Warm weather not dampening Minnesota waterfowl hunting

Undeterred by warm weather, many Minnesota waterfowl hunters are reporting fair to good hunting success since the season began on Sept. 23, Ducks Unlimited said in a migration update Wednesday, Oct. 18.

According to the Minnesota DNR, waterfowl hunters are taking advantage of excellent wild rice production this year, with solid numbers of ring-necked ducks in most areas now, the report said. In the northern tier of the state, a variety of duck species have joined local populations of wood ducks and mallards along with Canada Geese over the past few weeks.

Hunters in the central and south zones have also reported a pronounced increase in waterfowl numbers this week.

“Divers are moving through central Minnesota en masse now, including a big push of canvasbacks and redheads. Water is relatively abundant, but high in some wetlands and shallow lakes due to recent rains, which may make some of them too deep for optimal foraging habitat,” said John Schneider, DU’s manager of conservation programs in Minnesota. “Further north, in the forested regions of the state, wild rice habitat remains excellent this year. Both mallards and ring-necked ducks should hold until ice arrives in November.”

In west-central Minnesota, Avery/Banded pro-staffer Will Harvey is optimistic about the remainder of the season, although he notes that Canada goose numbers remain low in his area.

— Ducks Unlimited

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