At the April 8 spring Department of Natural Resources hearings, there is a question that is important to all waterfowl hunters. The question is about the definition of open water, as it pertains to waterfowl hunting. Under the present wording a waterfowl blind or boat blind must be in emergent vegetation, rooted to the bottom, and provide 50 percent concealment. Due to the wording, a blind that is legal the first week of October, can be illegal by the end of October, after wave action and cold weather have reduced the height of the emergent vegetation.
The proposed rewording of the rule, removes the words emergent and rooted to the bottom, making it legal to hunt from a boat or blind along a vegetated shore line that provides 50 percent concealment.
The rewording still fulfills the intent of the law, which is to protect resting waterfowl in open water areas. Your vote of approval will increase hunting opportunities, and take the confusion out of the open water restriction, without impacting the resource.