Minnesota’s duck hunting season opened with a bang Saturday in several regions of the state, living up to an oft-repeated forecast that hunters would fare well based on promising waterfowl population counts.
On Tuesday, the Department of Natural Resources released a roundup of reports from state conservation officers. Viewed collectively, they illustrate a pretty good start to duck hunting in 2016 with exceptions in the southern tier. A sampling of the reports:
• Officer Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reported seeing several limits of ducks on opening day. Mallards and blue-wing teal dominated as the most prevalent species but other early migrants were observed. Hunters commented they were not seeing as many wood ducks or geese.
• Officer Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused on waterfowl hunting in both Douglas and Traverse Counties. Many hunters left with their limits.
• Officer Steve Chihak (Wheaton) reported working a very busy waterfowl opener. Hunter participation was high. Many limits of ducks were observed with blue-winged teal, mallards, and wood ducks making up the majority of game bags.
• Officer Ed Picht (Montevideo) reported seeing limits of wood ducks and teal. The hunters who found healthy wetlands were rewarded with limits of ducks.
• Officer Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) wrote that the opener was productive for some hunters, while others reported few to no ducks.
• Officer Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported plenty of private and public sloughs full of hunters. But even with all the hunters out to push ducks around, success was down from last year.
• Officer Luke Belgard (Faribault) reported limited success.
• Officer Jen Mueller (Hutchinson-West) saw many hunters with their limit of ducks. Hunters in flooded fields were having better luck than those on area lakes.
Did you know?
The Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance (MOHA) will hold an information meeting Thursday at the Nicollet Conservation Club, 46045 471st Lane in Nicollet, Minn.
MOHA priorities include oversight of Legacy Act funds, particularly those paying for fish, game and wildlife habitat, and ensuring the state’s rivers, lakes and subsurface waters are clean.
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