Minnesota and northern Wisconsin waterfowlers are looking forward to Saturday’s duck opener in both states (north zone only in Wisconsin). Mallard numbers are good across the continent this year (11.8 million, well above the long-term average), and hunters are expected to find some this weekend.
Minnesota’s waterfowl season opens a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday. In Minnesota’s north zone, duck season will be open for 60 days starting Saturday. Season dates vary in the central and southern zones. Check regulations.
The only bag limit change from the 2015 season is for canvasback, which increases from one to two per day. The daily duck bag limit remains six ducks per day. The mallard bag limit remains four per day, including two hen mallards. The daily bag limits remain at three for wood duck and three for scaup.
Each week, on Thursday during duck season, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will post a waterfowl migration report. I haven’t seen today’s report yet.
Goose and sandhill crane seasons and Minnesota’s regular goose season will open in conjunction with the duck season statewide on Sept. 26, with a bag limit of three dark geese per day the entire season. “Dark” geese include Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant. Goose season will be closed in the central and south duck zones when duck season is closed.
The season for sandhill cranes remains open through Sunday, Oct. 18, in the northwest goose and sandhill crane zone only. The daily bag limit will be one sandhill crane per day. A $3 sandhill crane permit is required in addition to a small game hunting license.
Wisconsin’s waterfowl season opens Saturday and continues through Nov. 24 in the North Zone. Shooting opens at one-half hour before sunrise. Daily limit is six ducks, no more than 4 mallards (only 1 may be a hen), three wood ducks, one black duck, two redheads, three scaup, two pintail and two canvasback.