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Scott M

6 duck limit this fall

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Scott M

From the DNR: "With continental populations of many species of ducks at or near record highs, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has established a 60-day duck season and increased the daily bag limit to six ducks. The mallard bag limit will remain unchanged from last year, including only one hen, and the canvasback daily limit will be increased to two.

The bag limits will continue to protect local breeding mallard populations and will provide more opportunity for Minnesota hunters to benefit from high continental waterfowl populations if weather and migration patterns result in a good fall flight through the state.

"While continental duck populations look very good, this year's hunting success is by no means assured," said Mark Holsten, DNR commissioner. "Waterfowl hunting is always unpredictable. If weather and migration patters result in a good fall flight through the state, a higher bag limit will allow more opportunity for Minnesota hunters."

I was a little surprised to see 6 birds. I read in a couple papers that the expectation was that it would remain 4 birds. I really don't care as it really wouldnt' change my season total too much. On a couple trips I'll get limits but many times I'll only get a bird or two.

Any cheers or jeers for the new expanded bag?

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BoxMN

Like my brother just said when I sent him the link to DNR, "we had to stop after our 4 duck limit so many times last year that it is good they are raising it" (total sarcasm)

In this drought, and a fairly big drought, it just seems wrong to raise it to 6. I am a huge fan of canvasbacks, and love hunting them. But I can't say that I have seen enough to make me happy it is two birds. I would rather give them a chance at more of a comeback - heck we used to see sooooo many cans years ago, and the limit was 1 then as well.

Oh well, to be honest, I don't think is going to make much of a difference for most hunters, but I know many shoot their limits and on birds a lot more than me smile.gif so I guess it will for them.

All in all, I don't think it will affect how many birds I shoot this season, except on my second weekend when we usually have a really great ringbill shoot. Even last year we had a great shoot, and we did not shoot our limits (for 6 guys, but still shot many ducks, enough to keep us happy).

My vote is probably for a jeer. Glad it is a long season though, as I would more days versus more ducks if it came down to it. Thats my two cents...

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RonZ

4 ducks was enough, but raising it is fine too. If you shoot the limit thats alot of birds. Not that it happens very often. I do very well every year duck hunting.

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smg04

i'm all for raising the limits and VERY happy they did, i never understood why we only got 4 ducks when every other state along the miss flyway gets 6, how come we were the only ones cutting back???

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carpshooterdeluxe

im pretty sure i read that a flyway study a year or two ago found that a 6 bird limit really doesnt affect the population anymore than a 4 bird season, something about 6 bird limit puts more hunters in the field which pressures the birds, educates them, and keeps em movin on down the flyway.

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Nova

I personally am not a big fan of raising the limit. With our drought this year the breeding ducks have less places to breed and I can't believe MN duck numbers went up much. Like other guys have said rarely do people get their limit, but still, why not let the population get strong before testing it. I love to shoot ducks and will be out every weekend just like the last 38 years, but I am just not crazy about raising the limit. I know other states never lowerred their limits to 4 and shame on them, I think MN should have stood their ground and left the limit at 4. With the low water all the ducks will be in the Dakotas anyway..well the majority of them. That being said, I believe the DNR knows what they are doing and knows alot more about how this affects the ducks than me, so I don't have a huge problem with this, just would have liked to see it stay at 4 ducks.

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Farley

What happened to the DNR? NO license for portables, raising non-res licenses, crossbows during deer season, and now a 6 bird limit on ducks??? Did Ted Nugent take over the DNR when we werent looking??

I could get used to this kind of common sense leadership from them.

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Abrams

Couple things: You can not stock pile ducks from year to year. Thus the 4 duck limit did nothing to help the ducks out. The rest of the flyway could kill 6, it didn't make any sence, it just felt good. Duck numbers are more dependant on nesting conditions. I'm a little worried about this drought were are in. Lets all hope for a went winter/spring.

I can't wait to kill 6 ducks again. I'm really loving 6-cans! I can't tell you how many I passed after I kill my one bull last fall.

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Nova

you might want to check that again, can't LEGALLY shoot 6 cans.

As far as stock piling ducks, I think the less you shoot the more breding stock there is for next year and therefor the more off spring. MN is full of pot holes that have NO ducks in them so I think the habitat can handle quite a few more ducks than we now have.

I am going to make a very strong effort to shoot ONLY drakes this year and leave the egg layers for breeding stock. I have done this in the past, but plan to work even harder at it.

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Abrams

Sorry 2 cans, 6 ducks. I'm so excited my signals got messed up.

There are no ducks in Minnesota. I think some of guys who are bothered by this should stick to killing 4 ducks. Me, I'm going to kill my 6 ducks and love it. . . . .

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Hammer Handle

Duck hunting is not what it used to be...even from 10 years ago until now. Where I hunt, we do extremely well though. Rarely do we go home without a limit and let a lot of ducks go for "other states".

Doing this in a year of the drought is strange. I don't know how smart that is. I just got a permit from the DNR to build a large private pond last year...and it was loaded with ducks last weekend...although it is almost dry. I hope we get rain soon!

