Grand Rapids area waterfowl season opener is average

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 (DNR) 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. Over the five year average, hunter success was about average for each lake.

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% or more of the opening day harvest,” said area wildlife manager Perry Loegering. “Ring-necks usually start migrating into the state in late September, but weren’t here yet.”

This year’s duck hunting season is 60 days in length. The duck bag limit is six ducks daily and may not include more than any combination of the following: four mallards (two hen mallard), three scaup, three wood ducks, two pintails, two redheads, one black duck, and/or two canvasback. If not listed, up to six ducks of a species may be taken. The daily bag limit for coot and moorhen is 15. The daily bag limit for merganser is five, no more than two of which may be a hooded merganser.

More information about waterfowl hunting in Minnesota is available online.