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candiru

Earlier Duck Opener?

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Maxxed Out

I don't think SD overall season is longer than ours, it's just they have a late January early Febuary hunt in certain parts of the state, CarpshooterDeluxe can fill us in on the details of that.

There's not many parts of the state that hold geese past the first of the year anyway. I think outside of a few of us die hards I don't think there would be a lot of interest in sitting in a layout blind when it's -5.

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Gordie

I think outside of a few of us die hards I don't think there would be a lot of interest in sitting in a layout blind when it's -5.

ground blind in -5 wheather or 5 gallon bucket on a frozen lake.... Hmmm I think I'll pick the GB one day and the bucket the next laugh

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ctlfdr

SD is in the central flyway. This is why they have longer seasons. Feds set up number of days that can be hunted in each flyway.

MN duck hunting has been terrible for 15 years. We used to jump wood ducks by the thousands in the early 1990's in the creek bottoms. Back when we had an abundance of water and the Dakotas were dry. The roles are reversed now. If you would have seen the James River valley this fall the ducks had no reason to fly over MN. Thousands of acres of flooded corn and bean fields. No need to leave the roost.

An earlier start isn't going to make terrible hunting any better. The flyway has just shifted west and seems to be moving farther west.

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me_fathead

My personal choice would be to make opener later so I can hunt real ducks at the end of the season. smile

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carpshooterdeluxe

I don't think SD overall season is longer than ours, it's just they have a late January early Febuary hunt in certain parts of the state, CarpshooterDeluxe can fill us in on the details of that.

There's not many parts of the state that hold geese past the first of the year anyway. I think outside of a few of us die hards I don't think there would be a lot of interest in sitting in a layout blind when it's -5.

sd is zoned for late season oppertunities along the missouri river. we have zones for waterfowl with different season open and close dates. we are also in the central flyway and have different framework in place regarding season lengths. comparing anything sodak to minnesota season wise is apples to oranges from the get go due to the different flyway governing.

here's my two cents on this issue. I grew up in western minnesota, and still do a lot of waterfowl hunting there. the attitude of dnr personnel that i have spoke with over the past few years is one of disbelief and "what do you know" when i bring up fathead minnows and carp and their proliferation to waters that were once fish free. every spring for the past 5 years, the water in lake artichoke has gotten high enough that carp can swim through the road ditch, through a 24"culvert under the county road, and right into a WPA. now i know this fed land, but wouldnt somebody want to think about maybe welding some wire mesh to this culvert????? i shot 47 carp, mostly female, and mostly over 15lbs out of that wpa in one afternoon.

same thing goes for the Danvers WMA that the state just got done pumping a pile of money into this wma with the diversion of the drainage ditch around the old "lake" bed on the east side. never mind the fact that the carp swim upstream the big county ditch to the north end of the wma and then swim into old judicial ditch 3 that runs right through the middle of what was once one of the greatest duck spots in western minnesota. again, i've shot carp out of the "big opening" in that wma 2 or 3 times in the past few years. yet there is no electric weir anywhere on these drainage ditches that prevent the carp from entering the wma.

or how about the money the state spent to restore lake hassel (hazel) ne of benson. they killed off the lake in the late 90's to rid the lake of carp, installed an electronic fish barrier on the outlet, and now manage the lake as a shallow duck lake. nevermind the fact that the weir was inoperable and de-energized during the carp spawn last year...

If you guys seriously think that the dnr is going to do anything good in the future, maybe you should see to it that they go back and fix the "fixes" they have already done.

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Musky Buck

Agreed and what about the minnowless and carpless waters that are void of birds ? My area the biggest difference I notice because I can no longer hunt them because they are gone is the beaver dam. There's more to it than that but those were the gold mines in the good ol days. Another one is shoreline development on lakes and ponds, the birds have few quiet resting places and our population boom with technology has changed things quickly, if I were the DNR I'd be hands on hip as well because many of these things can not be reversed. I sure hope the birds can come back and if they do we'll know why and how it happened. I'd migrate through the lowest populated areas as well and they seem to know the route.

