Skip to main content

Minnesota

Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

WATERFOWL HUNTERS WILL SEE REGULATIONS CHANGES THIS FALL

When waterfowl seasons open this fall, hunters will see a number of regulatory changes with duck and goose seasons and season dates.

Before implementing these changes, the DNR took a comprehensive look at waterfowl regulations. Some of the objectives for these changes focused on simplification of regulations and providing additional opportunity that remains compatible with current and future waterfowl populations.

The DNR collected extensive public engagement and input on a variety of potential regulatory changes earlier this year through mail-out surveys to randomly selected hunters, two opportunities for online public input and a town hall meeting to use to help inform
the decisions.

Teal season: From the late 1960s through 2013, southern states in the Mississippi Flyway were allowed teal seasons in September but northern states were not allowed to participate per federal regulations. In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved experimental teal seasons for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa for up to 16-day seasons with a six-tealbaglimit. Minnesotadidnotinitiallyopenatealseasonbutwillstartingthisfallwitha five-day experimental teal-only season from Sept. 4-8 with sunrise to sunset shooting hours. Results from the experimental seasons in other states showed good hunter compliance rates. Minnesota will conduct extensive monitoring to determine if the experimental season lasts more than a year.

Shooting hours: Shooting hours also will change this fall with hunters being allowed to hunt untilsunsetfortheentireseason. Inpreviousyears,Minnesotahasclosedwaterfowlhunting at 4 p.m. early in the duck season.

Canada geese: The bag limit on Canada geese will increase from three birds per day to five birds per day for the regular goose season and match the bag limit used during the September season. GoosehuntersinSeptemberalsowillbeallowedtohuntgeeseoverwaterinthe northwest goose zone, Carlos Avery and Swan Lake wildlife management areas and Lake Ocheda Game Refuge. Over-water goose hunting continues to be allowed in the remainder of the state.

Season dates: For hunters in the south zone, the season split (closed period) will last for five days instead of 12 days and season dates will match those used in the central zone.

Motorized spinning-wing decoys: Motorized decoys may be used statewide during the teal season and throughout the entire waterfowl season, including on wildlife management areas.

Rationale for changes

Most of these changes had good support from hunters based on the public engagement information. The early teal season generated the most comments from hunters, who expressed very strong and differing viewpoints. The early teal season is experimental for up to three years. The DNR will collect data and carefully evaluate it each year before continuing it beyond 2021.

The early teal season will provide additional opportunity for teal that often would have migrated south prior to opening day of the regular duck season.

All of the other changes will provide more opportunity as well as simplifying the regulations and having consistent regulations with other states in the Mississippi Flyway. Duck harvest and hunter numbers in Minnesota are at or near all-time low levels so any additional harvest that may occur should not have impacts on the populations.

FEELICENSEAGE
$13.50Resident Senior Citizen Small Game65 and older
$5Resident Youth Small Game16 and 17
$22Resident Small Game18 to 64
$19Resident 72-hour Small Game18 to 64
$41Resident Individual Sports18 and older
$57Resident Combination Sports18 and older
$100Resident Individual Super Sports18 and older
$126Resident Combination Super Sports18 and older
Prices vary by ageResident lifetime small game
Prices vary by ageResident lifetime sports
$5Nonresident Youth Small Game16 and 17
$75Nonresident 72-hour Small Game18 and older
$102Nonresident Small Game18 and older

In addition:

  • A Federal Duck Stamp is required for all persons age 16 and older. An electronically-issued federal stamp is valid for 45 days. Pictorial stamps, when received by mail, must be signed and in the possession of the hunter ($25).
  • HIP certification is required for any licensed waterfowl or migratory bird hunter.
  • A Minnesota state waterfowl stamp is required for residents age 18 to 64 and nonresidents age 16 and over. 72-hour licenses include the state waterfowl stamp $7.50.
  • Special goose permit (residents ages 18-64 and all nonresidents) required for the September season, $4.
  • Sandhill crane permit required for northwest crane season (residents and nonresidents) $3.
  • Persons hunting waterfowl on commercial shooting preserves are required to have both a federal and a state duck stamp validation in addition to
    a small game license. The only exception is when taking only marked, pen-reared mallards.
  • There are licensing exceptions for landowners, military personnel and others. See the 2021 Hunting Regulations Handbook for a complete listing of license requirements.

