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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:03 am 
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Minnesota DNR seeks changes in dates, shooting hours for duck-hunting season
Opener could shift, as well as hunting hours
By Chris Niskanen
cniskanen@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 02/13/2010 11:40:16 PM CST


Minnesota duck hunters could see earlier seasons and shooting hours under two proposals being floated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The agency will propose that the Legislature rescind a law that prohibits the duck opener from occurring before the Saturday nearest Oct. 1. The law keeps the DNR from opening the season earlier, even though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows Minnesota to open the season the Saturday nearest Sept. 24.

The federal framework allows Minnesota to open as early as Sept. 21, but it's unlikely hunters would approve of that, said Dennis Simon, DNR wildlife chief.

Instead, the DNR might choose the Saturday nearest Sept. 28 or a date no earlier than Sept. 24.

Under that framework, next fall's duck opener would be Sept. 25.

Simon said he doesn't expect all hunters or lawmakers to agree with the change. Though an earlier season allows hunters a better chance at early migrants, such as wood ducks and teals, it would mean the season would end earlier, eliminating late-season mallard hunting.

The DNR also is considering earlier shooting hours on opening day.

Hunting currently begins at 9 a.m. on opening day. For years, the shooting hours started at noon, until the DNR moved the start to 9 a.m.

Now, managers are proposing to start the duck opener a half-hour before sunrise.

The DNR doesn't need the Legislature to approve the new shooting hours, but the rule will be among several changes to be discussed at public hearings this spring.

"We'll be asking if people want to go back to a half-hour before sunrise for an opener," Simon said. "Frankly, the 9 a.m. opener isn't doing much for us. People don't like it."

He said in a recent poll, hunters equally favored either a noon opener or starting a half-hour before sunrise.

If both duck regulations are adopted, hunters could start the duck season Sept. 25 with shooting hours beginning a half-hour before sunrise.

Bring back ATV grouse rule? In 2008, the Minnesota Legislature repealed a law requiring ruffed grouse hunters in the vicinity of a motor vehicle to be at least 20 yards from their vehicle before shooting and to have the engine turned off.

After hearing complaints from foot hunters last fall, the DNR would like to have the rule reinstated.

"We got a quite few complaints last year about people who enjoy hunting on foot but felt they were being disrupted by motorized hunters," the DNR's Dennis Simon said. "They felt motorized hunters were given an opportunity for unfair chase."

Rep. David Dill, DFL-Crane Lake, was responsible for rescinding the previous law, and he's not sure he supports bringing it back.

"I don't like the idea of people jumping off a four-wheeler and taking a partridge, but then we have to look at the number of feet" from the vehicle, Dill said. "I want to know, 'How do you measure it? Where do you start the measurement?' "

Former DNR Commissioner Rod Sando used a commissioner's order to implement the law in 1998. Dill said he received complaints about it from ATV riders.

Either way, the issue promises to be hotly debated this year.

Did you know?
Quality Deer Management Association, a group that promotes the conservation of young bucks, now has four chapters in Minnesota and 1,000 members. The group recently established a state chapter that will be headed by President Pat Morstad, of Henning. Morstad said the group's new state organization will attempt to be involved in deer management and hunting decisions.


South Dakota officials say pheasants in that state face severe winter conditions. A Christmas storm brought blizzard conditions followed by several blasts of snow, wind and freezing rain.

The Northwest Sportshow is set for March 24-28 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Today is the last day of the RV, Vacation and Camping Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The Minnesota Outdoors Heritage Association legislative banquet is Wednesday night at the St. Paul Holiday Inn East.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:17 pm 
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OMG, they shouldnt tease us like that' a regular duck opener and a season that starts a week earlier!!!! i hope soo! i see sooooooo many wood ducks and teal right up to that last weekend before opener and then blah' i hope they get it fixed!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:44 pm 
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I would love it. Combined with a 2 week closure in oct.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:01 pm 
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Jeff Peterson wrote:
a 2 week closure in oct.


:(/

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:03 pm 
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Jeff Peterson wrote:
I would love it. Combined with a 2 week closure in oct.


I would rather shoot ducks in Oct. and ice fish in Dec. :?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:38 pm 
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I would trade a few weeks in october for a week in january...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:42 pm 
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qwakwhaker883 wrote:
Jeff Peterson wrote:
I would love it. Combined with a 2 week closure in oct.


I would rather shoot ducks in Oct. and ice fish in Dec. :?


bingo

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:49 pm 
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I would actually prefer it be the last week of oct and the first week of nov. Then I could bow hunt the best week of oct and gun hunt nov opener and not miss out.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:37 am 
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But true waterfowl hunters know that the last week of Oct and 1st week of Nov are usually the best 2 weeks to hunt northern ducks in MN.

I love it when it is deer season, as it weeds out the wannabes and gives us true waterfowl hunters some elbow room. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:58 am 
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qwakwhaker883 wrote:
Jeff Peterson wrote:
I would love it. Combined with a 2 week closure in oct.


I would rather shoot ducks in Oct. and ice fish in Dec. :?


I would rather shoot ducks in October, and stay warm in December!!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:18 am 
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MN is rapidly going down the tubes.