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surewood

When the season starts later in the year, I'd be all for a week earlier. Up here when it starts late a lot of the teal and woodies are gone. They don't stick around long.

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RiverRunner

Agreed and what about the minnowless and carpless waters that are void of birds ? My area the biggest difference I notice because I can no longer hunt them because they are gone is the beaver dam. There's more to it than that but those were the gold mines in the good ol days. Another one is shoreline development on lakes and ponds, the birds have few quiet resting places and our population boom with technology has changed things quickly, if I were the DNR I'd be hands on hip as well because many of these things can not be reversed. I sure hope the birds can come back and if they do we'll know why and how it happened. I'd migrate through the lowest populated areas as well and they seem to know the route.

Opening the season earlier to me is kind of a band aid. Yeah you might have better hunting for a week or two, but your not fixing the main problems. This state needs to restore habitat and put in some more refuges. Manage more lakes for waterfowl, some of these lakes they manage for fish are money pits. That freeze out ever few years anyways. Make more lakes non-motorized. On your more popular lakes only allow hunting until 1pm, doing a couple of these things alone would help hunting.

Musky buck your right on a lot of this but even in the lesser populated areas of the state theres a shortage of ducks, when you compare it to the Dakotas. There could be a lot more ducks in the western portion of the state than there is. The population is relativly low. I don't buy into that argument entirely. If the habitat was there and they could rest there relativly undisturbed, ducks would be there.

The MN DNR needs to quit worrying about hunter numbers and opinions and start concentrating on improving waterfowl habitat and numbers. Once duck numbers improve people will start hunting them again. But if you have a large amount of time, where huntings subpar it will be tough to get people back.

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Musky Buck

Agreed, I knew I was leaving out some things. Sad deal, it was gun training to us youth of the 80's, lots of practice had back then.

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Ufatz

I try to stay out of these parades of internet mental masochism, but today's a slow day here in the desert so what the heck. Earlier season, later season, no season at all-none of it is going to make any difference in the migratory patterns of the Central Flyway. Everything has essentially moved west 150 miles and it is going to stay that way for a long time. Get over it. Oh sure: you might see a bump in the local teal or wood duck population. And major changes in habitat improvement are needed-for many species, not just waterfowl- in all areas of the state.

It is very sad for an old man to see what the State of Minnesota-a state which used to PRIDE itself on woods and waters- has allowed to take place. There is only one way you are going to change it and that is by hammering your elected people in St. Paul. Period. THAT is the solution, at least for local ducks and in-state habitat.

But I will be long gone to that great duck swamp over the hill before you see major duck populations and migratory movements through Minnesota again,

Sad to say but accept it! And get as much enjoyment out of what is left as you can. Sometimes ya know, just sittin' in the blind with your pal and your dogs is all you need.

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kittycatcher16

It is very sad but....well said Ufatz.

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MaskedMallard

I'd be for opening the season a week earlier, & then closing the season every Wednesday to allow for more time later in the season.

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Gordie

I'd be for opening the season a week earlier, & then closing the season every Wednesday to allow for more time later in the season.

This might work for me itwould only be 8 extra days in the late season but thats 8 days extra we dont have now.

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BrdHunter01

Originally Posted By: MaskedMallard
I'd be for opening the season a week earlier, & then closing the season every Wednesday to allow for more time later in the season.

This might work for me itwould only be 8 extra days in the late season but thats 8 days extra we dont have now.

Sounds like a good idea but if it opened a weeker earlier and was then closed wen. so we had 8 extra days at the end...... Wouldn't that be the same closing date we have now?

Wait, we would get 1 extra day, the season would close on wen instead of tues.... but we can't hunt wen, so it would close thurs. We would get 1 extra day not 8

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Gordie

You know thats what I thought at first but I let go right over my head.

so 1 extra is more than we have now laugh

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Maxxed Out

Fellas, after our spring trip to Sodak for snow geese, I know understand why so many say they don't even buy a MN license anymore. WOW. It is amazing out there. Where I hunt (lac qui parle) you may see a pot hole with an occassional mallard pair or some teal. We were out by Clarke and in every pothole mallards with the minority, they were filled with pintail, cans, and piles of blue bills.

