Wisconsin Waterfowl Association
Dedicated to the Conservation of Wisconsin's Waterfowl and Wetland Resources.
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Thank You To WWA's
2018 Sponsors & Donors

Gold Level Sponsors
Silver Level Sponsors
Bronze Level Sponsors
State Level Sponsors
State Level Donors
  • Dale Arenz
  • Ted Olson
  • Jack Olson
  • Tom Lutes
  • Patrick Smith
  • Erich Pitz
  • Randy Hess
  • Raymond Petersen
  • Bruce Urben
  • Brian Hadler
  • David R. VanLanen
  • John Wetzel
  • Scott Zoellick
  • Cal Barstow
  • Terry G. Doughty
  • Bill Peebles
  • Jim Weix
  • Leonard & Arleen Wurman
  • Jeff Nania
  • Rob Monette
  • Guy McFarren
  • John Regan
  • Jerry Burns
  • Jerry Gadamus
  • Don Moore
  • Arthur Anderson
  • Don Kloetzke
  • Buzz Balzer
  • David Uihlein, Sr.
  • Robert Kieckhefer
  • Mark Drollinger
  • Jason Alvarado
  • Scott Hedin
  • Austin Wheaton
  • Tom Seibert
  • Larry Kirby
  • Sharon Kirby
  • Keith A. Pamperin
  • Lance Voeltner
  • Benjamin Larson
  • Randy Helbach
  • Don Kirby
  • Robert Swanson
  • Michael Alaimo
  • Eric Urben
  • Bryan Urben
  • Erich Schultz
  • Jon Bergquist
  • Craig Lonzo
  • Creed Ferch
  • Gunner Seibert
  • Reggie Rechek
  • Sophie Vanden Boogart
  • Moose Vanden Boogart
  • Max White
  • Eve Monette
  • Ziva Fisher
  • Pearl Olson
  • Lynard Sitton
  • Phez Bartelmez
  • Jax Braun
  • Sapphire Klug
  • Rolf Timm
  • Neka Otten
  • Reba Regan
  • Izy Paitrick
  • Jake Regan
  • Remington Bratz
Gone but not forgotten
  • Les Didier
  • John Holmes
  • Joseph Porten
Gone but never forgotten
  • Zoe Regan
  • Nixx Urben

Thanks to all those that have cherished the memory of a loved one by donating in memoriam to the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association.
Those recently memorialized were:
Mr. David E. Hughes
Donors: Mr. & Mrs. Jim Tavares, Mr. & Mrs. Fred Welch

Mr. Joseph Porten
Donors:  WWA 2018 Board of Directors and Staff

Attorney Dan Fay
Donor: Dale W. Arenz

Mr. Robert J. Kuehl
Donor: Ms. Penny D. Kuehl
Mr. John Held
Ms. Kathy Shurts

Mr. John Holmes
Dale W. Arenz, Jon Bergquist

Mr. Jay Reed
Donor: Bob & Cookie Olson  

Mr. Norman J. Brady
Dale W. Arenz

Mr. Robert E. Strous

: Bruce Urben

If you'd like to consider a lasting and meaningful memorial fund contribution for that friend, hunting partner, co-worker or relative with WWA, please contact us. Each contribution will offer:
  • A personalized letter to the family of the deceased,
  • A letter from WWA sent to the donor confirming contribution for tax purposes (address & individual donation amount must be supplied),
  • The option for the donor to designate which WWA program they wish their contributions be put towards, and a listing in this section for the duration of one year
The Wisconsin Waterfowl Association is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission focuses on wetland and upland habitat restoration, youth and adult environmental education and environmental- and hunter-based legislation.  
To contact us call (800) 524-8460 or (262) 968-1722, email wwainfo@centurytel.net or visit our website at  www.wisducks.org        
Don Kirby
Executive Director
Wisconsin Waterfowl Association
PO Box 427
Wales, Wisconsin 53183
Moving On
Don Kirby, Executive Director, 262.224.4949  


Welcome to October! I hope you've been able to enjoy at least a little bit of the "fruit of your labors" with the opening weekend of waterfowl seasons, just passed, or one of the early opportunities last month. The table of nature's bounty is set for all of us to enjoy, for the next couple of months before Ol' Man Winter makes another appearance. Thanks for taking a moment to update yourself on the activities of your association.