The combined daily limit for all species listed – not including goose – is 6

Early Teal

SpeciesLimit
Blue-winged, Green-winged,Cinnamon6 combined

Ducks

SpeciesLimit
Mallard4 (2 hens)
Wood duck3
Redhead2
Canvasback2
Black duck2
Pintail1
All others6

Scaup

DatesLimit
Zone opening day - Oct. 141
Oct. 15 - Zone closing day2

Coots & moorhen (gallinule)

SpeciesLimit
Coots & moorhen (gallinule)15

Mergansers

SpeciesLimit
Mergansers5 (no more than 2 of which may be hooded mergansers)

Early goose season

SpeciesDatesLimit
Canada, White-fronted, BrantSept. 4-195 combined
Snow, Blue snow, Ross'sSept. 4-1920

Regular goose season

North zone
SpeciesDatesLimit
Canada, White-fronted, BrantSept. 25-Dec. 245 combined
Snow, Blue snow, Ross'sSept. 25-Dec. 2420
Central zone
SpeciesDatesLimit
Canada, White-fronted, BrantSept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 295 combined
Snow, Blue snow, Ross'sSept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 2920
South zone
SpeciesDatesLimit
Canada, White-fronted, BrantSept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 295 combined
Snow, Blue snow, Ross'sSept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 2920

The possession limit for all migratory birds is three times the daily limit.

Duck: Daily limit is 6. No more than any of the following species: 4 mallards (2 hen mallards), 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 2 black ducks, 1 pintail.

One scaup may be taken per day through October 14; 2 scaup per day through the remainder of the season in each zone.

If not listed up to 6 ducks of a species may be taken daily until the possession limit is reached.

Coot and moorhen (gallinule) daily limits: Daily limit is 15.

Merganser daily limit: Daily limit is 5, no more than 2 of which may be a hooded merganser.

Hunting over water: During the September goose season, hunting over water is legal statewide.

Required licenses: Small game license, state waterfowl stamp, federal duck stamp, special goose permit and HIP certification.

Regular Season Duck and Goose Zones

Regular Season Duck and Goose Zones

YOUTH HUNT

On September 11-12, 2021, waterfowl hunters age 17 and younger, when accompanied by a non-hunting adult (age 18 and older) may take ducks, geese, mergansers, coots and moorhens from 1⁄2 hour before sunrise to sunset.

  • Daily limits are the same as the regular duck and goose seasons.
  • Hunters ages 13 to 17 must have a firearms safety certificate or apprentice hunter validation in their possession.
  • Youth hunters age 16 and 17 must have a Federal Duck Stamp and a youth small game license. Hunters under age 16 are not required to possess a small game license or stamps.
  • All other migratory bird hunting regulations apply.
  • Motorized decoys are legal during the youth hunt

SANDHILL CRANE SEASON

  • Open area: Sandhill crane zone only
  • Season dates: Sept. 18 - Oct. 24
  • Daily limit: 2 sandhill crane
  • NEW Shooting hours: 1⁄2 hour before sunrise to sunset
  • License: Small game
  • Stamps: Not required
  • Permit: Sandhill crane permit ($3): all hunters

Nontoxic shot required.

Sandhill Crane Zone

Sandhill Crane Zone

HARVEST INFORMATION PROGRAM (HIP)

Before hunting waterfowl or migratory game birds (except sandhill cranes), you must be Harvest Information Program (HIP) certified by answering “yes” when asked whether you intend to hunt migratory birds at the time you buy your small game or sports license. If you don’t, you can still answer “yes” at a later date by getting a HIP receipt at any electronic license sales location online or by telephone. Evidence of compliance will be noted on your license as “HIP Certified” and must be carried while hunting migratory birds.

WHY HIP?

