Last August Central Minnesota was dealing with severe drought conditions.  Those conditions made it difficult for the habitat of waterfowl in Minnesota.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  The DNR does estimations on breeding duck populations and Schmitt says results show numbers are down a bit this year.  He says the number down is in the range of 15% to 25% depending on the species.

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Schmitt says in northern Minnesota they are seeing a good number of ducks but because of the late spring there was a late hatch of new ducks.  He says goose numbers look O.K. Schmitt explains that geese are bunching up on fields now and spending some time on grain fields.

Participation numbers for duck hunting has been down in recent years.  Schmitt says there was a much better tradition of duck hunting in the past.  He says the state doesn't understand why we have less people hunting ducks or waterfowl.  Schmitt explains that the number of waterfowl hunters has decreased in the state consistently annually.  He says there is less young people getting into it, less land available to hunt, and too many others things to do.

Schmitt says Minnesota is the best grouse hunting state in the country.  He says we shoot more grouse in Minnesota than any other state...between 200 and 500 thousand birds a year.  Schmitt says grouse numbers are up from last year.  He claims the top location for grouse hunting is north of Little Falls, up to Walker, Longville, Remer and to the Gun Flint Trail.

Early Teal

ZoneDates
StatewideSept. 3-7
Harvest of Blue-winged, Green-winged and Cinnamon teal allowed.

Ducks, coots, mergansers

ZoneDates
NorthSept. 24 - Nov. 22
CentralSept. 24 - Oct. 2; Oct. 8 - Nov. 27
SouthSept. 24 - Oct. 2; Oct. 8 - Nov. 27

Geese

ZoneDates
Early goose (statewide)Sept. 3-18
NorthSept. 24-Dec. 23
CentralSept. 24-Oct. 2; Oct. 8-Dec. 28
SouthSept. 24-Oct. 2; Oct. 8-Dec. 28

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.

 

 

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