The duck hunting opening weekend was last weekend and even though the DNR doesn't have any numbers to report Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News indicates those who did hunt had success but participation overall remains down.  Schmitt says due to the drought birds and hunters moved from small bodies of water, like ponds, to larger bodies of water.  He and his family hunted at Leech Lake in northern Minnesota and Schmitt says participation was high there and success was also high.  He says they bagged 20 ducks and reports he gathered throughout the state indicate success for those who participated on the opener.  Schmitt says "it the most successful duck hunting opening weekend in the state in recent memory".

photo courtesy of Andrew Schmitt
photo courtesy of Andrew Schmitt

Schmitt says the reason for the success was optimal weather which included cloudy skies and some wind.  He says ducks were also concentrated where there was water which meant hunters were also able to find ducks easier.  Schmitt says blue winged teal and green winged teal were everywhere he believes they had a record hatch.  He says reports throughout the state included lots of blue winged teal everywhere.  Schmitt explains there was also plenty of mallards and ring necks.

Ducks, coots, mergansers

NorthSept. 23 - Nov. 21
CentralSept. 23 - Oct. 1; Oct. 7 - Nov. 26
SouthSept. 23 - Oct. 1; Oct. 7 - Nov. 26


Early goose (statewide)Sept. 2-17
NorthSept. 23-Dec. 22
CentralSept. 23-Oct. 1; Oct. 7-Dec. 27
SouthSept. 23-Oct. 1; Oct. 7-Dec. 27

Schmitt says last year the DNR reported that 50% of the annual duck harvest was shot during the first 9 days of the season.  The DNR released information on duck stamps sold and indications are that 61,574 state duck stamps were sold as of Monday.  That is down 3% from last year and that is the lowest amount sold since 1977.

The fall turkey hunting season starts this weekend.  Schmitt says the spring turkey hunt tends to be more popular.  Fall fishing continues and Schmitt says October can be some of the best fishing all year when temperatures drop into the 40s and 50s for highs.

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



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