Most reports from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in Northeastern Minnesota indicated the duck opener on Saturday was relatively slow. The day was sunny and pleasant with mild westerly winds. But some hunters found success.
Here’s a report from Perry Loegering, DNR area wildlife manager in Grand Rapids, after hunter checks this past weekend:
Hunter success was about average on three popular waterfowl lakes for the 2013 waterfowl hunting opener in the Grand Rapids area. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife staff conducted waterfowl bag checks on opening day Sept. 21, on Big White Oak Lake, Mud Lake (both near Deer River) and Big Rice Lake near Remer.
Hunter success in terms of ducks bagged per hunter varied from a low of 1.6 ducks per hunter at White Oak Lake, to 2.2 ducks per hunter at Mud Lake. Hunter success was about average for each lake, compared to the past five years, Loegering said.
Mallards, wood ducks and blue-winged teal were the most common birds in the bag with blue-winged teal being the most commonly bagged bird at White Oak Lake, mallard being the most commonly bagged bird at Big Rice Lake and wood duck being the most commonly bagged bird at Mud Lake.
Based on car counts, hunter numbers were down about 15 percent from the five-year average.
“Noticeably absent in the bag this year were ring-necked ducks, which often represent 50 percent or more of the opening day harvest,” Loegering said. “Ringnecks usually start migrating into the state in late September, but weren’t here yet.”