Sept. 7.”If we do good for three years, they (the FWS) will lift the experimental status and make the season operational, without the evaluation we do now.”Michigan’s early Canada Goose Season runs from Tuesday through Sept. 10 in the Upper Peninsula and Huron, Tuscola and Saginaw Counties. The season is open Tuesday through Sept. 15 in the rest of the state. The daily bag limit is five geese statewide.North American breeding waterfowl populations were reported at record highs this year, according to the FWS and Canadian Wildlife Service who jointly produced the “2015 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey” of the prairie regions.
The number of ducks climbed to 49.52 million, just above 49.15 million in 2014, and still 43 percent above the long-term average. The nation’s mallard population climbed to 11.64 million, a 7 percent increase over 2014.Michigan mallard counts, however, remain about the same as last season, according to Avers. Three quarters of the mallards that Michigan hunters shoot come from Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, she said. They are not the birds counted in the prairies.”We’re still below long-term averages, but we estimate having 238,000 mallards, about the same as last year,” Avers said. “They are still the No. 1 duck in hunters’ bags. Wood ducks have been pretty stable in Michigan. They and mallards are the two primary birds that hunters shoot. Green-winged teal, buffleheads and redheads round out the top five.”
Hunting season regulations remain the same as 2014 with the exception of the daily limit for Canvasback ducks.Hunters can shoot two a day, according to Avers. Their breeding population is up 11 percent, according to the FWS and CWS report. They remain about 30 percent above long-term averages.Hunters also should be aware that the price of a federal duck stamp increased from $15 to $25 this year.The stamp is required to hunt waterfowl along with an $11 state resident base license and $12 Michigan waterfowl hunting license.