The WWHC was created for the purpose of insuring that all Wisconsin Waterfowl Hunters have a vehicle in which to have their voices heard by those that administer our rules, regulations, and laws. It is this same voice from our Conference that is directed towards the individuals who study and implement scientific practices to preserve our passion for generations to come. We are an independent body of concerned waterfowlers not affiliated with any government or private association. The only formal connection to another entity is with the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. This connection exists to cover the WWHC with liability insurance and 501C3 “Non- Profit” status.
The Wisconsin Waterfowl Hunters Conference is designed, developed and managed by a committee of INDEPENDENT waterfowl hunters. It is supported by individuals, conservation organizations and government agencies.
2018 Wisconsin Waterfowl Hunters’ Conference Summary
The 16th annual Wisconsin Waterfowl Hunters’ Conference was kicked off the evening of March 9 at the Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids with the traditional “Old Duck Hunters’ Party” hosted by the Conference Steering Committee. Small snack and beverages were available and this event is always an opportunity for those attending to renew acquaintances, make new acquaintances and share waterfowl hunting experiences from this past fall and previous years.
The actual Conference began the next morning and was attended by nearly 100 individuals. Robert Landerman, the current Conference Chair, presented the opening remarks and that was followed by a representative of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation who gave an update on the legislative action that would affect our waterfowl hunting tradition, hunting in general and our precious natural resources in general. George Meyer, its Executive Director, who has given that update for the last 15 years, was unable to attend due to recent surgery and we wished him a speedy recovery.
We had 2 Keynote speakers this year, Aaron Yetter of the Illinois Natural History Survey who spoke about the various waterfowl research project the Survey has conducted in recent years including a study that they looked at the timing of duck use of wetlands where waterfowl hunting was allowed some days and not allowed other days and he showed that that ducks quickly reduced their use of wetlands when hunting was allowed and increased their use of the same wetlands when hunting was prohibited. Now many managers of private wetlands recognize this use patter and allow waterfowl hunting only on certain days or during certain hours daily.
Our second Keynote Speaker was Dr. William Hohman of the Natural Resource Conservation Service and he presented to the group basically the life history of the Ring-necked Duck. Dr. Hohman did his PhD work on the Ring-necked Duck. This session was also well received and we thank both Keynote Speakers for participating in the Conference.
We had 4 periods of Break Out Sessions that included Great Lakes Hunting; The Results Known To Date of the 2017 Seasons; What’s In Store for the 2018 Waterfowl Seasons; Looking Ahead to the 2019 Seasons and Beyond; State and Federal Waterfowl Hunting Regulations; Waterfowl Use of Restored Wetlands, We Built them, Did Waterfowl Respond?; WDNR’s Green Bay West Shore Properties; Isolated Wetland In Wisconsin and their Importance to Waterfowl Production and Use; and An Introduction to a new Wood Duck Study being done at UW Stevens Point.
In addition to our Keynote Speakers, we would like to thank Jeff O’Brien; Taylor Finger and Trent Rohrer, WDNR; Dr Jacob Straub, UWSP; John Below, FWS and his supervisor, and Tyler Strelow, WDNR; David Halfmann, WDNR; Kali Rush, UWSP Graduate student; and Tracy Hames, WI Wetland Association. If you did not attend, you missed out on some great information that these speakers shared.
During the noon luncheon, the two Wisconsin Waterfowl Hunters’ Conference $500.00 Scholarships were awarded. The recipients were Macayla Greider and Sean Mason, both undergraduate students studying Wildlife Management at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Congratulations Macayla and Sean and best wishes in your future career.
We feel it was another great Conference and will shortly be announcing the date/location of the 2019 WWHC Conference. We hope you will join us for our 17th Annual Conference in 2019 March 8 and 9 at the Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids. More details about the 2019 Wisconsin Waterfowl Hunters’ Conference will be posted on this website later in the year.