In a time of year dominated by our focus on being in the field, we've been busy in other areas. In the regulatory/legislative/science aspects of our endeavors, things are moving along again: we had a very productive meeting of the USFWS "Joint Venture" committee last month, where we seek to update the planning documents that focus where wetland habitat restoration & preservation resources are applied, first authored in 1992! Alongside that committee, another ad-hoc team continues to advise/partner with the WDNR, as we look to update the WI Waterfowl Strategic Plan, as well (this plan will reflect input provided by the "JV" mentioned above). Additionally, the coalition of outdoor conservation organizations, lead by Larry Bonde, president of the WI Conservation Congress, has presented budget proposals for specific increased funding resources to both Governor Walker's team, and candidate Evers' team. These proposals include the increased funding from raising the WI Waterfowl Stamp from its current 1997-era rate of $7, to $12, returning the purchasing power it had 20 years ago, a project I've been partnering with others on since 2010. And in a couple weeks, we'll see the coalition of organizations united under the "Sportsmen For Wetlands" banner come together again to renew our offer of educational resources to elected leaders at all levels, on our incredible wetland resources here in the state. Exciting and busy times, for certain.

Don Kirby and daugher, Brooke, working at Abrams last month
Unfortunately, my turn to lead these efforts on behalf of our membership is nearly ended. A few weeks short of my nine-year employment anniversary, my last day on staff for WWA will be Friday, October 5th. Last month, I accepted an offer to join friends at BastDurbin Advertising, re-focusing my efforts on another side of the outdoors world. Together at WWA, we've accomplished a tremendous array of projects over my time here: our growth in membership ranks of all types, the development of the disabled-access project property at Abrams, the 2016 re-boot of our website, establishment of the WWA Endowment program at the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, and the grass-roots growth of WWA's Adopt A Wildlife Area initiative rank high in my mind, among the many milestones we've accomplished with your help.

I thank you for the opportunity to have worked with our incredible volunteers, and having a chance to make a difference, and I thank you for being a part of our Association. If your membership has lapsed, consider taking a moment now to renew it. On Facebook? Check out our friends group, and join in the conversation. With year-end approaching, if your situation allows, consider making a contribution to the WWA endowment fund, or to our regular operating funds. Each person matters, every contribution helps us continue our works, all around the state. Forward this e-newsletter to one of your buddies, they'll thank you for it, and so do we.

See you on the water,       

2019 Calendars Are Here!
10th Anniversary Limited Edition, featuring 365 fabulous prizes, including:
  • 30 Shotguns
  • 28 Handguns
  • 12 Mathews Archery Z3 Bows
  • Scheels Gift Cards & Packages
  • 6 Parker Crossbows
  • 6 Guided Fishing Trips from Conro's Family Resort
  • 24 Steiner Binoculars
  • And more!
  • Only 5,000 Sold
Get yours online now before they sell out! Or, find your calendars at a local establishment near you.
Words From The Wardens
This month's edition is courtesy of Warden Mike Disher of Calumet County and Warden Jason Higgins of Winnebago County

Heavy rains fuel strong conditions for teal hunters -  along with a healthy population of those mosquitoes!
This month we asked two of our wardens known for their expertise in the early teal season to write a column. Warden Mike Disher serves Calumet County while Warden Jason Higgins serves Winnebago County - two counties popular for duck hunting.
What follows are the wardens' overview of what they are seeing in each of their service areas this season.
Veteran Hunters Good with Duck ID on the Wing
Warden Mike says he saw an increase in teal hunters this year on the heels of the abundance of rain the Calumet County area - along with a lot of southern Wisconsin - saw in August.

