Duck Hunting in Minnesota

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  • B
  • 529,600

    Duck Statewide Harvest

  • 145,800

    Goose Statewide Harvest

  • 60,100

    No. Waterfowl Licenses Sold Annually

  • 9.6

    Ducks Per Hunter

  • 3.4

    Geese Per Hunter

  • $22

    Cost of Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $7.50 to $8.25

    Cost of Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

  • Fall special goose $4; spring light goose $2.50

  • $102 season; $75 72-hour

    Cost of Non-Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $7.50 to $8.25

    Cost of Non-Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

  • Fall special goose $4; spring light goose $2.50

Duck Hunting Nation Knowledge

When people think of waterfowl hunting in Minnesota, a couple of things come to mind: giant Canada geese and wild rice lakes. Rochester is famous for goose hunting and was the last stronghold of the giant Canada goose, which once faced extinction. Try telling that to your buddies at the golf course. Giant Canada numbers have exploded in recent years, of course, to the point of becoming a nuisance on golf courses and in parks. Goose hunting is king in Minnesota, and several areas offer controlled goose hunts, including Orwell, Lac Qui Parle, Thief Lake, Roseau River and Talcot Lake wildlife management areas, as well as the famous Rochester Game Refuge.

Minnesota is also well known for wild rice lakes. This naturally growing grain is an important food source for various duck species, particularly mallards, teal and ringnecks. Although they live in relative obscurity elsewhere, ringnecks are one of the most common duck species bagged in Minnesota, usually coming in only behind popular puddlers such as teal, mallards and wood ducks in terms of harvest.

From humble beginnings at Lake Itasca, the Mississippi River turns into a major waterfowl stopover as it widens. Hunters will find a mixed bag on the Big Muddy, but especially mallards, gadwalls, bluebills and canvasbacks.

Big-water hunters will enjoy chasing bluebills on Big Winnie. And the extreme northwestern corner of the state also holds a sandhill crane hunt, posing a unique and challenging target for Gopher State hunters. If you’re looking for waterfowl hunting diversity, you’ll find it in Minnesota, but it’s got nothing on its neighbors to the west, so it gets a B.

— Compiled and written by Joe Shead

Photo © Shutterstock

Seasons and Bag Limits