Birdwatchers who frequent wooded areas, grasslands, and marshes in Minnesota should be aware of our various game hunting seasons. In some cases, wearing an orange cap or vest can be a good idea.

Here are the small game seasons:

Rabbits and squirrels, Sept. 17 to Feb. 29

Hungarian Partridge, Sept. 17 to Jan. 1

Pheasants, Oct. 15 to Jan. 1

Mourning Doves, Sept. 1 to Oct. 30

Crows, opened July 15, closes Oct. 15

Woodcock, Sept. 24 to Nov. 7

Sora, Virginia Rail, and Common Snipe, Sept. 1 to Nov. 7

Hunting in all cases begins one-half hour before sunrise and continues to sunset.

A second Sandhill Cranes hunting season will be held in a restricted area of northwestern Minnesota. The season runs from Sept. 3 to Oct. 9. In addition to a small game hunting license a special crane-hunting permit is required. Cost is $3. Daily limit is two, possession limit four. There is no limit this year to the number of permits available. Last year, 2,000 permits were offered, 1,954 sold. Approximately half of the permit holders actual hunted the birds. An estimated 830 cranes were killed. 

Below, a Ring-necked Pheasant runs for cover.

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Sandhill Cranes

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Pretend you're a rabbit