It was my ah-ha moment. I now know what the "good ole days" of MN looked like after being out there for three weekends. Which goes back to why are we talking about a longer season when we should be talking about improving habitat.

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MaskedMallard

This might work for me itwould only be 8 extra days in the late season but thats 8 days extra we dont have now.

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Gordie

Fellas, after our spring trip to Sodak for snow geese, I know understand why so many say they don't even buy a MN license anymore. WOW. It is amazing out there. Where I hunt (lac qui parle) you may see a pot hole with an occassional mallard pair or some teal. We were out by Clarke and in every pothole mallards with the minority, they were filled with pintail, cans, and piles of blue bills.

It was my ah-ha moment. I now know what the "good ole days" of MN looked like after being out there for three weekends. Which goes back to why are we talking about a longer season when we should be talking about improving habitat.

Yea MOG that was my feelings about SoDak as well 2 years ago when I went to Lake Sharp for some eyes. every fenceline had pheasants and every place that held water had waterfowl in it. Not just one or two ducks either hundreds upon hundreds of pintails,bills,teal,cans you name it we saw it.

The best line from the whole trip was my son Joey's when we pulled into Peirre he says "Dad we gotta get mom to move out here" that put a smile on my face the rest of the trip. well I still dont live there but the thought still crosses my mind about every other day.

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brittman

You can only have one (maybe two) closures in a split season. You can not open the season for say five days and close two over the coarse of the entire season ... to try extend overall season length and "refuge" stock birds.

Dakotas have true shallow wetlands that are under a couple feet deep. Add in all the flooded fields last fall ... puddlers find them and stay.

Most MN wetlands are too deep and/or nutrionally void to keep waterfowl around very long. Most shallow wetlands have been drain tiled away in MN. The deeper wetlands have too many carp and/or are used for minnow propagation. This changes the ecosystem ... no sago, celery, etc... ducks spend the night, but soon leave in search of fuel for the migration.

Ducks also transmigrate ... that is they can move east and west along the flyway(s) ... the do this within the Dakotas (county to county) and interstate depending upon habitat conditions in the fall.

Minnesotans often think WATER, but it is what is in the water that keeps ducks and allows the fall population to build.

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LandDr

Exactly. Does everyone know why all the ducks are out in the Dakotas?

Here is an annalogy...

Say there were grocery stores in the Dakotas and there were grocery stores in MN. Back in the "good ol'days", the grocery stores in MN held as many people as the ones in the Dakotas...maybe even more.

Not too many years ago, the some of the grocery stores in MN closed...others had less food in them and the food was not as good. There were still "some" good grocery stores in MN however and the people kept going to them...but most of the people moved west to go to where the food was in the Dakotas. Today, most of the grocery stores in MN have disappeared but the ones that are still present only have small amounts of food or poor food. A few people stop by these stores and then move on. But the stores in the Dakotas are packed with people getting large amounts of food and good food.

Now of course people have more needs these days than just food and staying alive, but you can understand the annalogy. The water we have in MN is not good..."ducks like water, but they like food in the water even better".

A few years back I restored a 15 ac. pond of mine with Wild Rice. I also restored another shallow pond with Sago Pondweed. I now have thick stands of wild rice on the 15 ac. pond and solid Sago on the 10 ac. pond. I always have the opportunity to shoot a limit of ducks and sometimes there are so many ducks that I set my gun down to watch them all.

I have been all around the US working with landowners on waterfowl enhancement. From what I have seen, MN has some of the greatest opportunities for waterfowl enhancement...however it has been like pulling teeth to get people to do anything. Out East, down South and out West...the "norm" is to plant crops and then flood them in the fall. The problem at these parts of the country is that having a way to flood the crops is VERY difficult. The land contours don't provide easy means of holding water back and in many places there are isn't available water or water is controlled. HOWEVER...look at Minnesota! We have the perfect contours all over the place...EASY water control to flood crops in the fall. We also have an abundance of water and it is often just a shallow pump away for use to flood crops in the fall...or just the simple installation of a solid stand pipe in a tile drain...or a stop log near a culvert intake. There are so many simple ways to accomplish this in MN.

