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  1. The Dakotas are in the Central flyway. USFWS gave Central up to a 74 day season. Pacific got 107 days. Mississippi and Atlantic got 60 days.
  2. I use a pair of rubber gloves lined with fleece. I use them almost exclusively for picking up decoys. They go over halfway up to my elbows and keep my hands dry and relatively warm and are by far and away the best solution I have found. I forget which sporting goods store I bought them at but I don't think they were more than $15.
  3. You're not understanding my point. I never said he couldn't access the lake or wade or do whatever when in the water. I don't know why you keep harping on that. I never said it had anything to do with the OP. I said it was a side note in response to you and others saying that there was a high water rule which determined if you can legally use a dry lake bed. If you don't want to believe me fine I don't care, but I'm not going to argue about this especially when you clearly don't know what and why I posted.
  4. Riparian rights pertain to using the water, not the lake bed. From the paragraph directly before your quote of the DNR HSOforum: "If a court has found that a lake is non-navigable and meandered, the shoreland owners own the bed of a lake in severalty (see: Schmidt v. Marschel., 211 Minn 543, NW 2d 121 [1942]). If a stream is non-navigable but has been meandered, the shoreland owners own to the thread (centerline) of the stream. If a lake or stream is non-navigable and not meandered, ownership of the bed is as indicated on individual property deeds." and from the DNR's publication: "Who owns the land under Minnesota’s lakes and what rights, if any, does the general public have to use the dry beds or shorelines of our lakes? As with most “legal” questions, there is no simple answer. A very general “rule of thumb” is that the shoreline property owner’s rights follow the water level up and down. In other words, the public normally has no right to use the shoreline or dry lake bed unless the adjoining shoreline is already in public ownership (i.e. the shoreline is already part of a public park, beach area, access site, etc.). This does not mean that a landowner can fill, grade, build structures and otherwise alter the topography of his dry lakebed. This type of activity is strictly regulated through the Division of Waters permit program. Naturally, there are a few exceptions to this “rule of thumb”, but it works 99 percent of the time." I'm not saying that he can't access and hunt the lake. I'm saying he would probably be tresspassing IF the lake were low and IF he was standing on dry lakebed adjacent to privately owned shoreline. In other words the public owns the water, the land owner owns the land.
  5. You were in the right and sounds like you handled it well. Public access gives you every right to be there. On a side note, for you guys that believe in the "high water mark rule" you might want to reconsider, the DNR might not agree with you - at least in most cases. http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/waters/Pardon_Me_Myth.pdf http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/pwpermits/waterlaws.html
  6. You're OK. Page 12 of the waterfowl regs: "It is illegal to transport most aquatic plants and zebra mussels in or on boats, trailers, or decoys in boats, when on public roads. However, waterfowl hunters may use emergent aquatic plants, such as cattails and bulrushes, cut above the waterline, for building blinds."
  7. You did a brave and good thing there. I think you'll find that you're experience with others watching you help someone else is typical. I think many people just don't want to get involved or are afraid to. I think that's equal to cowardice. I often use a canoe to hunt as well and have wondered how I would handle getting someone out of the water with one. Trying to get a full grown man out of the water and into the canoe without capsizing isn't easy and I've thought the best thing to do would be to have the guy hold onto the gunwales while I paddle in to shore. How did you handle that?
  8. Decoy spreads can vary depending on your particular location, wind, diver vs puddler, adding geese, etc. I find J's work well for divers though not a necessity. For puddlers and a crosswind relative to the blind I like a C formation with the majority at the arc of the C. For puddlers with the wind at my back (my preferred setup) I put out two pods one on each side of the blind, usually ducks on one side with geese on the other with maybe a handful of ducks, about 10 to 15 yds in between the pods as a landing zone, robo in the LZ closer to the ducks with the intent of getting the ducks to land just beyond or next to the robo on the LZ. Don't forget to create an LZ, otherwise the ducks will land outside of your spread and range and not where you want them (right in front of you). Also I generally put my farthest decoy out about 30 yds from the blind. Helps me judge distances of incoming ducks and there isn't any point in trying to get ducks to decoy out farther than that anyways (as far as I'm concerned). And yes robos can be very effective. Cons are you can't use the motorized in the early season and on WMA's and water enclosed by WMA's, and they can become ineffective as ducks get used to seeing them. Also geese may not like them. Wind versions can be used anywhere anytime but you obviously need wind to make them work so they aren't reliable on low wind days. Pros are they work. I have had several instances this year of flocks of ducks coming in to land on top of my robo before I even notice them. No working just strait in for a landing. I would also suggest going to the Ducks Unlimited HSOforum (ducks.org). They have a bunch of stuff there on decoy placement including videos and diagrams that would probably be very helpful to you.