"With water basically everywhere, most hunters this year were focusing on ducks and not doves," he said, and that  concentrations of hunters were found mostly on public lands (Brillion and Killsnake Wildlife Areas) while private lands were mostly void of teal hunters.  "I am guessing due to high water, this year we actually had good numbers of teal around and several large flocks of blue-wing teal  were seen repeatedly on the Brillion."
He says he received no complaints concerning hunters shooting non-target birds, despite large numbers of mallards also flying in the area.  "Most groups I contacted were veteran/die-hard waterfowl guys and it was somewhat obvious they were good with duck ID while on the wing," Warden Mike said, adding most hunters he talked with had one to three birds and mostly blue-winged. "Weather was somewhat warm, but reasonable for this time of year."
And, he says, "Several areas had high numbers of mosquitos and bug spray was a must. 
Teals Return in Larger Numbers Than Previous Years
Warden Jason says as teal hunter numbers in Winnebago County were like previous years, and the number of teal on two popular public marshes were up from the last two years
He says the majority were hunting on the large marsh areas of Uihlein Marsh and Rush Lake in Winnebago County, and most he contacted had bagged one to three birds. 
"The early teal season over the last couple of years has had very few teal, with more arriving to the area around the regular duck season," he said. "However, this year the teal numbers were present, which may have been due to the large amount of water in the area from previous rainfalls."
In years past, he says he received numerous complaints of people shooting duck species other than teal. "This year I did not receive any complaints".
The early teal season in Wisconsin is a terrific opportunity but the teal only hunt also requires that hunters master the sport, he says.  "Every duck hunter knows how difficult it can be at times to sometimes identify a duck in hand, nonetheless a duck flying in low light conditions," he said.
For the first seven days of September in Wisconsin, teal hunters need to be cautious of what they are shooting and properly identify their legal target.  It is not very often that hunters are required to be 100% accurate. 
"Sure, law requires you shoot a bearded turkey in the spring, but let's face it, turkeys look like prehistoric dinosaurs," he said. "And, it is pretty easy to see a beard or no beard.  But shooting a duck on the wing is a different talent all together, and any duck hunter will tell you it takes time in the marsh identifying birds.
"Most hardcore waterfowl hunters know the best training guide is being in the marsh watching the ducks."

Hunter's Boot Cleaning Stations: Aquatic Invasive Species Control/Education Update
In 2015, WWA was a major partner in a grant-funded experiment, placing educational boot & wader cleaning stations out at major public access points around Wisconsin. WWA's stations were placed in areas around Green Bay, Horicon Marsh, Big Muskego Lake (pictured at right), and other public properties in Waukesha County. The stations provide real tools for hunters to use to clean their footwear & gear, to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, but perhaps more importantly, provide information via extensive educational signage - raising awareness of the entire issue for sportspersons who may not have even considered the consequences of their movements from one hunting site to another.

Last week, WWA completed the construction of another 12 of these stations, for future use by our Adopt A Wildlife Area teams, as well as other chapter outreach activities in local communities. We were fortunate to receive major in-kind assistance from Chaseburg Manufacturing, the Coon Valley, WI-based manufacturer of the "Big Boot Scrushers" that are the centerpiece of the stations, along with UW Extension/WDNR, who are providing the informational signs (pictured above), that will top each station, once our order arrives later this month. Once that part of the assembly is completed, starting next year, these stations will begin to populate the landscape, providing service & information to all who see them, and utilize the public access points they'll be stationed near. Our hearty "thanks" to these partners for helping make these stations a reality!
If you have any questions regarding this program or the boot cleaning stations, please contact WWA's Lead AWA Volunteer Mike Alaimo.
Third Annual Hall of Fame Class

The Hall of Fame committee will begin accepting nominations for their Third Annual Hall of Fame Class on October 15th. Do you know of someone you'd like to nominate to the WWA Hall of Fame?    Please read the full selection and eligibility process, Code of Ethics each Hall of Fame member must abide by, and check back at this link on October 15 of 2018 to fill out the application form for the 3rd Annual Hall of Fame class . Nominations will then be accepted until November 15, 2018.

If elected to the WWA Hall of Fame, the nominee will be honored at the WWA state meeting in January, 2019.
Project Program Updates
Peter Ziegler
By Peter Ziegler, WWA Project Director

Water is not an issue in most parts of the state right now and the waterfowl are loving it. They have been spread out feeding in recently flooded areas which hold a tremendous amount of valuable food resources as they begin their fall migration.

Many wetlands went underwater in the past month and have recently begun to return to normal levels, but water is high and abundant throughout much of the state. This has delayed some projects and a few that will have to wait until winter to be completed due to the wetness. 

A project WWA partnered on was completed recently out at the Madison Audubon Society - Goose Pond property. For those who do not know about this place, it is a tremendous spot for birds during migration and breeding. WWA, USFWS and Madison Audubon partnered on the project to restore a basin, which will aid in bird habitat in Columbia county. 

This project was partially funded through WWA's successful NAWCA grant received this year in which all partners provided matching time or money, thereby bolstering our competitiveness for the grant and helping all of us get some quality wetland habitat on the ground.