I don't go duck hunting as much as I used to, so increasing the limit will be good for me. If I have 6 great hunts...which I usually do...that could mean 36 ducks instead of 24. That is a big difference.

BTW - Where do I hunt? I hunt on a large pond in the middle of a private woods in northern MN. I am the only duck hunter that uses the pond. The ponds produces Wood Ducks, Mallards, Gadwalls, Wigeons, Teal, and lots of Bluebills. I don't even use decoys or a duck call. No need to as they come in for the wild rice growing there and acorns.

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nate larson

I think the DNR made the correct decision changing the limit back to 6. I was also supportive when they changed the limit to 4. The resident mallard population was lower when they changed it to 4 and a lot of people voiced their concern about it. The population is up some since then. I think it was a good idea to keep the hen mallard limit to 1 and I wish the entire flyway would do the same(I think they are sill at 2, correct me if I am wrong.) It's not often that I shoot a limit of ducks be it 4 or 6. But I usually have one or two hunts a year late in the season when I wish I could shoot a couple more ducks. Also, why should we have a 4 bird limit to protect our local ducks when everyone south of us will be shooting 6? If the numbers are down in the future I would be supportive lowering it again...but for now I say they made the right decision.

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jblabsnduck

The smartest thing the DNR could do.

The 4 bird limit was a joke.

We can always shoot more than four.

Minnesota tried to set the stage for other states and it didn't happen.

Minnesotas biggest problem in the habitat, plan and simple we need more and better habitat.

I love the 6 bird limit (again) plus two cans?? can't go wrong. smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

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CaptainMusky

I don't think these decisions are influenced at all by someone's ability to shoot 6 or 4. It really doesn't make sense for us to only shoot 4, when all the other states in the flyway can shoot 6. For every person that could shoot six but had to stop due to hitting the 4 bird limit, there were probably 10 that never hit 4.

I am surprised that they say the numbers are historically high. I am not sure how they are counting them, but I sure am not seeing them.

I wish they would do something about all the (Contact Us Please) geese around there. 10 bird limit early season, shoot out of moving vehicles and boats (insert strong sarcasm here), get rid of some of these suckers. They are such a nuisance.

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Eric Wettschreck

I very much love the fact that we're back to 6 ducks. The 2 cans is a very nice bonus.

I also support the decisions made by the DNR. I'm a boilermaker by trade and not a biologist. I don't expect the DNR dudes to come to my work and weld wrapper plates in a steam drum, and I don't know the science of duckies. I know they are fun to hunt and they taste good.

I'll trust the people who know WAAAYYYY more about the subject than I do to make good decisions.

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schr0563

9 trips out last year, 1 duck in the bag (total for all 9 trips).

If I can get 2 ducks this year then I will consider it a good year.

Someday maybe, I'll have to worry about the limits, but if history is an indicator of the future, not anytime soon.

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RonZ

1 duck in 9 trips? Time for you to try some new spots. Go looking now. We already have land permission. This Saturday I am going on a road trip scouting out new water spots to try.

I just told my dog about the 6 bird limit. She is all fired up about the 2 more retrieves per person she gets to make!!!

Always thinking about herself.

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carpshooterdeluxe

there are no ducks this year. you guys should just hang up the guns and spend saturdays watching the gophers get stomped and dream about "good ole days" from years past. i will be busy hitting my western minnesota stomping grounds chasing the best hatch of mallards and redheads ive seen in 4 years.

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ChuckN

From what I understand, this spring's heavy rains in ND, SD, MN and Canada replenished a lot of potholes for good reproduction of almost all duck species.

I don't see how the drought we are experiencing now is hurting the ducks, at least in Western MN. Water levels were at all time highs just a couple months ago (flooding)and I have yet to see a small pond or pothole dry up, or close to it. I am seeing A LOT of ducks and the best wild rice crop I've ever seen. The rice is so thick you can't see water right now in some large ponds...looks like a field, and the ducks are in that stuff feeding like crazy.

I did like the 4 duck limit. My hunts are not about the kill, it's the experience. With the 4 duck limit I learned how to ID ducks better, shoot drakes, and pass on whatever I didn't feel comfortable pulling the trigger on. Last fall was simply the best duck migration I had ever seen with the cold fall we had (compared to year's past). Last fall most of my hunts ended too early with the 4 limit, but I didn't complain. That's plenty of meat to eat for myself before I could go afield again. smirk.gif

Regardless of limits, I always pray that we get a 60 day season. I look forward to hunting around Thanksgiving in the cold....nobody around....can't be beat in my opinion!

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B. Amish

Couldn't agree more ChuckN,

The rice was a magnet last year and will be again this year! The 60 day season is my biggest concern each year. I also love the hunting over thanksgiving weekend.

