As Wisconsin has for some time, Minnesota is likely to split the state into two duck hunting zones beginning this fall.
Wisconsin has a North and a South zone, with each running 60 days. The North opens earlier and closes earlier, due to the earlier freeze-up of waters there. And the South opens later and runs longer, offering extended hunting especially along the Mississippi River.
If you take a look here you'll see in great detail the preparation that Wisconsin waterfowl managers have taken in advance of likely changes coming also to that state's duck hunters this fall.
This year is particularly important, because states are allowed to make changes to their duck zone configurations only every five years, and this year, 2011, is such a benchmark.
It's expected also the Minnesota Legislature this year will give to the DNR the leeway to open the season as it is now, the Saturday nearest Oct. 1, or kick it back a week, to the Saturday nearest Sept. 24.
It's possible a Southern Minnesota duck hunting zone would open then, perhaps only for a weekend, before closing until the following Saturday.
In the North, the season might open on the earlier date and run continuous, because most years waters there are frozen by the week before Thanksgiving, when the season in that region would end. In the South, such a season would run until the Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend.
The earlier opener would afford hunters more opportunity at bluewings and wood ducks, which are early migrators.
Again, take a look at the attached PDF detailing the Wisconsin DNR's very specific look into duck hunting zones, and also possible splits in those zones.
Similar thinking will go into any changes made by the DNR in Minnesota.