Mark and Sue Martin of Madison Audubon checking to see how the project is going; shallow ground water can be seen seeping in. Photo by Arlene Koziol.

This area was highly impacted by sediment loading through time. There were spots on the site where 18+ inches of sediment have buried the original wetland, changing the hydro periods and vegetative components and ultimately use by wildlife which rely on wetlands for survival.

Wetland scrapes filled with water after 2.8 inches of rain. The prairie restoration surrounding this wetland provides excellent nesting habitat for many birds and aids in the long-term ecological protection of the wetland. Photo by Mark Martin.
The Search Is Underway
By Bruce Urben, President, 920.660.2773
Bruce Urben

Wisconsin Waterfowl Association was blessed to have Don Kirby as our Executive Director for the past nearly nine years.  As many of you know, Don came to WWA after a career in the sales field with a large box sporting goods company. With Don's help, WWA has moved from a small non-profit conservation Organization to one of over 6,000 members and a leader in Wisconsin habitat restoration, a respected voice with conservation leadership and active with educational events and programs.
Don's last day with WWA is October 5th, as he is taking his talents to a national advertising agency. Thank you, Don, for all of your hard work over the last almost nine years. Your commitment and passion for the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association and Wisconsin conservation has been your priority and we thank you for that! We will surely miss you at WWA, but wish you best of luck in your new endeavors.

WWA has established a search and recruitment committee and will be moving forward to fill our Executive Director position. Please stay in touch with our website for our announcement to fill in the near future. 

If you have questions about the position, feel free to contact me directly at 920-660-2773 or at burben@netnet.net.
Get out and enjoy the Wisconsin Outdoors. Opening day is finally here!

WWA's Adopt A Wildlife Area Success Receives DNR Accolades
WWA Volunteers at Rome Pond in April 2018
From the WDNR's Facebook Page:

We would like to thank the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association(WWA) for all their hard work in the Adopt-A-Wildlife-Area program.

The WWA has adopted seven wildlif e areas across the state since 2016 including: Mud Lake WA in Columbia county, Rome Pond WA and Lake Mills WA in Jefferson county, Jackson Marsh WA in Washington county, Big Muskego WA and Paradise Marsh WA in Waukesha county, and George W. Mead WA in Marathon/Wood/Portage counties.

WWA's most well-known waterfowl and wetland conservation projects are their Wood Duck boxes and nesting structures, invasive species eradication through purple loosestrife beetles and boot cleaning stations, and brush clearing projects for habitat restoration. These projects are critical to enhance the productivity of our state wildlife areas. It is this dedication that makes WWA's adopt commitment, a vital component in the conservation of state public lands.

Click here to learn more about WWA's Adopt A Wildlife Area Program.
Tom's Event Corner
By Tom Seibert, Regional Director

I want to thank all of you for your support of the West Allis Chapter banquet event we held in September. We have a few events left this year so mark your calendars for November 29th which is our Lakeshore Banquet in Manitowoc; their flyer and online purchasing will be online by the middle of the month. They will have many great guns for you to win and a wonderful buffet dinner. It might be time to take a road trip. We've received some OnX Hunt map apps for giveaways ($30 value phone app for 1 full year) for our next 2 events. This hunting map app went over so well at the West Allis Chapter banquet that we are excited to be able to promote this product. I have seen this app and have decided to use it myself!

We will be drawing the winner of our Waterfowlers Dream Hunt on December 6th at the Delafield Brewhaus during our Christmas Bash event. We will have several great prizes and many guns to win at this event also. This is a small entry fee and short 2 hour event that is loaded with tons of fun games and raffles with free beer and hot snacks. I see another road trip in your future.

Hunting season is upon us so take some time and enjoy the fruits of your contributions to Wisconsin's outdoors. Without all of your support, WWA's efforts couldn't exist so Thank You! Come and have fun at our last remaining events and help us help this state's wildlife flourish.

I will be out of the office doing some field research in the coming weeks. In other words, I will be hunting ducks. I hope to see you in the field. Be safe and enjoy your hunt. Take someone new along and then bring them to a WWA event. Thanks again for all you do.
Sponsor Spotlight: SportDOG Brand
With everyone heading out in the field, many of us are enjoying the relationships we've built up with our canine partners over years of effort in training & conditioning.  If you're looking for help in improving that relationship with your dog, look no further than long-time WWA State Sponsor, SportDOG.