  9. I have got to believe the guy posting about Pelican was kidding about it being unknown. It is very well known. I drove by the access one opening day and not only was the access full (very large) there were rigs parked on both sides of the county road for 1/8 of a mile in both directions.
  10. John, I know what you are saying, and you are correct that having private land/water to hunt is by far and away the best way to get away from the crowds. I too know this from personal experience. Having private land is not the norm though as I'm sure you know. I would guess that the percentage of hunters that have their own private slough is in the single digits, and having shoreline on a public lake isn't exactly private. There are many people that can barely afford their home let alone recreational land and the economy will probably get worse before it gets better. In Minnesota we are blessed to have the amount of huntable public land that we do. Contrary to what many people think, duck hunting can be good, even excellent on public lands. The key is to be willing to go further, do your homework, and scout often. Best of luck to you this weekend.
  11. Yes thats a great idea, why didn't I every think of that. Let me just get the combination out for the money bin grab a bag of gold dubloons and run down to the real estate man to buy my own duck lake. And I'm sure a dozen of my best friends will want to do the same with me. Come on dude, you know that isn't realistic for most people. As for the crowds, I won't let them stop me, just plan for it and deal accordingly. They'll go away soon enough.
  12. How early you want to be there depends on how popular the lake is. I'm assuming it's a metro area lake. If it's really popular like North or Pelican then your son is correct and the only way you'll get a decent spot is to camp out. Of course no matter how early you get there and set up you're going to have to deal with everyone else that comes in after you and sets up too close to you anyways. That is the reality and the downer of opening day. It still won't stop me from going out though, I'm just going to put some miles on the truck and try to get away from the crowds. The last two openers I hunted a smaller west metro lake that can comfortably support four hunting parties. Both years I got there around 4 am (not hard for me to do since I work til 3 and just drive strait there). First year I was the second truck at the access and got what I consider to be the best spot on the lake. Last year I was the fourth truck there and had to settle for my spot of last resort which actually ended up to be pretty decent. Both years, despite the fact that the access was full of trucks, a total of eight parties showed up, including a group of guys that walked in at 8:50 and pass shot between the best two spots on the lake (nothing wrong with pass shooting, except these guys were too close to both of use and made it impossible to decoy ducks). This year I am seriously planning on going to my second choice lake at about 4am versus going to my first choice lake. My first choice lake is walk in and canoe access and will be loaded with ducks. I have never hunted it on opener but am sure it will be pretty popular with the hunters so I would want to be there early. The problem there is I want to be somewhat comfortable, maybe get a nap in, for the 5 hours before shooting time, and sitting in a canoe/weeds probably isn't going to cut it. That's where lake 2 comes in, I have a 14' boat that is set up for this type of scenario so I'll be able to take a nap and make a hot breakfast while waiting. Lake 2 isn't holding as many ducks as lake 1 but looks promising enough that I'm not worried about shooting any and I don't think I'll have to worry about getting crowded. Even if I don't shoot a limit on Saturday, I know I can hunt lake 1 Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I guess the moral of the story is, if you are hunting metro, and especially if it is a known popular spot get there early and consider going to an alternate spot, or at least have alternate locations that you can go to if you get to the access and it looks too crowded. In fact, if the spot you want to go to is a big lake, then look for a smaller lake with an access that will only hold a half dozen trucks or less. These lakes are overlooked by the big crowds and when the access fills up it tends to discourage more from trying to squeeze in, though like I said don't be surprised when they do. The big lakes become absolute zoos on opener and can make your first hunting experience a bad one. Even if you do have a bad opener, don't get discouraged, it gets a lot better.
  13. can a motorized decoy be used on private land the 4th-11th? No No motorized decoys in WMA's at all... You cannot use them at all in waters fully contained by WMA land. You can if the water is not fully contained. what about Waterfowl Production areas? They are OK to use robos in What about public lakes that are not surrounded by any of these areas? They are also OK
  14. There are a few that are open to motors. Those waters that are completely enclosed by WMA land tend not to be. If you are wondering about a specific WMA, send an e-mail to the DNR, they can tell you for sure.
  15. You can shoot trap on most state forest land and rural county land. Although I'm not aware of a blanket rule prohibiting target shooting on all WMA's, I don't think I've ever been to one where target shooting wasn't prohibited.
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