Minnesota waterfowlers saw increased numbers of ducks migrate into the state last weekend, ushered southward by the same early winter gales that helped blanket parts of North Dakota with up to a foot of snow, according to reports released Tuesday by Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.
But the same enforcement officers said uplanders generally struggled last weekend on the season’s first days of pheasant hunting, noting the weekend’s intemperate weather and too many standing crops apparently kept some ringneck hunters home.
Here’s a sampling of DNR officer reports:
• Andrew Dirks of Worthington said pheasant hunters struggled in his area to bag birds with the poor weather conditions, but some hunters still took limits.
• Jim Robinson of Slayton noted that with virtually all crops still in the field, along with snow and wind, the pheasant-opener turnout was less than normal. But some who hunted had “decent success.”
• Matt Loftness of Marshall said last weekend’s weather definitely affected the pheasant opener. Waterfowl hunting was the better option, he said, with many local ducks still hanging around.
• Jeff Denz of Willmar checked pheasant hunters in his area, noting moderate to poor success.
• Nicholas Klehr of Litchfield reported most pheasant hunters in his region experienced only moderate success.
• Dustin Miller of Windom was upbeat, saying both duck and pheasant hunters saw success in his part of southern Minnesota.
• Kylan Hill reported that with so many standing crops in the Zumbrota area, pheasant hunting was poor.
• Kevin Prodzinski of Wabasha said duck hunting was pretty good on the Mississippi River last weekend but perhaps not as good as some waterfowlers expected. Mallards, gadwall and wigeon were found in the bag. But wood ducks and teal were most prevalent. Pheasant hunters were less successful.