Using information gathered with HIP, DNR waterfowl biologists and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are developing more reliable estimates of the number of all migratory birds harvested throughout the country.

FIREARMS SAFETY CERTIFICATE

Anyone born after December 31, 1979 must have a Firearms Safety Certificate, Apprentice Hunter Validation, a previous hunting license with a firearms safety indicator or other evidence of successfully completing a hunter safety course to obtain a license to take wild animals with firearms in Minnesota.

Avoid Spreading Invasive Species

It is illegal to transport aquatic plants, zebra mussels, snails or other prohibited invasive species in or on boats, trailers, or other equipment such as decoys and waders. Waterfowl hunters may use emergent aquatic plants, such as cattails and bulrushes, cut above the waterline, for building blinds or camouflage.

  • Clean aquatic plants, animals and mud from your boat, trailer, waders or hip boots, push poles, clothing, decoy and lines, dogs, and ATV or truck.
  • Drain all water from boats and equipment and leave drain plugs out when transporting.
  • Dry everything for at least five days before hunting in other waters.

Use elliptical, bulb-shaped or strap decoy anchors to reduce snagging aquatic plants.

Youth Duck Hunting Opportunity

Carlos Avery WMA Controlled Hunt Zone—A special restricted access hunt will be held in the
Pool 2 portion of the sanctuary
at Carlos Avery WMA in Anoka County. Two areas will be available by drawing on Saturday and Tuesday mornings until the beginning of the firearm deer season. Applications will be accepted for groups of up to four with preference given to groups with at least one youth hunter (age 17 and under) or one senior hunter (age 65 and over). Drawings for blinds will be conducted two weeks prior to each week of hunting.

For rules, application form and dates go to:

www.mndnr.gov/averyhunt

Or call the Carlos Avery WMA Headquarters at: 651-539-3323

GENERAL WATERFOWL REGULATIONS

NEW for 2021

  • An experimental teal season is open Sept. 4-8.
  • Shooting hours end at sunset the entire season.
  • During the September goose season, hunting over water is legal statewide.
  • The Canada goose daily bag limit is 5 per day the entire season with a possession limit of 15.
  • In the South Zone, the split (closed period) is 5 days instead of 12 days.
  • Motorized decoys may be used statewide during the teal season and throughout the entire waterfowl season, including on wildlife management areas. Remote controls for motorized decoys are legal.

STAMP AND APPRENTICE HUNTER VALIDATIONS

License validations for state migratory waterfowl stamps are legal for hunting without the pictorial stamp. Purchasers can request the optional pictorial stamp for a fee but it is not required for hunting.

Apprentice hunter validation is available for residents and non-residents who would normally be required to possess a firearms safety certificate to hunt small game or deer. See the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook for details.

Aquatic Invasive Species Alert: Faucet Snail

The faucet snail carries a parasite that has killed thousands of diving ducks and coots in Minnesota. Faucet snails can be moved to new lakes on waterfowl hunting equipment—they can attach to your gear, be hidden in mud, or attached to plants. You can help prevent the spread of faucet snails by taking a few moments to check your boat, waders, push poles, decoys, and decoy anchors before leaving the water access:

  • Clean aquatic plants, animals and mud from all gear, boats, clothing, dogs and vehicles.
  • Drain all water from boats and equipment, and leave drain plugs out when transporting.
  • Dry everything for at least five days before hunting in other waters.
  • Check your gear before you go back out to hunt—faucet snails can live out of water for more than five days.

Visit www.mndnr.gov/AIS for more information.

DEFINITIONS

  • “Migratory game birds” means ducks, geese, mergansers, coots, moorhens (gallinules), woodcock, rails, snipe, sandhill cranes, and mourning doves.
  • “Migratory waterfowl” means ducks, geese, and mergansers.
  • “Undressed bird” means ducks, or geese or other migratory game birds with one fully-feathered wing attached.

NON-TOXIC SHOT REQUIRED

It is unlawful to take geese, ducks, mergansers, coots, moorhens, or sandhill cranes with lead shot or while having any lead shot in possession. Only shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may be used.

