Triple bag limit for August goose hunt on tap for Minnesota hunters

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 9, 2013 - 1:31 AM

U.S. officials acted to raise possession limits on migratory birds and OK’d an August goose hunt for part of the state.

hide

Minnesota waterfowl hunters will see an August Canada goose hunt, along with higher possession limits.

Photo: Doug Smith, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

More big changes are coming for waterfowl hunters.

Federal officials have approved boosting the migratory bird possession limits — now twice the daily bag limit — to three times the daily bag limit. That means instead of 12 ducks, Minnesota hunters could possess up to 18 ducks this fall.

The change applies to all migratory birds, including ducks, geese, mourning doves, woodcock, snipe, rails and sandhill cranes. In Minnesota, that would raise the possession limits of Canada geese to nine during the regular season and 15 during the September season. Hunters also could possess 45 mourning doves, nine woodcock and 24 snipe.

And another regulation change approved by federal officials means Minnesota’s Canada goose hunters can pack sunscreen, bug dope and shorts this year, because for the first time they will be able to hunt Canada geese in August.

The special hunt, intended to reduce the state’s burgeoning goose population, will occur in west-central Minnesota, where goose depredation to crops is most serious. A daily bag of 10 is possible. The Department of Natural Resources is expected to release details soon.

The changes continue a recent trend of liberalized waterfowl hunting regulations — major changes not seen in a generation — including opening the state’s duck season a week earlier than normal, allowing hunters to begin shooting a half-hour before sunrise on the opener instead of 9 a.m., boosting the hen mallard bag limit from one to two and splitting the state into three zones.

It’s not known how many hunters will want to hunt geese in early August. But the expanded possession limits potentially will impact Minnesota’s 90,000 or so waterfowl hunters. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will offer the change to all states, which can accept or reject the measure.

“I would expect probably every state will take it,’’ said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. Minnesota is expected to accept the expanded limits.

“The general feeling is it just doesn’t have huge biological implications, because hunters already are restricted by the daily bag limit,’’ Cordts said. And Minnesota hunters average about eight ducks total for the season, “so this won’t even apply to the average person,’’ he said.

“If it doesn’t hurt, why not do it?’’

Cordts said the liberalized possession limits aren’t expected to reverse the decline of waterfowl hunter numbers. Brad Nylin, executive director of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, agrees.

“I don’t think it will make a difference,’’ said Nylin, who added his group was ambivalent about the change. “We certainly weren’t pushing for it.’’

Canadian waterfowl managers already have loosened duck possession limits, allowing hunters to keep three daily limits instead of two. And there’s talk there of ending duck possession limits altogether.

Officials from all four U.S. flyways recommended the change to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the agency’s Service Regulations Committee recently approved it.

The Fish and Wildlife Service will meet later this month with flyway representatives, and Cordts said he expects another liberal, six-duck daily bag limit to be approved for the 2013 season. The results from both the massive continental duck survey and Minnesota’s spring duck survey should be announced soon, which will give hunters and waterfowl managers an update on duck populations.

Meanwhile, the DNR sought federal permission to offer the August Canada goose hunt. Only two other states — North Dakota and South Dakota — offer such hunts.

“We’d like our [Canada goose] population to go down,’’ Cordts said. “It was 434,000 last year, the first time it has been over 400,000. Our goal is 250,000 geese.’’

“Last year was the final straw; not only was the population high, but we had lots of crop damage complaints, more than ever, and we issued more shooting permits than ever.’’

The DNR is expected to announce details of the special hunt soon, and Cordts declined to comment last week on whether August goose hunters will be allowed to hunt over water. Hunters can hunt over water during the September goose hunt, except in a few specific areas. Some hunters argue that early-season hunter disturbance can push ducks from the state before the duck season begins.

Goose reproduction likely was down this spring because of poor weather, but that won’t affect the DNR’s decision to offer the August hunt, Cordts said.

The question is whether hunters will want to hunt geese in August, and whether they’ll want to shoot lots of them. Hunter surveys indicate support for the season, Cordts said, “but when we ask if they will participate, they say if they can hunt in their immediate area. If they have to travel somewhere, they seem to indicate they won’t participate.’’