For more information on duck breeding grounds, every duck hunter should watch the "Status of Waterfowl 2007

Final Video Report" at www.fws.gov

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kc0myy

I am happy yet sad too at the same time. The duck numbers are up but so did the limit. I don't care if I get my limit. I just want a few ducks in my freezer for the winter. Otherwise why take your limit. Your only hurting yourself. I am 19 years old and have been hunting for 5 years. I talk with my friend Ron and he has been hunting ducks for year. I love hearing those stoires were the ducks were like a black cloud when they tipped there wings and turned back. I want those days to come back. So I can enjoy them too.

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jeff127

Kc---"those days" stories are actually still in the present. You just need to head to the dakotas now to see it. I see it every fall and in the spring chasing snows.

shoot em where they are, not where they were

jeff

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BoxMN

Respectfully, not everybody has the time nor the money to go to the Dakotas or other longer range trips. I do go to North Dakota, so I do see part of what you are saying (wonderful hunting). But MN is and traditionally has been a great waterfowling state. But it has been poor for the past decade or two (I have hunted ducks in MN for about 30 years now, so I never saw the huge market days type days, but the early 90's were incredible - and from the old timers stories when they used to see the HUGE flocks, they had very liberal limits, until they started dwindling - imagine that - shooting tons until they were gone, simply because they could - sound familiar? Ironically, when we were shooting the heck out of birds in the late 80's and early 90s, the rest of the country was complaining about seeing NO ducks. I think MN has better hunting during drought years, IMHO, cause we have so much permanent water.).

However, I must say that the past two years have been much better than even 5 or 7 or so years ago, way better. Was a reduced bag the reason? Was it more due to weather? I don't know. I do agree that professional biologists should be trusted, but the DNR has a somewhat tainted reputation for getting our (MN hunters) hopes up with these great duck number stories only for us to see yet again poor seasons.

And as for those who just go to other greener pastures (and I do also hunt NoDak, as I said, but also more time spent in MN) why not try to help make MN a better ducking state again? Look what the work on muskies has done, as that is truly the good old days... Pheasants is waaay up, granted that is probably more to do with weather, but the amount of habitat and qwuality of habitat has been helped with the help of the pheasant hunters (btw, I have always purchased pheasant stamps, but haven't shot one in years, I don't even hunt them).

Anyway, I understand why many like the 6 bird limit, and being a biologist myself (by training, not profession) I understand the reasoning why it shouldn't hurt the population, and I may take 6 birds if the day allows it. But it just seems silly to be in the "they get to do it, so we should as well" camp, as that seems so selfish and not thinking long term on what is best, though most of us fall into it I think. Just my late night ramblings though, as I sit here and dream of the huge flocks of bills hitting the dekes again someday... smile.gif

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Riverratpete

I for one am happy to see the length and bag limit increase but the bottom line is that if the birds aren't around when a fellas out hunting they could make the limit a 100 and 90 days and it wouldn't make any difference. If we get one of our famous nasty end of October early Nov cold snaps that freeze everything up the games going to be over anyways, except for the guys that have access to fields or big water. just glad the best part of the year is just around the corner.

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1runhotshot

Stop shooting hens and the limit is a very small concern! STOP WITH THE HENS!!!! Another reason to "Think Green" (Pun Intended)

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kc0myy

1 shot I am right with you. But 1st daylight its hard to see the colors. but when I jump ponds I look for the drakes and not the hens. why do they send men to war and not women. Because 1 man can "make" offspring with many women. see what we are trying to say.

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trailratedtj

just had a ponder....If we are in a drought then that should mean more concentrated areas of ducks, right? meaning have less water means the water that is available should be stacked. Kinda like ice in the late of the season....open water = ducks frozen water = keep on flying south!

like i said just a thought.

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Borch

I'm expecting plenty of birds this fall. We saw lots of mallards and divers this past fall. Although, if we don't get some rain in the St Cloud area soon we'll be walking through 70 yards of mud field to get to the water. This is tough hunting. Been there, done that! I'll enjoy the hunt but getting there will be an absolute pain! frown.gif We haven't had measureable rain for nearly two months at my place.

The ducks don't seem to mind much though as the water we do have has lots of ducks and geese on them.

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Sartell Angler

I support the 6 duck limit...got a little old with every other state in the flyway taking 6 while we sat at 4...and as was mentioned, avoiding shooting hens is what will make a difference.

Hope everyone has a great season! Gettin' excited!

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Fish&Fowl

I was fine with the 4-duck limit, but I support a 6-bird limit also. If the numbers are up and everyone else in the flyway can shoot 6, then we should be able to as well. For the people who think four is plenty, just shoot four. Just because the limit is six, that doesn't mean you have to shoot six, the same as not shooting any hens even if you can shoot one.

When you take a step back and look at the big picture, there's a number of big impacts on waterfowl numbers. Habitat conditions, droughts, severe weather/storms during the nesting season, and predation are the critical ones that come to mind. If you want to help save a few ducks, pass up that hen or go kill a few skunks and coons.

It is nice to see the DNR making changes and responding to situations as they happen. Now if duck numbers take a dive before next year, let them lower the limit. Keeping conservation in mind and using some common sense is what we need here in MN, and it looks like we're making progress. Bring on the season!

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