Duck Hunters’ Success Above Average Near Grand Rapids

Hunter success on Saturday’s opening day of duck season was above average on three popular waterfowl lakes in the Grand Rapids area. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife staff conducted waterfowl bag checks on opening day, Sept. 26, on Big White Oak Lake, Mud Lake (both near Deer River) and Big Rice Lake near Remer.

A yellow Lab holds a drake wood duck. (Sam Cook photo)
A yellow Lab holds a drake wood duck. (Sam Cook photo)

Hunter success in terms of ducks bagged per hunter varied from a low of 1.8 ducks per hunter at Mud Lake, 2.6 ducks per hunter at Big Rice and 3.0 ducks per hunter at Big White Oak Lake.

Blue-winged teal, ring-necked ducks and wood ducks were the most common birds in the bag. Blue-winged teal were the most commonly bagged bird at White Oak and Mud Lakes, and ring-necked ducks were the most commonly bagged species at Big Rice Lake.

Based on car counts, hunter numbers were up about 11 percent from the five-year average.

“Blue-winged teal and wood ducks usually migrate out of the state at the first cold snap so we are lucky when we have good numbers still around when the season opens like this year,” said Perry Loegering, Grand Rapids area wildlife manager. “Ringnecks usually start migrating into the state in late September, and some have arrived.”