Duck hunting slows as lakes freeze
Duck hunting was slow over the past week in most of the state with very few hunters out, according to the Minnesota DNR‘s most recent Waterfowl Migration and Hunting Report. However, some areas in central and southern Minnesota had exceptional hunting in recent days as the cold temperatures and northwest winds moved good numbers of mallards and other late-season migrants into the state.
As of Thursday, Nov. 8, most small and mid-sized lakes were ice-covered. Fair numbers of tundra swans and Canada geese were also observed migrating on Wednesday and Thursday. Canada goose numbers remain good in many areas and should provide some opportunity for goose hunters over the next week.
Field hunting will be a better option over the next week as ice cover will increase based on the forecast, which calls for high temperatures in the mid-20s in northern Minnesota, with lows in the single digits to mid-teens through the weekend. In southern Minnesota, high temperatures should be in the mid- to upper 20s, with lows in the teens to low 20s. The extended forecast calls for below-average temperatures through at least the middle of next week.
Other than the very large lakes, most of the state will be ice-covered by early next week and access on very large lakes may be difficult.