ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has some ideas to change duck and goose hunting regulations in the state and wants hunters to weigh in this month on the proposals.
The DNR has raised several possible changes, including adding an early teal-only duck season in September; doing away with the 4 p.m. hunting closure for early duck hunting days (hunting would extend to sunset every day); and allowing motorized decoys all season when they are currently banned in early days of the season.
Other possible changes would increase the daily bag limit of Canada geese and allow trolling motors on some waterfowl management area lakes that had been designated motorless for duck hunting.
One other trial balloon on the DNR’s list, one sure to rasie some hackles, is to allow hunters to shoot three ducks of any legal type with no restriction on sub-species or sex — a so called splash-duck bag limit, osentsibly to make it easier for novice duck hunters who find it hard to identify ducks on the wing.
A summary of the potential changes and a questionnaire that seeks input is available on the DNR’s website through Jan. 31.
“We’re asking people to engage with us early so we can use their input to help us narrow the list of potential changes,” Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist, said. “Getting some feedback up front allows us to be responsive and fully consider the preferences expressed.”
The second step in the process will come in March, when the DNR releases its proposed regulation changes. As part of this phase, the DNR will hold a virtual town hall meeting to discuss the proposed regulations and will take additional public comment. Final regulation changes will factor in those public comments and could become effective as early as this fall’s waterfowl season.
To make comments or for more information about this engagement effort and waterfowl management in Minnesota, go to dnr.state.mn.us/wildlife/waterfowl/index.html.