The Duck hunting season in the Central Zone which St. Cloud and Central Minnesota is a part of has a split duck hunting season.  The first portion was from September 25 - October 3.  The 2nd portion goes from October 9 - November 28.  Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News says the state of Minnesota started the split zone in the 2011 duck hunting season.  The parameter of the season is set by the federal government and the state has to sign off on it.  Minnesota has a 60-day season.  Schmitt says in northern Minnesota hunters can hunt without the week off until November 23.  The southern zone is operating this year on the same schedule as the central zone.  Schmitt says this allows for people in the central and southern zones to hunt later in the year.  He says the season cannot be longer than 60 days.  Schmitt says hunters have responded well to this change.

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The bear hunting season in Minnesota continues through October 17.  The DNR is reporting the bear harvest is down 7% as opposed to last year.  Glen Schmitt says this isn't a significant amount of decline as the bear population is still strong in Minnesota.  He says many bear hunters could be waiting for the weather to cool down a bit.  Schmitt says the DNR is expecting around 3,000 bears harvested when it's all said and done.

Fall fishing has been impacted by the warmer than normal temperatures this fall.  Schmitt says the water temperatures actually went up this week from the week before.  He says this can change quickly if we start seeing overnight temperatures drop into the 40s.  Schmitt says fall fishing can be some of the best fishing all year.

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



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