Duck hunting has generally been only fair in Minnesota this fall, hurt by fewer ducks returning to the state last spring, and apparently poor production, perhaps due to the wet, cool spring and early summer.
Now some concentrations of divers have moved into the state, improving hunting in some spots.
How widespread the migration is in the state is difficult to judge. Some parts of western Minnesota — long known as a diver corridor — are experiencing increased numbers of birds. And divers have been apparent in the metro area as well.
Typically, diving ducks move into Minnesota on or about Oct. 20. Unlike mallards and some other puddle ducks — whose migrations can be delayed by mild weather in Canada — divers typically migrate by the calendar.
How long will the birds stay? Improving weather this week likely will discourage a hurried migration out of the state, particularly given that south winds are predicted for much of the week.
Still, ducks that arrive by the calendar often leave by the calendar, making it all the more important for waterfowlers looking to cash in on some action before freeze-up to hunt while some birds are here.