The dates are being announced now for the benefit of those who must establish vacation or hunting plans well in advance. Although these dates are tentative, pending final approval in June, it is unlikely they will change.
General small game, including grouse, gray partridge, rabbits and squirrels, Sept. 16; Pheasant, Oct. 14; Spring wild turkey (first season), April 12; Fall wild turkey (first season), Oct. 18.
Bear (to be announced); Deer-archery, Sept. 16; Deer-firearms, Nov. 4; Deer-muzzleloader, Nov. 25; Elk (to be announced); Moose-northeast zone, canceled for 2000
Fox, raccoon, open continuously; Badger, opossum, Sept. 16; Mink, muskrat, beaver, otter (statewide), Oct. 28; Fisher, marten, bobcat, Dec. 2.
Early Canada goose, Sept. 2; Youth Waterfowl Day, Sept. 16 (tentative); General duck and goose, Sept. 30 (tentative); Rails, snipe, Sept. 1; Woodcock, Sept. 23; Crow, March 1-31 and July 15-Oct. 15.
As previously announced, the DNR plans to go back to an every-other-year moose hunt until funding and staffing of wildlife management programs improve. There will be no season in 2000, but a season is planned for 2001.
Because moose are large animals with relatively low mortality, approximately twice as many permits should be available in an every-other-year season as in the past annual seasons.
This means that the same amount of hunting opportunity and revenue will continue to be provided, with improved efficiency because less administration of the hunt will be required.
Crow hunters should note the new split season that is in effect this year for the fist time. Previously the crow hunting season opened in mid-summer and ran for a continuous 124 days. Now it is split into a March season and a summer-fall season totaling 124 days combined -- the maximum allowed by federal law. This change was made in response to requests from crow hunters for late-winter hunting opportunity.
The bear season opener may be moved a week earlier in an attempt to increase harvests and reduce the potential for bear nuisance and damage problems. A separate announcement will describe bear season proposals and the proposed opening date.
Additional details on season lengths, quotas and bag limits will be announced next summer after the 2000 seasons are finalized.
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