New season structure closes crow season Sept. 20

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds crow hunters that the fall crow hunting season closes Sept. 20, a change from previous years when the season ran into mid-October. The crow hunting season was changed for this year to address nuisance crow issues and provide more chances for hunters to take crows opportunistically while hunting other species. Season dates are Aug. 1 through Sept. 20; Dec. 15 through Jan. 15 and March 1-31.

“The new season structure allows hunters to take crows during the late summer and early fall, when other early migratory bird seasons, such as dove and early goose season are open,” said Steve Merchant, DNR wildlife populations and regulations manager. “It also allows hunters to take crows during the winter, when the birds feed in harvested fields by day but roost in high concentrations in urban areas at night.”

The new season dates were developed with input gathered at last winter’s statewide public input meetings. Late summer/early fall season dates were extended after a number of crow hunters expressed concerns that an original proposal did not provide enough opportunity during this period.

“Although the original proposal received support from a majority of those who attended a meeting or provided online comments, a number of crow hunters expressed concerns,” Merchant said. “We modified the proposal based on these comments.”

Under U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines, states within the Mississippi Flyway are allowed 124 days to hold a crow season. Season dates and structure are determined by state wildlife management agencies. According to DNR surveys of small game hunters, the average annual crow harvest is about 11,500 birds.