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OutdoorMN News - DNR seeks input on potential waterfowl hunting changes (published January 11, 2021)


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Wanderer

Had to share with some buds and read the topics.  I’ll take the survey after giving it a little think.

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Kettle

Filled mine out, sent to everyone I know that bird hunts

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gimruis

I didn't duck hunt for the first time in 18 years last fall.  Mostly because duck hunting has been so poor in recent years I did not think it was worth going to harvest 5 ducks all season.  I'm against an early dedicated teal season.  There's enough teal around the first half of October to hunt.  I'm very much against the temporary closures they have in the divided zones.  Just open the season statewide the first Saturday in October and leave it open until it closes for good.  Remove the early youth waterfowl season.  Everyone can hunt during the normal waterfowl season, there's no reason to cater to a specific demographic.  Allow the use of motorized decoys all season too.

Edited by gimruis
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Kettle

I too oppose an early teal but would like to see bonus teal during the first 16 days like other states do. I think an early season would lead to a lot of other species being incidentally harvested.

The reasoning for the split season was to lengthen the season as we are mandated by the federal flyaway for season days open. If we don't split, the southern zones, many would argue that hunt there until the bitter end would close well before freeze up and miss the best hunting. There is reason for the madness. 

I will also fight tooth and nail for a youth waterfowl weekend. I started hunting due to this 22 years ago. We are loosing hunters every year, without licenses/stamps being bought there is less funding for habit which means less hunting land and less birds for EVERYONE. Plus a few of those people who started out on youth season have built dozens of wood duck houses, have donated to foundations like ducks unlimited and delta waterfowl and are INCREDIBLY passionate about everyone's future ability to hunt. I happen to know one of those individuals.... cough cough..... 😉

It is a survey though and any and all opinions are asked for. Although I may disagree with an opinion I do respect it and can see it from a viewing lens different than mine.

Kettle 

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders
monstermoose78

I am a strong believer of the youth season. I don’t have kids but every year I try to take a kid out hunting then. It’s so much fun to just watch the kids hunt ducks.

 

i would like to see the early goose season ended.

Edited by monstermoose78
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gimruis
11 hours ago, Kettle said:

I too oppose an early teal but would like to see bonus teal during the first 16 days like other states do. I think an early season would lead to a lot of other species being incidentally harvested.

The reasoning for the split season was to lengthen the season as we are mandated by the federal flyaway for season days open. If we don't split, the southern zones, many would argue that hunt there until the bitter end would close well before freeze up and miss the best hunting. There is reason for the madness. 

 

I know why they split the season up.  I'm gonna say that most waterfowl hunters also hunt deer so once deer firearms season opens that greatly reduces the number of waterfowl hunters out there.  Obviously the main migration can vary but most years it generally falls sometime in November...during deer hunting.

 

I never have seen a lot of blue wing teal duck hunting whether the opener was in October or late September.  I see a fair number of green wings but they aren't early migrators.  Incidental harvest of other ducks would likely occur, as you mentioned.

 

On the subject of early youth seasons...well I've already stated my opinion.  I don't believe anyone, regardless of age, weight, height, skin color, religious beliefs, etc deserves to have a special devoted season.  Each and every person should be entitled to the same legal season for ducks, turkeys, pheasants, deer, etc.  Duck hunter numbers have generally fallen but they definitely didn't go down this year (covid crowd).  I prefer to encounter less people when I'm hunting, not more.

 

The primary reason I personally didn't duck hunt last fall for the first time in many, many years was the lack of success in recent years.  Duck hunting success requires scouting and timing.  You can't just go out to Grandpa's old faithful pond like you did years ago and expect to see a hundred ducks and shoot a limit.  I don't know how many ducks the average hunter is harvesting now but my average has gone significantly down and I couldn't justify putting in all that time for a few ducks anymore.  Plus that, and fishing is usually pretty good in the fall that time of year, and last fall only confirmed my decision because the fishing was the best I had all season.

 

Just my opinion of course, carry on.

