DNR waterfowl specialist: Outlook good for duck, goose seasons
The forecast is calling for a favorable Minnesota waterfowl season.
“Habitat conditions look good in most areas, wild rice reports are good for hunters in the northern portions of the state and waterfowl numbers are favorable,” said Steve Cordts, waterfowl specialist with the Minnesota DNR.
The waterfowl season opens Saturday, Sept. 23 with similar bag limits and season dates as last year. The early goose season will open Saturday, Sept. 2 and extend through Sunday, Sept. 17.
Duck seasons and limits
Duck season will again be open for 60 days in each of the three waterfowl zones.
In the north zone, duck season is Saturday, Sept. 23, through Tuesday, Nov. 21.
In the central zone, duck season is Saturday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Oct. 1, closes for five days, then reopens Saturday, Oct. 7, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 26.
In the south zone, duck season is Saturday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Oct. 1, closes for 12 days, then reopens Saturday, Oct. 14, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 3.
The daily bag limit for ducks remains at six per day and individual species limits are identical to those used last fall: four mallards (only two can be hens), three scaup, three wood ducks, two redheads and two canvasbacks, except the pintail bag limit was reduced to one per day and the black duck limit increased to two per day.
Canada goose seasons and limits
The goose season and limits will also be the same as last fall.
“Our Canada goose population in the state is healthy and it looks like there will be lots of young geese this fall, so hunters should expect a good season. And, the seasons are long and extend late into December or January depending on where you hunt – so lots of opportunity to participate,” Cordts said.
The early September goose season will open statewide on Sept. 2 and run through Sept. 17. Bag limits for dark geese are five per day statewide. A $4 permit is required to hunt geese during the September season. The restriction prohibiting hunting within 100 yards of surface water remains in effect in the northwest goose zone, Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area, Ocheda Lake Game Refuge and an area surrounding Swan Lake in Nicollet County. Early season goose hunters should consult the 2017 Waterfowl Supplement for zone maps and additional details.
Minnesota’s regular goose season will open in conjunction with the duck season statewide on Sept. 23, with a bag limit of three dark geese per day the entire season. “Dark” geese include Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant. Goose season will be closed in the central and south duck zones when duck season is closed.
Youth Waterfowl Day will be Saturday Sept. 9. The season for sandhill cranes runs Saturday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Oct. 22, in the northwest goose and sandhill crane zone only.
For more information, the 2017 waterfowl hunting regulations are available online at mndnr.gov/waterfowl.