DON’T SHOOT A SWAN

Both tundra and trumpeter swans are found in Minnesota and are not
legal game birds. Trumpeter swans are entirely white with a black bill and black legs. They weigh over 25 pounds. Young swans are gray-brown in color.

OPENING DAY POSSESSION LIMIT

On the opening day of the season, no person may possess more freshly killed migratory game birds than is allowed by the daily limit.

RETRIEVAL

A person may not kill or wound any migratory game bird without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the bird and include it in the daily limit.

TAKING IN OPEN WATER

A person may not take migratory waterfowl, coots, or rails in open water unless that person is:

a) within a natural growth of vegetation sufficient to partially conceal the person or boat, or

b) pursuing or shooting wounded birds (while in compliance with watercraft restrictions), or

c) on a river or stream that is not more than 100 yards in width, or

d) hunting on one of the following water bodies:

  1. Mississippi River from the Highway 61 bridge at Hastings to the Iowa border: hunting is allowed from anchored boats not more than 100 feet from any shoreline, including islands.
  2. Lake Pepin, Lake of the Woods, and Lake Mille Lacs: open-water hunting is allowed from boats that must be anchored.
  3. Lake Superior: open water hunting is allowed on the Minnesota waters north and east of the Minnesota/Park Point peninsula as long as boats remain anchored.

WATERCRAFT

  • A person using watercraft to take migratory waterfowl must comply with the provisions for “Taking in Open Water.”
    • Migratory waterfowl may be taken from a floating watercraft if the craft is drifting, beached, moored, resting at anchor, or is being propelled by paddle, oars, or pole.
    • Migratory waterfowl may be taken from a watercraft propelled by motor or sails only if the motor is shut off and the sails are furled and the water- craft has stopped.
  • While on the water and traveling to or from a site the person intends to hunt, unloaded and uncased firearms may be transported in a boat or other watercraft capable of being propelled by motor or sail. Firearms must be transported unloaded and cased in such watercraft:
    • Within Anoka, Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
    • Within the boundaries of a home rule, charter or statutory city with a population of 2,500 or more.
    • As otherwise restricted by game refuge, shining or night vision laws.
  • All watercraft (including boats used for duck hunting during the duck season) are required to carry and have readily accessible, one U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable (Type I, II, or III) personal flotation device or life preserver for each person on board. In addition, boats 16 feet or longer (except canoes and kayaks) must carry at least one coast guard approved throwable device (boat cushion or ring buoy) for the boat. Boat cushions are not acceptable as primary lifesaving devices.
  • During open waterfowl seasons, a person may not leave an unattended boat used for hunting waterfowl in public waters between sunset and one hour before sunrise unless the boat is adjacent to private land under control of the person and the water does not contain a natural growth of vegetation sufficient to partially conceal a hunter or a boat.
  • A waterfowl boat does not have to be licensed when used for waterfowl hunting.
  • Persons leaving waters of the state must drain boating-related equipment holding water and live wells and bilges by removing the drain plug before transporting the watercraft and associated equipment. Drain plugs, bailers, valves, or other devices used to control the draining of water from ballast tanks, bilges and live wells must be removed or opened while transporting watercraft on public roads.

Report Your Bands at www.reportband.gov

Each year, state and federal waterfowl biologists mark thousands of waterfowl with numbered leg bands. Hunters who report recovered bands receive specific information on where and when the bird was banded while providing important information for waterfowl management.

Bands may be reported online at www.reportband.gov

BLINDS AND SINK BOXES

No person may erect a blind in public waters or on public land more than one hour before the open season for waterfowl.

  • No person may take migratory waterfowl, coots, or rails using a sink box or in public waters from a permanent artificial blind. A sink box is a structure that allows a hunter to hide beneath the water surface. Layout boats are not considered sink boxes.
  • Any blind on public land or in public waters when not in use is considered public and not the property of the person who constructed it. Any use of threat or force against another person to gain possession of a blind
    is unlawful.
  • Hunters may use aquatic emergent plants, such as cattails and bulrushes, cut above the waterline, for building blinds.