Win the SportDOG Wetland Hunter 1825 at a WWA event near you!
At most all of our major events, you'll find SportDOG products, like the 1825 Wetland Hunter or 425 Wetland Hunter collar sets, as stand-alone prizes or as part of hunting dog packages, sure to blow you away!  SportDOG's continued support of WWA ensures we're able to offer these incredible prizes at our fundraising events, while exposing their products to new legions of future dog owners/trainers.

Check out this information from their website:
Gear The Way You'd Design It. That's not some marketing mumbo jumbo written by a bunch of suits. We really are just like you and your buddies: Obsessed with dogs and hunting. And like you, we spend as much time as possible walking the prairie, roaming the woods or searching the sky from a waterfowl blind

While you're in there, checking them out, take a look at some of the other great content they offer, to help you enjoy better outcomes from your hard work in training your hunting partner:  https://www.sportdog.com/hunting-training-tips/5-mistakes-to-avoid-when-training-your-gun-dog#content-top

Our continued thanks to the folks at SportDOG, for their support of WWA,  helping us provide this amazing opportunity to our guests at our fundraising events and to Calendar winners, as well as for supporting the works of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association.  For more information on SportDOG's amazing lineup of products, check out the logo-links in this E-news update, or on the sponsors section of our website.  Check them out today!




Thank you to everyone who purchased our 2018 Conservation Calendar! This raffle was again an immensely successful fundraiser for our organization's mission.  

Drawings will be held on the SECOND WEDNESDAY of each month and all drawings will be held at Marsh Inn, 220 S. Hwy W in Reedsville, WI, at 6:00 p.m. The drawing is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. 

Winner's results are posted online by noon on the Thursday following the drawing and the month's drawing results can also be obtained by request via email or by calling (262) 968-1722 or writing to PO Box 427, Wales, WI 53183. 
Good luck to all who are entered!

The Decoy CornerWildfowler Decoys
Wildfowler Decoys Old Saybrook Pintail Pair
By Bruce Urben, President

Wildfowler Decoy Company is another successful factory decoy manufacturer that has been in business since 1939.

Ted Mulliken began Wildfowler Decoys in Saybrook, Connecticut in 1939 and decoys were produced in a number of different locations and by several different owners over the next 70+ years. Wildfowler was established to produce a high quality decoy at a reasonable price. The vast majority of "Old Saybrook" decoys were produced from balsa, however pine and cedar were used on a more limited basis. Most decoys and heads were produced on a duplicating lathe. It is reported that 4000-6000 decoys were produced annually through
1957. Some accounts could put that number over 15,000 per year.

Wildfowler Decoy Company Canada Goose

In 1958 a fire destroyed Ted Mulliken's Wildfowler operation and the business was sold to Robert Staniford (who had worked for Ted). Robert moved the Wildfowler decoy business to Quogue, Long Island. Paint patterns from the Staniford era are substantially different from Mulliken's but most (but not all) decoys are stamped with the familiar Wildfowler, circular identification, and location on the decoy bottom. Staniford closed the decoy shop in the 1960's and it was purchased in 1961 by Charlie Birdsall. The decoy operation was again moved, this time to Point Pleasant, New Jersey at a shop behind Charlie's house. New decoys were added to the line as well as the original Wildfowler patterns from Saybrook and Quogue. Charlie operated the business until 1977 when it was sold again and moved to Babylon, NewYork!

Wildfowler Factory Black Duck Decoy
All Wildfowler decoys are made of wood or balsa and have glass eyes. Most are stamped on the bottom identifying where they were produced. Those with missing stamps can be easily identified by paint patterns by experienced dealers or collectors.

Early Wildfowler Decoys are quite collectible and even later produced decoys have good value. The collector value of Wildfowler Decoys is from $300-$1500 (Warmon's Decoys, 2006) depending on age, species and manufacture location. An early, pristine, woodduck was sold in 1995 for $1760!

Wildfowler Green-Winged Teal Drake
Many good examples of a Wildfowler Decoys can be found on internet sites and at shows. You may even encounter some at auctions and garage sales.

Wildfowler Decoys are excellent examples of working decoys with exceptional paint schemes. While many are still being used by waterfowlers, many more are ending up on mantels and in collections. You can't go wrong with a Wildfowler decoy in your collection or on your shelf.

As always, consult with a reputable decoy collector or dealer to confirm identification and values.  Happy collecting!
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