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jparrucci

DNR Announces 2009 Limits and Seasons

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Minnesota once again opted for only 2 wood ducks. According to the DNR, an overwhelming majority of survey takers on the DNR HSOforum said they would like to keep the wood duck limit at 2 or EVEN DROP IT TO ONE. Can we get an informal poll going in here to see what everyone here chose? We will be the only state in the Mississippi flyway who once again take only a 2 wood duck limit. Minnesota produces more wood ducks than any state. Reading through the Feds HSOforum, it doesnt appear that the wood duck harvest would have any major effects on the population. So why are we taking this option? I see we also opted for the 1 hen Mallard only, which I am ok with (as this is backed by the biologist). At least we get to shoot 2 bluebills this year for the entire season, along with 1 pintail and canvasback. What sense does it make to stop at the 2 bird limit, just to let that last bird fly south and get shot at by hunters in other state that we produce birds for?

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I did their questionaire and said 3 woodies. Most of them leave before our season opens so its a stupid rule IMHO

Mwal

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I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but is it past somebody like PETA to have its members go take the survey? I also see there was no limit to the number of times the survey could be taken, which I was concerned with from the begining.

It it just frusterating to know that we put all of our time, money, and effort to build wood duck houses, donate to DU and pay higher taxes now do to the recent legislative tax increase for the outdoors, just to raise ducks for others to shoot.

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This was from another outdoor news HSOforum regarding the limits. The biological information is from the fish and wildlife service HSOforum (be warned it is very long, and about half of what you are reading is algebra) The other site quoted Cordts who is the chief waterfowl guru over at the DNR. He said that they chose the 2 bird limit partially based on the the DNR webpage responses.

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What sense does it make to stop at the 2 bird limit, just to let that last bird fly south and get shot at by hunters in other state that we produce birds for?

Maybe Canada should go to no limit and allow punt guns for Mallards so that no birds can make it south of their border crazy

It's a bit of stretch to say that we produce birds for other states. Sure a bunch of ducks are born here but if they didn't have the southern states to winter in they wouldn't survive it here. Those ducks need Arkansas and Louisiana just as bad as they need MN.

I'm fine with the 2 woodie limit.

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Another thing I would like the DNR to address at some point is a split state season. Like the previous poster said, many of the wood ducks were gone by opener last year. We had a cool day a few days before opener last year, and the wood ducks and teal were nearly gone. We shot a few, but only a couple of days early when I scouted the lake/pond was loaded with birds. This was in north central MN. I was still seeing wood ducks and blue winged teal a month into the season in the southern third of the state. By the time the season is over, the norhtern part of the state is froze solid, and the southern is still seeing the big flocks of Canadian mallards.

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Unlike the other duck species Bobbymalone, MN is the leading wood duck producer in the United States. I am specifically talking about wood ducks in this case. FYI, Canada limits on birds are much much higher than ours, and rightfully so.

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Canada duck limits are higher because the overall take is small compared to the US. Mexico has even higher limits for the same reason.

The MS flyway has the most hunters, the highest kill numbers, thus face the most restrictions on bird limits and number of hunting days allowed.

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Again, MN might be the biggest producer, as in ducks born here, but it wouldn't be the biggest producer if fair numbers of ducks didn't make it out of here to the southern states to do the mate finding and mating that leads to the ducks here. What state has the biggest numbers of winter wood ducks? It isn't MN. As far as any migratory bird species goes, it's a joint effort between different states to keep numbers up. Part of that effort is in the form of restrictive limits, even in states where a lot birds hatch.

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I understand that the wood ducks born here do not stay through the winter bobbymalone, thanks for the information, very informative. You must be one of the ones who voted for the 1 bird limit then. Why not just make it zero? Lets make decisions based on science, not public opinion. I am also guessing you are against the 3 pheasant limit bobbymalone?

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jparrucci, where did you find the bag limits at anyway? I don't see anything at the dnr HSOforum.

I said two. That's all I need. Sorry, I wasn't thinking about your wood duck needs when I filled out the survey. If you want more, bring some friends... you'll have more fun that way anyway.

With all this talk about MN being the #1 wood duck hatching state and your the last sentence from your original post, I wasn't sure if you understood that those ducks leave. Thanks for letting me know you understand.

The DNR's decision is a balance between science and crybabies that think they need 4 woodducks and crybabies that think it should be zero and the other states and the fish and wildlife service and myriad of other things. It wasn't a decision based entirely on people trying to ruin your wood duck harvest this year.