And the special hunt will only be offered in the west-central part of the state, he said.

Said Nylin: “I don’t think a lot of people will go out and hunt in August.’’

Will he?

“I’m a goose fanatic,’’ Nylin said. “I love goose hunting. If I had a spot to go, I’d certainly give it a try.’’

 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Chicago 84 FINAL
Indiana 98
Sacramento 114 FINAL
Orlando 119
Utah 89 FINAL
Philadelphia 83
Miami 97 FINAL
Washington 99
Toronto 94 FINAL
Charlotte 103
Cleveland 97 FINAL
Atlanta 106
Boston 104 FINAL
New Orleans 98
Detroit 93 FINAL
Houston 103
LA Lakers 90 FINAL
Memphis 97
Phoenix 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 100
Denver 111 FINAL
San Antonio 120
Dallas 62 3rd Qtr 2:08
Golden State 78
Columbus 3 FINAL
New Jersey 2
Minnesota 3 FINAL
Carolina 1
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Ottawa 3
Calgary 5 FINAL
Detroit 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL(SO)
Chicago 2
Pittsburgh 4 3rd Prd 6:05
Anaheim 2
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 69 FINAL
Elon 74
Gardner-Webb 72 FINAL
High Point 71
Samford 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Northern Ill 71 FINAL
Ball State 67
Bowling Green 75 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Brown 69 FINAL
Dartmouth 75
Toledo 59 FINAL
Eastern Mich 85
Akron 77 FINAL
Kent State 79
Ill-Chicago 72 FINAL
Oakland 69
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Ohio 95
Columbia 46 FINAL
Penn 54
Cornell 53 FINAL
Princeton 66
Central Mich 62 FINAL
Western Mich 74
Bradley 46 FINAL
Northern Iowa 71
Morehead State 77 FINAL
Murray State 80
Yale 62 FINAL
Harvard 52
Furman 73 FINAL
Citadel 56
Coll of Charleston 56 FINAL
Drexel 48
UNC-Asheville 57 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 74
Texas Tech 74 FINAL
Baylor 77
Pacific 58 FINAL
San Francisco 62
Loyola-Chicago 81 FINAL
Indiana State 53
Detroit 53 FINAL
Cleveland State 70
Belmont 53 FINAL
Eastern Ky 52
Loyola Marymount 22 2nd Half
Santa Clara 36
Chicago 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
UCLA 62 FINAL
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 43 FINAL
(7) Florida State 82
SMU 59 FINAL
Memphis 71
Lehigh 75 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 53 FINAL
Duquesne 66
North Florida 35 FINAL
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 74
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
Jacksonville 55
USC Upstate 45 FINAL
Northern Ky 64
Lipscomb 69 FINAL
Stetson 92
Nebraska 65 FINAL
(14) Iowa 74
Saint Peters 57 FINAL
Marist 62
Navy 60 FINAL
Bucknell 49
Lafayette 56 FINAL
American Univ 79
Colgate 45 FINAL
Army 48
Georgia 41 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 75
Dartmouth 71 FINAL
Brown 53
Penn 50 FINAL
Columbia 36
(13) Princeton 70 FINAL
Cornell 37
Kansas 49 FINAL
Kansas State 57
Harvard 68 FINAL
Yale 63
(15) North Carolina 75 FINAL
(10) Louisville 77
San Jose St 99 FINAL
UNLV 97
Houston 39 FINAL
Tulane 64
Utah State 58 FINAL
Colorado State 76
Colorado 68 FINAL
(8) Oregon State 65
New Mexico 66 FINAL
Wyoming 55
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Ohio State 83
(12) Kentucky 76 FINAL
(11) Miss State 67
San Diego State 44 FINAL
Nevada 50
Niagara 57 FINAL
Fairfield 65
Texas Tech 40 FINAL
West Virginia 59
Boise State 52 1st OT 0:12
Fresno State 55
Washington 23 2nd Half
California 32
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close