Minnesota waterfowl season dates and limits announced

With continental populations of many species of ducks again near
record

highs, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
has

established a 60-day duck season that opens Oct. 3 with a daily
bag

limit of six ducks.

Bag limits for most species will be the same as last season,
except

hunters will be able to harvest one canvasback and the scaup
limit will

be two for the entire 60-day season. This good news for diver
duck

hunters is based on increased numbers of canvasbacks and scaup
in the

continental breeding duck survey.

Based on an increase in breeding waterfowl populations and pond
numbers

across Canada and the northern plains, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife

Service is offering states in the Mississippi Flyway,
including

Minnesota, a 60-day season that could include a six-duck limit
with two

hen mallards and three wood ducks. Minnesota will continue with
a daily

bag limit of one hen mallard that has been in place since
2005.

Likewise, the DNR is maintaining a conservative approach to wood
ducks

by maintaining a two-bird limit.

The bag limits will continue to protect local breeding mallard
and wood

duck populations and will provide more opportunity for Minnesota
hunters

to benefit from high continental waterfowl populations if
habitat

conditions and weather cooperate, and migrant ducks move through
the

state in ample numbers.

“We knew the wood duck limit would be of interest to our
hunters,”

said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. “So we reviewed
the

biological information, took some additional public input
through a new

online questionnaire, and in the end decided to maintain the
two-bird

limit again this year.”

DUCK SEASON

The regular waterfowl season will open Saturday, Oct. 3, at 9
a.m. and

continue through Tuesday, Dec. 1. The six-duck bag may include
no more

than four mallards, with only one hen mallard, and one black
duck, one

pintail, one canvasback, two wood ducks, two redheads and two
scaup.

Possession limits remain at twice the daily bag limits.

Except for opening day, when shooting hours will be 9 a.m. to 4
p.m.,

shooting hours will be from one half hour before sunrise to 4
p.m. daily

through Saturday, Oct. 10, and from one half hour before sunrise
to

sunset thereafter.

Motorized decoys or other motorized devices designed to
attract

migratory birds may not be used from the opening day of duck
season

through Saturday, Oct. 10. Motorized decoys or other motorized
devices

designed to attract migratory birds may not be used at any time
during

the season on water bodies and lands fully contained within
state

wildlife management area boundaries.

Additional details on the duck, goose and migratory bird
hunting

seasons will be in the 2009 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting
Regulations,

available in mid-August.

YOUTH WATERFOWL DAY

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day will be Saturday, Sept. 19. Hunters
age 15

and under may take regular season bag limits when accompanied by
a

nonhunting adult (age 18 and older, no license required). Canada
geese,

mergansers, coots and moorhens may be taken from one-half hour
before

sunrise to 4 p.m. Motorized decoy restrictions are in effect.
New for

this year, five geese may be taken statewide. There are no
license

requirements, except hunters age 13 to 15 must have a firearms
safety

certificate or an apprentice hunter validation in their
possession. All

other migratory bird hunting regulations apply.

GOOSE SEASONS

Minnesota’s regular goose season will open in conjunction with
the

duck season on Saturday, Oct. 3, except for Canada goose seasons
in the

West-Central Goose Zone, which will open on Thursday, Oct. 15.
The daily

bag limit will be two Canada geese statewide. Possession limits
are

double the daily bag limits. Efforts to increase Minnesota’s
daily

goose bag to three statewide except for the West Central Goose
Zone were

not approved by the Mississippi Flyway Council.

EARLY SEPTEMBER GOOSE SEASON

The early Canada goose season will open statewide on Saturday,
Sept. 5.

The September season is designed to harvest Minnesota-breeding
geese

prior to the arrival of migrant geese. Hunter survey results
show about

36 percent of Minnesota’s goose harvest occurs during the
early

September season. The early season is open statewide through
Tuesday,

Sept. 22. Bag limits for Canada geese will be five per day,
statewide.

A required $4 permit is valid for both early and late season
goose

hunting. Permits are available wherever hunting and angling
licenses are

sold.

New this year, the restriction prohibiting hunting within 100
yards of

surface water has been lifted for the Southeast and Metro goose
zones.

Now this restriction applies only to the Northwest goose zone,
the

Carlos Avery WMA and an area surrounding Swan Lake in Nicollet
County.

Early season goose hunters should consult the 2009 Waterfowl
Supplement

for details.

Regular Goose Season

In the West Central Zone, the regular Canada goose season will
be open

from Oct. 15 through Oct .18, and from Oct. 24 through Nov. 29.
In the

remainder of the state the season will be open from Oct. 3
through Dec.

11. The daily bag limit will be two Canada geese.

Late Goose Seasons

December Canada goose seasons will be offered statewide except
in the

West-Central Goose Zone. Late season hunters must have a $4
permit,

which is valid for both early and late special goose seasons.
The late

season will be open Dec. 12 to Dec. 21, except in the Southeast
Goose

Zone, where the season will be open Dec. 19 to Dec. 28.

Bag limits for Canada geese during the late season will be five
per

day, except in the Southeast Goose Zone, where the bag limit
will be

two.

The season for light geese (snow, blue and Ross’ geese) and
brant

will be Oct. 3 through Dec. 28, with a daily limit of 20 light
geese and

one brant. The season for white-fronted geese will be Oct. 3
through

Dec. 27, with a daily limit of one white-fronted goose.

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