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I guess we throw science and common sense out of the window when it comes to our game limits. The pheasant limit was finally moved to 3 as well as it should have been. The biologist overwhelmingly said that the 3rd bird shot would have little effect on the overall population when it comes to pheasants. In fact, they stated that an abundance of roosters could actually lead to lower numbers as the roosters pushed the hens off of the prime habitat.

If the biology supports the extra bird, why would anyone be against it?

I would post the site/link, but it is a site in competition with this one and would break forum rules. I'm sure the DNR will have it posted on their site in the next few days.

Also offered was 2 hen mallards, which I did not agree with 100%, although the DNR did not take it. From what I can tell, the state was also offered a 6 mallard limit, but we declined and went with 4, which I would disagree. One drake can mate with multiple hens, why not keep it at a one drake limit, and move it up to 6 birds?

For the record, I've never shot even a 4 bird limit of mallards. I just don't see why we would limit hunting opportunities when there is no need to.

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dude, i think you are of the misconception that i disagree with you on these points...

my only beef was with the last sentence of your original post.

how do you know those bag limits are even correct, considering the info source?

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Where are you getting this info? I was just on the MN DNR HSOforum and there was not info about the upcoming season in the news headlines or the reg of hunting.

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I am going with the assumption that the source is correct. It is one of the most popular hunting/fishing weekly magazines, especially here in MN. They quote 2 different DNR employees regarding the limits.

As far as the bag limits and shooting a migratory bird, I wasn't trying to start an arguement. I know that many/most ducks we shoot aren't local birds. I doubt MN produces many bluebills/ringnecks, bufflehead, pintails, canvasback or redheads. Those are Canada's birds for the most part. We do however produce a large amount of teal (BWT have a very large population, however many and sometimes most are gone by opener depending on your region of the state). We also produce a lot of woodies and mallards as well.

I know its a little bit of the old "if everyone else was jumping off the bridge, would you do it" syndrome, but if all of the other states in the Mississippi flyway are going with larger bag limits, why wouldn't we.

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We'll see what the mods think------

innesota waterfowl season dates and limits announced

With continental populations of many species of ducks again near record highs, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has established a 60-day duck season that opens Oct. 3 with a daily bag limit of six ducks.

Bag limits for most species will be the same as last season, except hunters will be able to harvest one canvasback and the scaup limit will be two for the entire 60-day season. This good news for diver duck hunters is based on increased numbers of canvasbacks and scaup in the continental breeding duck survey.

Based on an increase in breeding waterfowl populations and pond numbers across Canada and the northern plains, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering states in the Mississippi Flyway, including Minnesota, a 60-day season that could include a six-duck limit with two hen mallards and three wood ducks. Minnesota will continue with a daily bag limit of one hen mallard that has been in place since 2005. Likewise, the DNR is maintaining a conservative approach to wood ducks by maintaining a two-bird limit.

The bag limits will continue to protect local breeding mallard and wood duck populations and will provide more opportunity for Minnesota hunters to benefit from high continental waterfowl populations if habitat conditions and weather cooperate, and migrant ducks move through the state in ample numbers.

“We knew the wood duck limit would be of interest to our hunters,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. “So we reviewed the biological information, took some additional public input through a new online questionnaire, and in the end decided to maintain the two-bird limit again this year.”

DUCK SEASON

The regular waterfowl season will open Saturday, Oct. 3, at 9 a.m. and continue through Tuesday, Dec. 1. The six-duck bag may include no more than four mallards, with only one hen mallard, and one black duck, one pintail, one canvasback, two wood ducks, two redheads and two scaup.

Possession limits remain at twice the daily bag limits.

Except for opening day, when shooting hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., shooting hours will be from one half hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. daily through Saturday, Oct. 10, and from one half hour before sunrise to sunset thereafter.

Motorized decoys or other motorized devices designed to attract migratory birds may not be used from the opening day of duck season through Saturday, Oct. 10. Motorized decoys or other motorized devices designed to attract migratory birds may not be used at any time during the season on water bodies and lands fully contained within state wildlife management area boundaries.

Additional details on the duck, goose and migratory bird hunting seasons will be in the 2009 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting Regulations, available in mid-August.