I am out in the Dakotas on a regular basis working on habitat projects and I see all the ducks out there...yet I have never bought a waterfowl license in the Dakotas. I know I can go out to my ponds and shoot 4, 5 or 6 ducks just about any day I want to during the open season. I might not see the numbers of ducks that one can see in the Dakotas, but I certainly can shoot at a limit of ducks a lot cheaper in MN.

I encourage each of you to start one project this spring for waterfowl enhancement...just one. We need some demonstration sites out there and the waterfowl hunters need to lead by example. I am more than happy to help with advice or reviewing aerial photos of your property for some possible options.

Land Dr

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MaskedMallard

You can only have one (maybe two) closures in a split season. You can not open the season for say five days and close two over the coarse of the entire season ... to try extend overall season length and "refuge" stock birds.

Doesn't Maryland & Virginia have 3 seasons, along with no hunting on Sunday? I was just trying to suggest a way to extend the season. Also, with the decline in hunters, the DNR should start getting creative in getting more hunters out in the field. I realize the Fed's have the over all say, but those rules & regulations were wrote a long time ago, & I'm just suggesting some amendments to suite the current times.

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Maxxed Out

I think splitting the season is pretty easy. They've been doing it out at Lac qui parle for years. You just sacrifice a 5 days of hunting during the week. Doing it twice really wouldn't be difficult. That being said that will never happen.

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brittman

Virgina does have three seasons (two closures). Any one aware of a Mississippi flyway state that has three separate seasons (two closures) - not including Youth WD?

When it comes to duck and goose hunting each state must conform to the Federal guidlines. If the state is within the Federal framework, they can do what they please. If they do not like the Federal framework, they can lobby for change - but cannot ignore.

Not sure if the Sunday closure extends the season length or if they simply lose days. In that case it is not considered a "split" season.

If MN decided to have zones in the state and splits they could extend out the number of hunting days by a bunch. Not an easy concept to employ without much research.

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pulleye16

I kind of like how its set up... usually small game, two weeks later duck opener, two weeks late pheasant opener, then two-three weekends its deer opener. Gives me a chance to hunt them all without having to decide. What ever they decide I'm sure I'll still find time to hunt!:)

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carpshooterdeluxe

Pawlenty vetoed the bill containing language allowing for an early duck season start....and in my opinion, rightfully so.

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BrdHunter01

Pawlenty vetoed the bill containing language allowing for an early duck season start....and in my opinion, rightfully so.

I don't usually agree with Pawlenty on many issues but he gets a high five from me on this veto! Not only the early duck opener but all the other b-s that was shoved in that bill. He did the right thing there.

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fishface

How about two or three options on your individual lic.? Pick your own 60 day season. but just one. Early? Mid? Late? Doesn't S. Dak. Make non Res. pick two weeks, N. Dak too? Not sure any more, quit following water fowling much. I was fortunate enough to hunt a lot starting in the late sixties through to the early ninties. Very sad what's happened in this state. W F management has been... Turned me into a fall angler. Sorry, shot through the heart. but I did die hard.

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Gordie

fishface I think thats the best idea I have heard yet and what a concept let the hunter choose his own time to hunt. the only problem I see with it is and I couldn't care either way is that your opener wouldnt be the same as the other guys and alot of flack would be generated because of this.

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tweedlap

Elwood,

I like fishface's idea, too.

There shouldn't be any complaints. If you want to hunt the early season

and hunt for 60 days pick the early option. If you want to hunt the

late migrators and cornfields pick the late season. It is the hunters

choice.

This, at least, gives us an option. For those that don't like it;

shut up and stay home. These guys would FemaleDog if you hung em with

a new rope.

tweed

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