Waterfowl hunters and wild rice harvesters both make use of Wisconsin’s native wild rice beds from late August through September. Take precautions and keep an eye out for others in and around rice beds to keep everyone safe as they enjoy time outdoors.
Here are three recommendations to stay safe while harvesting:
— Be aware of waterfowl hunting season dates and shooting hours. From Sept. 1-28, shooting hours are open from sunrise to sunset. Full hours and dates are in the 2021 Wisconsin Hunting Regulations.
— Wear bright colors. A bright cap, shirt or vest makes you more visible in and around the rice beds and helps alert others, including waterfowl hunters, to your presence.
— Put an elevated flag on your canoe or push pole. A flag that’s visible above the tops of rice plants can make your position visible from far away.
The DNR provides an interactive map showing many of the state’s wild rice waters, especially in the ceded territory in northern Wisconsin: https://dnrmaps.wi.gov/H5/?viewer=SWDV&layerTheme=Wild+Rice+Waters
Customers can use the map, called the Surface Water Data Viewer, by selecting the “Wild Rice Waters” layer. Anyone who discovers public waters containing wild rice that are not marked on the map can contact the DNR or GLIFWC to have it added for consideration in conservation efforts.