DECOYS

  • No person may place decoys on public lands or in public waters more than two hours before legal shooting hours for waterfowl.
  • No person may leave decoys on public waters between sunset and two hours before legal shooting hours or leave decoys unattended during other times for more than three consecutive hours, except decoys may be left in waters adjacent to private land under control of the hunter where there is not sufficient natural vegetation growing in the water to partially conceal a hunter. A person may not leave decoys in public waters between sunset and one hour before shooting hours if the decoys constitute a navigational hazard.

MOTORIZED DECOY

Motorized decoys may be used statewide during the teal season and throughout the entire waterfowl season, including on wildlife management areas. Remote controls for motorized decoys are legal.

WHITEFISH NETTING SEASON OPEN

The whitefish netting season on Leech Lake and other lakes is open during duck season. Be careful when venturing near buoys.

USE OF AERATION SYSTEMS

Aeration systems may not be used to create open water areas to attract or delay the migration of wild waterfowl on public waters. Aeration systems means a bubbler, fan, water circulation or similar system used to increase dissolved oxygen or maintain open water.

POSSESSING AND TRANSPORTING MIGRATORY WATERFOWL AND GAME BIRDS

Ducks and all other migratory game birds must be transported with a feathered wing attached. Exception: doves may be fully dressed (wings and feet may be removed).

MIGRATORY FEEDING AND RESTING AREAS

The following areas have been designated Migratory Waterfowl Feeding and Resting Areas. Use of motor-propelled watercraft is restricted to the following: Watercraft using trolling motors with battery power of 12 volts or less are allowed during the open waterfowl season on the lakes listed below.

COUNTYLAKES
BeltramiPuposky Lake and Little Puposky Lake
CarverTiger Lake
FaribaultPart of Minnesota Lake
FreebornBear Lake, Upper Twin Lake
JacksonPart of South Heron Lake, all of North Heron Lake except Winzer Bay and North Marsh
KandiyohiWakanda Lake, Lake Lillian
LeSueurDora, Diamond, Sanborn
McLeodBakers Lake and the unnamed lake (Penn Marsh) in Sec. 28, Twp. 114N, R 29W. (Penn Twp.)
PolkTurtle Lake
PopeNelson Lake
TraversePart of Mud Lake

No motor-propelled watercraft are allowed during the open waterfowl season on the lakes listed below.

COUNTYLAKES
Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, SwiftPart of Marsh Lake, Thielke Lake
Blue EarthCottonwood Lake
Long LakeCottonwood Lake
CassBig Rice, Goose, Mud Lakes
ClearwaterUpper Rice Lake
Grant and DouglasPart of Lake Christina
ItascaRice Lake (near Max) and Nature’s Lake Oakleaf Lake
LeSueurHenry, Rice and Scotch lakes
NicolletOakleaf Lake
Otter TailThat part of Lake Lizzie, also known as Rush Lake, located in Sec. 3-9, Twp. 136 N., R. 42 (Lida Twp.); and Mud Lake in Aastad Twp.
PopeLake Johanna
ScottPleasant Lake
SibleyWashington Lake and Mud (Erin) Lake in Washington Lake Twp.

OUTBOARD MOTOR USE ON STATE AND FEDERAL LANDS

The use of outboard motors (including electric trolling motors) or motorized water vehicles (including amphibious vehicles) is prohibited on most state wildlife management areas, federal waterfowl production areas or national wildlife refuges. See the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations for more details.

AIRBOAT USE ON DESIGNATED WILDLIFE LAKES

The use of airboats is prohibited at all times on the following lakes, which have been designated for wildlife management purposes, except as specifically authorized. Additional motorized restrictions may be posted at access points.