Some of the dumbest crap happens here.

Wait to see how these changes screw over the most dedicated Duck Hunters. What if you don't Fish, or Deer Hunt, and you're strictly a Waterfowler??? You get the shaft. Either way I will not need any extra Mallards, or Canada Geese by December... :roll:


This will be my last Season in MN, and seems like the timing couldn't be better...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:05 am 
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Derek,

Hey, I get what you are saying, the problem is that the majority of the hunters now are not the die hards. Waterfowlers used to be die hards, the majority and that is the key word have the largest voice. The DNR or anybody cant manage things for the minority. I believe that they will end up doing zones, and have seperate seasons for each zone, they will not split the season, I believe it would be to expensive to police that. Who knows though, I am just looking at it from a financial standpoint. who know though they might now change anything!

Adam


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:31 pm 
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STELZ wrote:
I would trade a few weeks in october for a week in january...

:shock: Come again??

I'd rather hunt 700mi south of here in January. All you guys that think you're missing out on that 'late-season mallard hunting' - if you ever get it, will have one good hunt (maybe) and realize you traded 2 weeks of good Oct migration hunting for one chance at a late season hunt and then 90% of you won't have even gotten out on that one hunt in the first place for whatever lame reason.

These would be the best changes the DNR has made for waterfowl hunters in the last 10 years, maybe even the only good ones. The politicians and the DNR should switch tactics. They need to listen better, and the DNR needs to quit listening so much to public opinion. Send their biologists and scientists to places that actively and successfully manage land for waterfowl and learn how to do it. Then do it, the hunters will thank them later. They're not elected, so don't worry about it. Plus even if they fail it will be nothing new.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:02 pm 
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The season is perfect just the way it is. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:13 pm 
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Goose_Nut wrote:
The season is perfect just the way it is. :)


Exactly! That's why I go to Nodak to get the best DUCK hunting. Very few land hungry this is my land and no one can hunt it attitudes up there. Plus HABITAT. That's the reason we are bee atchin about this whole season change. We wouldn't be if we actually had the habitat and with habitat we get ducks.

BTW I'm forecasting another 500 hundred year flood in Fargo this year. It's unfortunate but I'm thinking it's going to happen.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:11 pm 
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You dont need to go all the way to ND to get away from the land hogs. You just need to get outa Roch :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:30 pm 
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MWA GUY wrote:

Quote:
Derek,

Hey, I get what you are saying, the problem is that the majority of the hunters now are not the die hards. Waterfowlers used to be die hards, the majority and that is the key word have the largest voice. The DNR or anybody cant manage things for the minority. I believe that they will end up doing zones, and have seperate seasons for each zone, they will not split the season, I believe it would be to expensive to police that. Who knows though, I am just looking at it from a financial standpoint. who know though they might now change anything!

Adam



I totally understand that Money is a huge factor, and that 80% of MN's Waterfowlers are not even close to being "Die Hard". I never thought of myself that way, but trying to enjoy success in MN sort of forces the issue. My gripe has to do with our DNR's money-wasting, and lackluster approach to Waterfowling as a whole in MN. Rather than make bigger scale changes that would have a positive effect for all, they placate the Public with Input-Meetings, and the big picture stays the same. We're not even fighting the right Battles IMO. The DNR, and State has us whipped...

The stuff suggested in this thread are distractions to the real solutions for MN. With all the Wisdom, and Success other States have had with Managing Ducks we're completely on a different wave-length here. I'm frustrated no question!!! Closing the Season in October/November so the Fair-Weather Guys who can't kill Ducks anyway can go Deer Hunt without missing anything would be a joke. This stuff gets me too wound-up. :x We'll see how things all play out???


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:02 pm 
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Goose_Nut wrote:
You dont need to go all the way to ND to get away from the land hogs. You just need to get outa Roch :lol:


yeah you're probably right about that! There must be something in the water down here. I grew up in SW Mn and we had no problems finding rivers and streams to walk or little sloughs to jump. It's amazing how the times change...and not for the better. IN 2 years when I get my income back then I will be able to do something about it, but until then i can just keep on complaining about the crappie habitat.

The reason I go to Nodak is..well there are a few, 1) I will actually see ducks and kill ducks....two I'd rather give my money to a state that is actually doing something good with it or at least I think they are.

I think what we need to start is a Minnesota Waterfowler land buying crew.. It's just like DU. we go in buy land return it back to it's native state, and then sell it. See I'd give more money to DU but I'd rather know that my money is staying in the state and doing some good here.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:40 pm 
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I will be outraged if there is a 2 week closure tho!!!!!! that is sick, who is thinking this crap up.. i cant believe what im hearing?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????!!!!!!!!!!!?!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:17 am 
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It would be smart for the DNR to appeal to the weekend warriors and the casual duck hunters because there are more of them. Believe it or not, I support a catering to these hunters even though I'm not one of them. The more casual hunters we get buying licenses and stamps, the more money we get to spend on habitat. The only trick would be spending it in the right places like Bender was suggesting. I love late season because I have the swamp to myself, but there usually aren't many birds there either. Get more hunters, get more money, put it in the right places.

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