YOUTH WATERFOWL DAY

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day will be Saturday, Sept. 19. Hunters age 15 and under may take regular season bag limits when accompanied by a nonhunting adult (age 18 and older, no license required). Canada geese, mergansers, coots and moorhens may be taken from one-half hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. Motorized decoy restrictions are in effect. New for this year, five geese may be taken statewide. There are no license requirements, except hunters age 13 to 15 must have a firearms safety certificate or an apprentice hunter validation in their possession. All other migratory bird hunting regulations apply.

GOOSE SEASONS

Minnesota’s regular goose season will open in conjunction with the duck season on Saturday, Oct. 3, except for Canada goose seasons in the West-Central Goose Zone, which will open on Thursday, Oct. 15. The daily bag limit will be two Canada geese statewide. Possession limits are double the daily bag limits. Efforts to increase Minnesota’s daily goose bag to three statewide except for the West Central Goose Zone were not approved by the Mississippi Flyway Council.

EARLY SEPTEMBER GOOSE SEASON

The early Canada goose season will open statewide on Saturday, Sept. 5.

The September season is designed to harvest Minnesota-breeding geese prior to the arrival of migrant geese. Hunter survey results show about 36 percent of Minnesota’s goose harvest occurs during the early September season. The early season is open statewide through Tuesday, Sept. 22. Bag limits for Canada geese will be five per day, statewide. A required $4 permit is valid for both early and late season goose hunting. Permits are available wherever hunting and angling licenses are sold.

New this year, the restriction prohibiting hunting within 100 yards of surface water has been lifted for the Southeast and Metro goose zones. Now this restriction applies only to the Northwest goose zone, the Carlos Avery WMA and an area surrounding Swan Lake in Nicollet County. Early season goose hunters should consult the 2009 Waterfowl Supplement for details.

Regular Goose Season

In the West Central Zone, the regular Canada goose season will be open from Oct. 15 through Oct .18, and from Oct. 24 through Nov. 29. In the remainder of the state the season will be open from Oct. 3 through Dec. 11. The daily bag limit will be two Canada geese.

Late Goose Seasons

December Canada goose seasons will be offered statewide except in the West-Central Goose Zone. Late season hunters must have a $4 permit, which is valid for both early and late special goose seasons. The late season will be open Dec. 12 to Dec. 21, except in the Southeast Goose Zone, where the season will be open Dec. 19 to Dec. 28.

Bag limits for Canada geese during the late season will be five per day, except in the Southeast Goose Zone, where the bag limit will be two.

The season for light geese (snow, blue and Ross’ geese) and brant will be Oct. 3 through Dec. 28, with a daily limit of 20 light geese and one brant. The season for white-fronted geese will be Oct. 3 through Dec. 27, with a daily limit of one white-fronted goose.

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In Minnesota, we've really shot ourselves in the foot when it comes to waterfowl. We have drained such a large percentage of our wetlands, we do not produce nearly the amount of ducks we once did. Add to that the pressure of more people on less wetlands, lack of breeding ponds and grasslands, and you have less ducks not only produced, but that would stop here during migration. Now I'm relatively young, and didn't get to hunt in the good ole days. I remember reading last year about 2 different scaup with gps collars on them that went pretty much straight from ND to CUBA in under 20 hours! I suppose if I was a duck, I wouldn't stop here either. My dad used to tell me about the flocks of thouasands and thousands of bluebills and ringbills, and the late November flocks of Canadian mallards. Is part of our problem lack of migration through Minnesota?

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Great job and debate guys thanks for the info!

So the Mississippi flyway council decided against the 3 Bird Goose limit! I was kind of hoping for 3 across the board but 2 and 5 will have to do...

Oh and the water restrictions being lifted will help some of us out a bit too!

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In Minnesota, we've really shot ourselves in the foot when it comes to waterfowl. We have drained such a large percentage of our wetlands, we do not produce nearly the amount of ducks we once did. Add to that the pressure of more people on less wetlands, lack of breeding ponds and grasslands, and you have less ducks not only produced, but that would stop here during migration. Now I'm relatively young, and didn't get to hunt in the good ole days. I remember reading last year about 2 different scaup with gps collars on them that went pretty much straight from ND to CUBA in under 20 hours! I suppose if I was a duck, I wouldn't stop here either. My dad used to tell me about the flocks of thouasands and thousands of bluebills and ringbills, and the late November flocks of Canadian mallards. Is part of our problem lack of migration through Minnesota?

AGREED! i personaly wouldnt mind dropping the limits of ducks from 6 to 3 and saving a puting a few moajor breeding gournds off limits to all..

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