COUNTYLAKE
AitkinWhite Elk
AnokaFish
Blue EarthCottonwood
Blue EarthPerch
Blue EarthEagle
Blue EarthRice
BrownHanska
Big StoneLake 14
CarverPatterson
CarverTiger
CassBig Rice
CottonwoodAugusta
CottonwoodBolstad Slough
CottonwoodLong Lake
Crow WingDog
DouglasAnka
DouglasJennie
Douglas/GrantChristina
FaribaultRice
FaribaultMinnesota
FreebornBear
FreebornLower Twin
FreebornGeneva
FreebornUpper Twin
GrantAsh
GrantDenton Slough
GrantTowner
JacksonHeron
JacksonTeal
KandiyohiMiddle
LeSueurSanborn
LyonMahlke Marsh
MartinPierce
MahnomenBeaulieu
McLeodEagle
McLeodWard
Mille LacsOnamia
MurrayMaria
MurrayRound
MurraySouth Badger
MurrayNorth Badger
NicolletSwan
Otter TailMud
Otter TailUpper Lightning
PopeSimon
St. LouisLittle Rice
St. LouisBig Rice
SibleySand
StearnsCedar
Steele/DodgeRice
SwiftHassel
WasecaBuffalo
WasecaGoose
WasecaWillis
WatonwanSulem
WrightPelican
WrightSmith
Yellow MedicineCurtis
Yellow MedicineSpellman (North and South)
Yellow MedicineTimm Lake

ILLUSTRATED DUCKS OF MINNESOTA

(NOT ALL SPECIES ARE DEPICTED)

MALLARD

BLACK DUCK

GADWALL
WOOD DUCK

PINTAIL
HOODED MERGANSER
SCAUP
RINGNECK
CANVASBACK
REDHEAD
ACCESSIBLE BLINDS FOR HUNTERS

The Lac qui Parle, Talcot Lake, Swan Lake and Whitewater Wildlife Management Areas have a number of duck or goose hunting blinds for hunters with mobility issues. For more information, contact:

  • Lac qui Parle WMA, 14047 20th St. NW, Watson, MN 56295 Phone number: 320-734-4451;
  • Nicollet Area Wildlife Office (Swan Lake WMA), 501 Ninth St., Nicollet, MN 56074 Phone number: 507-225-3572;
  • Talcot Lake WMA, 40249 County Road 7, Dundee, MN 56131; Whitewater WMA, 15035 Highway 74, Altura, MN 55910 Phone number: 507-468-2248;
  • Thief Lake WMA, 42280 240th Ave. NE, Middle River, MN 56737 Phone number: 218-222-3747;
  • Roseau River WMA, 27952 400th St., Roseau, MN 56751 Phone number: 218-463-1130.

STATE REFUGES OPEN TO GOOSE HUNTING

COUNTYREFUGEOPEN SEASON
BeltramiBemidji Game Refuge (except Lake Bemidji, Miss. River and Stump Lake)Early goose Sept. 4 - 19
ClayClay County Game RefugeEarly goose Sept. 4 - 19
DakotaVermillion Highlands Research, Recreation and WMAGoose Dec. 13 - 29
DodgeClaremont Game RefugeGoose hunting
DouglasEvansville Game RefugeWaterfowl hunting Early goose Sept. 4 - 19
FreebornMoscow Game RefugeGoose hunting
IsantiElizabeth Lake Game Refuge / German Lake Game RefugeEarly goose season and youth participating in a designated hunting/mentoring program only.
MartinMud-Bardwell Game RefugeGoose hunting Oct. 9 - Dec. 29
NoblesOcheda Lake Game RefugeYouth Waterfowl Weekend Early goose Sept. 4 - 19 Dec. 4 - 29
OlmstedRochester Game RefugeEarly goose Sept. 4 - 19
SteeleRickert Waterfowl Refuge except Myron Buelow Waterfowl Sanctuary WMAEarly goose Sept. 4 - 19
StevensHarstad Slough Waterfowl RefugeEarly goose Sept. 4 - 19
WatonwanSaint James Game RefugeGoose hunting Sept. 25 - 26


CONTROLLED HUNTING ZONES

CONTROLLED HUNTING ZONES

Waterfowl or small game hunting, as specified, is restricted to designated hunting stations in the portions posted as controlled hunting zones on or adjacent to the Lac qui Parle, Roseau River, Thief Lake,

Talcot Lake, and Orwell Wildlife Management Areas, and the Rochester Game Refuge.