Edited by gimruis
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Kettle
On 1/13/2021 at 8:05 AM, gimruis said:

 

On the subject of early youth seasons...well I've already stated my opinion.  I don't believe anyone, regardless of age, weight, height, skin color, religious beliefs, etc deserves to have a special devoted season.  Each and every person should be entitled to the same legal season for ducks, turkeys, pheasants, deer, etc.  Duck hunter numbers have generally fallen but they definitely didn't go down this year (covid crowd).  I prefer to encounter less people when I'm hunting, not more.

 

I definitely appreciate your opinion and can see your point of view. Can I ask if you were as a youth able to participate in a youth hunt as I know relatively speaking it is fairly new.

 

You are definitely right, hunting is not what it used to be. I myself don't even waterfowl hunting in MN anymore. Ironically speaking I grew up hunting a faimly farm. On bad years my family would attribute the poor numbers to me youth hunting but there were years where I hunted the youth opener and on the standard opener we had limits for 12 individuals, seeing this and reading data I do believe that the youth opener has minimal to zero impact on hunting outcomes two weeks later. To this day I can say I harvested one wood duck, one mallard and two teal in my three years of youth day and didn't even shoot a box of shells in those three years.

I have hunted early teal in Iowa in early September and saw large migrating flocks of teal, hundreds, bluewing teal, the mass majority are out of MN by our main opener and if lucky enough some individuals harvest green wing teal as they are late migrators compared to their cohorts.

Covid definitely pushed more people into the outdoors but as an emergency medicine physician assistant and former paramedic I am glad people got out and enjoyed the outdoors versus congregating indoors. 

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Wanderer

Since y’all are weighing in.

 

I don’t have a grand opinion either way on the youth season.  Honestly for those I know, it seemed more important to the adults than the kids they took.  I understand that’s not universal with all kids so I doubt I’ll stand against it even though I do prefer level playing fields for everyone as @gimruismentioned.  Teaching kids to earn something is a life lesson in itself.  

 

Teal - I still see a good percentage of BWT on opener compared to other ducks so I know there’s still plenty that haven’t left.  I’m more worried about the misidentified young of the year others that will get tossed or not retrieved when shooters realize they dropped non-teal.  Look no further than the splash duck rule for support.  A couple bonus teal so we can get “our fair share”?  OK, doesn’t sound too bad.  Same difference as shooting them for more days.

 

No trolling motors in WMA’s.  Paddlers still want to have a place to get away from motor hunters.  We’re supposed to be creating or at least maintaining opportunities in this state.  Don’t take quiet enjoyment away completely.  And by quiet enjoyment, I’m speaking of pressure not the noise of a trolling motor... 

 

Spinners OK all the time, sure, why not everyone has them by now.  Again a level playing field.

 

The statewide open water rule is the single change I’m most interested in.  I’m all in.

 

Oh yeah, split season: I’m fine with it.  I’ve given up firearms deer hunting for ducks before and will keep doing it if I have ducks to chase.

Edited by Wanderer
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gimruis
13 hours ago, Kettle said:

I definitely appreciate your opinion and can see your point of view. Can I ask if you were as a youth able to participate in a youth hunt as I know relatively speaking it is fairly new.

 

I did not participate in the youth hunt growing up because it didn't exist.  I went on opener like everyone else.  The early seasons and special youth regulations are relatively new.  Do I think that having the youth duck season a couple weeks inhibits my success as a duck hunter?  No, not likely.  I don't think there's enough pressure to have an impact.  But that's not the point.  I believe that every hunter or angler that wants to hunt or fish should be able to.  You buy a license and you can do it.  You can make opener about teaching your child to hunt too.  I know this because that's what happened to me.  The early deer season is another topic for another day.

 

Duck hunting has really gone down hill in about the past 8-10 years.  When I first starting doing it, I'd see flocks of mallards that I haven't seen anymore.  Hundreds of wood ducks early in the season too.  Recently its just a fraction of that now.  In the same spots I hunted years ago too.  They just aren't there anymore.  Its partially my own fault because I don't scout anymore and try to find new, more productive spots.  I think many of the ducks that used to migrate through here have changed their migration route to the west.  Something is going to have to change dramatically for me to start doing it again.

 

Thanks for your work in the health care field this past year, Kettle.  We are greatly appreciative of your work more than ever.

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