Minnesota’s waterfowl season opens this weekend

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Canada geese take off to feed in the early morning hours.

Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season will open on Saturday, Sept. 24, with similar bag limits and season dates that were in place last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

“All signs point to this being a great year for duck and goose hunting,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. “Many hunters look forward to the duck hunting opener all year. It’s a time to get into the marsh and spend time with family and friends.”   

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. 24, through Tuesday, Nov. 22.

In the central zone, duck season is Saturday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 2, closes for five days, then reopens Saturday, Oct. 8, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 27.

In the south zone, duck season is Saturday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 2, closes for 12 days, then reopens Saturday, Oct. 15, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 4.

The daily bag limits for ducks remains at six per day and individual species limits are identical to those used last fall.

Canada goose seasons and limits  -- Canada goose hunters will see some changes compared to last year.

There is no August Canada goose management action in Minnesota. In the Intensive Harvest Zone during the September goose hunt, the bag limit is now five per day, the same as the rest of the state. Previously, the bag limit was 10 per day.

“We made these changes for a few reasons. The Canada goose population in the state is near our goal and Canada goose harvest did not increase the past three years even when additional harvest opportunities were offered,” Cordts said.

The early September Canada goose season will open statewide on Saturday, Sept. 3, and run through Sunday, Sept. 18. Bag limits for Canada geese are five per day statewide. A $4 permit is required to hunt Canada 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 2016 Waterfowl Supplement for zone maps and additional details.

Minnesota’s regular goose season will open in conjunction with the duck season statewide on Sept. 24, 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.

Other seasons -- Youth Waterfowl Day will be Saturday Sept. 10. The season for sandhill cranes runs Sept. 10 to Sunday, Oct. 16, in the northwest goose and sandhill crane zone only.

For more detailed information, the 2016 waterfowl hunting regulations are available online at www.mndnr.gov/waterfowl.


Pictured: Canada geese take off to feed in the early morning hours.

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