General Restrictions

The following regulations apply to persons within all the controlled hunting zones during the open goose seasons or as otherwise specified:

  • No more than one hunting party, consisting of
    no more than three hunters, may occupy any hunting station at one time.
  • Waterfowl hunters must have their guns unloaded and cased except within 10 feet of a hunting station.
  • Hunters taking migratory waterfowl must be within 10 feet of each designated hunting station, except hunters may retrieve downed birds away from a posted station if they comply with all other refuge and trespass regulations.
  • On public lands, dogs must be on a leash except within 10 feet of stations or while retrieving, and must be under control at all times.
  • All persons occupying a hunting station must meet all license requirements to hunt waterfowl in Minnesota.
  • No person may leave any refuse, offal, or feathers on public lands in the controlled hunting zone or in any parking lot or designated overnight use area on the management area.
  • No alcoholic beverages may be consumed or possessed at any of the hunting stations on public lands.
  • No person may loiter between the designated hunting stations on public lands.
  • On public lands, after each party member has their daily limit of Canada geese or expended their limit of shells (if applicable), the party must promptly leave the station.
  • No trailers of any kind are allowed in designated parking lots.

Spring Snow Goose Season

(Light Goose Conservation Action)

Minnesota again plans to participate in a cooperative light goose conservation action in February, March and April 2022. This action is being taken in an attempt to reduce an overabundance of snow geese that is threatening their arctic breeding habitat. All participants must have a Light Goose Conservation Permit in their possession while attempting to take light geese.

LAC QUI PARLE

The following regulations apply to all persons in the Lac qui Parle Controlled Hunting Zone from October 21 through the end of the goose season.

  • Hunters must use designated hunting stations on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Hunters are limited to one trip to the blinds before noon, and one trip after noon, per day.
  • Hunters are limited to 12 shells per trip in possession.
  • Waterfowl and small game hunters must have guns unloaded and cased except within 10 feet of assigned hunting stations.
  • No person may park in or otherwise occupy any designated Controlled Hunting Zone parking lot or occupy any hunting station from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

A goose hunting guide for the Lac qui Parle Controlled Hunting Zone is available on the DNR website. Hunters are encouraged to view this guide for regulations unique to the refuge, blind maps, and other helpful tips.

THIEF LAKE

The following regulations apply to waterfowl and small game hunters in the Thief Lake Controlled Hunting Zone during all open waterfowl seasons (including Early September and Youth Waterfowl Seasons). The restriction on small game hunting in the Controlled Hunting Zone applies from the opening of the regular waterfowl season through October 25.

  • Hunters must use designated hunting stations on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Hunters are limited to one trip to the blinds before noon, and one trip after noon, per day.
  • Hunters are limited to 12 shells per trip in possession.
  • Hunters must have guns unloaded and cased except within 10 feet of the hunting stations.
  • Selected blinds will be posted closed during the early September Canada Goose Season because of their proximity to open water.
  • No person may park in or otherwise occupy any designated Controlled Hunting Zone parking lot or occupy any hunting station from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

TALCOT LAKE
Closed Area
All waterfowl hunting is prohibited upon or from the 1.5-mile segment of State Trunk Highway 62 and its right-of-way along the south boundary of the Talcot Lake Waterfowl Refuge (between the Cottonwood County line on the west and County Highway 7 on the east).
The following regulations apply to all persons in the Talcot Lake controlled hunting zones during Canada Goose Seasons:General Restrictions

  • Hunting, other than waterfowl, is prohibited on public land in the east and west side controlled hunting zones.
  • The wildlife manager may limit persons to one day of hunting in every three. The manager will stamp the date on the Small Game Hunting License or Firearms Safety Certificate of each person at a restricted hunting station. Persons may hunt at any restricted station on the day stamped, but may not occupy a restricted station for the next two days. Restricted stations will be posted.
  • No persons may occupy a hunting station within a controlled hunting
    zone except when their vehicle is occupying a numbered parking stall in a designated parking lot in the controlled hunting zone. No persons other than those hunting at a hunting station may occupy a numbered stall or park in a designated parking lot.
  • Waterfowl hunters must hunt only at the hunting stations having numbers corresponding to their parking stall number.
  • No person may park in or otherwise occupy any parking stall in the designated parking lot or occupy any hunting station from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

SUMMARY OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

In additio

n to state regulations, the following federal rules apply to the taking, possession, shipping, transporting and storing of migratory game birds.

