When it comes to duck hunting, timing is everything. Sit in a blind one day, and you might never see a duck. But the next morning that same spot could be covered with waterfowl.
That's what happened last week as migrant ducks moved into Minnesota, producing some excellent hunting. Nowhere was it better than on the Mississippi River backwaters in the Hastings-Red Wing-Winona area.
Last Saturday when the duck season reopened in the south, conservation officer Tyler Quandt of Red Wing checked 40 to 50 hunters, all of whom had shot their six-bird limit of ducks, mostly blue-winged teal.
"It was unbelievable,'' Quandt said. "I've been doing this for 23 years, and I've never seen anything like it. Ninety percent of the ducks were teal. There were flocks everywhere. It was just crazy. Some hunters were done in 15 minutes. People said it was the best duck hunting they've ever had.''
And remarkably, Quandt said, he didn't write a single over-limit citation.
Elsewhere, the DNR reports increasing numbers of migrant ducks have arrived, including ring-necked ducks in the north-central region. In short, if you're a duck hunter, now is probably the time to be out.