With Minnesota’s duck opener coming Saturday, Department of Natural Resources wildlife managers are predicting a fair to good opener, with blue-winged teal, wood ducks and mallards comprising most of the bag, according to the DNR’s first migration report of the season. Wetland conditions are improved some from last season. Temperatures should be seasonal this weekend.
Wild rice crops were good in most areas of the state this year. The number of breeding ducks and mallards in Minnesota this spring was above average. Continental breeding duck numbers were high this spring, and most species of ducks were well above their long-term averages.
Here are reports from specific areas of the Northland in the DNR migration report:
Grand Rapids: There was patchy frost on Monday and Tuesday. There are some mallards and wood ducks in the area, but few ring-necked ducks and teal.
Cloquet: Teal and wood ducks should be available in good numbers for the opener this weekend. We have had some mild fall-like weather, but no frost or strong cold fronts yet. There was a notable goose migration last weekend.
Minnesota’s duck season in the North Zone runs from Saturday through Nov. 19. Bag limits are 6 ducks per day, with no more than: 4 mallards (2 hens), 3 scaup, 3 wood duck, 2 pintail, 2 redhead, 2 canvasback, 1 black duck. Merganser: 5 per day, no more than 2 may be hooded mergansers. Canada goose bag limits are 3/day.
Possession limits are three times the daily bag limit for all migratory birds.
Shooting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and go until 4 p.m. through Oct. 4 and until sunset the remainder of the season. Motorized decoys are prohibited statewide through Oct. 5 and on state wildlife management areas the entire season