The following material is a summary. Each hunter should also consult the actual federal regulations found in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20. More restrictive regulations may apply to national wildlife refuges and state wildlife management areas open to public hunting.

ILLEGAL HUNTING METHODS

You may not hunt migratory waterfowl:

  • With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive or stupefying substance.
  • From a sink box or any other low floating device that conceals you beneath the surface of the water.
  • From a motorboat or sailboat, unless you shut the motor off or furl the sail and the vessel is no longer in motion.
  • Using live birds as decoys.
  • Using recorded or electrically amplified bird calls or sounds or imitations of these calls and sounds.
  • While possessing any shot other than approved nontoxic
    shot. A list of approved shot is available online at: http://www.fws.gov/birds/bird-...
  • With a shotgun that can hold more than three shells, unless you plug it with a one piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.
  • From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft (if you are a paraplegic or are missing one or both legs, you may hunt from a stationary car or other stationary motor-driven land vehicle or conveyance).
  • By the aid of baiting or on or over a baited area where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited. A baited area is considered to be baited for 10 days after removal of bait.

POSSESSION LIMIT

No person shall possess more migratory game birds taken in the United States than the possession limit or the aggregate possession limit, whichever applies.

FIELD POSSESSION LIMIT

No person shall possess, have in custody or transport more than the daily limit or aggre

gate daily limit, whichever applies, of migratory game birds, tagged or not tagged at or between the place where taken and either (a) his automobile or principal means of land transportation; or (b) his personal abode or temporary transient place of lodging; or (c) migratory bird preservation facility; or (d) a post office or (e) a common carrier facility.

WANTON WASTE

You must make a reasonable effort to retrieve all migratory game birds that you kill or wound and keep these birds in your actual custody while in the field. You must immediately kill any wounded birds that you retrieve and count th

ose birds toward your daily limit. Birds must remain in your possession while in the field. You may not give your birds to another person in the field regardless of whether or not they are properly tagged.

    TAGGING

    You may not put or leave migratory game birds at any place or in the custody of another person unless you tag the birds with your signature, address, number of birds identified by species and the date you killed them.

    RALLYING

    You may not hunt migratory game birds that have been concentrated, driven, rallied or stirred up with a motorized vehicle or sailboat.

    DRESSING

    You may not complete

    ly field dress migratory birds (except doves) before taking them from the field.

    DUAL VIOLATION

    A violation of a federal migratory game bird regulation is also a violation of state regulations.

    PROTECTED BIRDS

    Federal law prohibits the killing of nongame migratory birds.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION

    The Federal migratory game bird hunting regulations can be found in 50 CFR Part 20. If you have

    additional questions about waterfowl hunting and the law, contact Division of Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5600 American Blvd. W, Suite 990, Bloomington, MN 55437-1458. Telephone: 612-713-5320.

    National Wildlife Refuge specific regulations may differ from state regulations

    Please consult the refuge specific hunting regulations where you plan to hunt or follow the link to find the individual refuge website at www.fws.gov

    SHOOTING HOURS

    Shooting hours for migratory game birds are 1/2 hr before sunrise until sunset the entire season, except during teal season when shooting hours are sunrise to sunset.

    Nine hunting time zones are shown on the Minnesota state map (right). Sunrise and sunset times to be used for hunting in the zone titled “In Table” are shown in the table (right). For other zones, add or subtract the minutes shown at the top of the map to the times shown in the table.

    SHOOTING HOURS