- Season closed
- Expired season information (for reference only)
News & notices
Have a safe hunt
Proper preparation and forethought goes a long way. Wear your lifejacket and be safe on the water and in the marsh. Use our guide to safe waterfowl hunting before you head out into the field.
Get help with duck ID
Make sure you recognize and know what your shooting when you're out hunting. Use our illustrated guide to waterfowl to learn how to properly identify the ducks and geese of Minnesota.
Zone Dates Statewide Sept. 4-8 Harvest of blue- and green-winged teal allowed. Shooting hours sunrise to sunset.
Ducks, coots, mergansers
Zone Dates North Sept. 25 - Nov. 23 Central Sept. 25 - Oct. 3; Oct. 9 - Nov. 28 South Sept. 25 - Oct. 3; Oct. 9 - Nov. 28
Zone Dates Early goose (statewide) Sept. 4-19 North Sept. 25-Dec. 24 Central Sept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 29 South Sept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 29
½ hour before sunrise to sunset except early teal season, when shooting cannot begin until sunrise.
Sunrise and sunset times
Weekly waterfowl report
This weekly outlook is updated on Thursdays of each week during the waterfowl hunting season. It is compiled from state and federal wildlife manager reports and waterfowl surveys from across Minnesota.
Weekly conservation officer reports also contain information about waterfowl hunter success.
The combined daily limit for all species listed – not including goose – is 6
Species Limit Blue-winged, Green-winged,Cinnamon 6 combined
Species Limit Mallard 4 (2 hens) Wood duck 3 Redhead 2 Canvasback 2 Black duck 2 Pintail 1 All others 6
Dates Limit Zone opening day - Oct. 14 1 Oct. 15 - Zone closing day 2
Coots & moorhen (gallinule)
Species Limit Coots & moorhen (gallinule) 15
Species Limit Mergansers 5 (no more than 2 of which may be hooded mergansers)
Early goose season
Species Dates Limit Canada, White-fronted, Brant Sept. 4-19 5 combined Snow, Blue snow, Ross's Sept. 4-19 20
Regular goose season
North zone Species Dates Limit Canada, White-fronted, Brant Sept. 25-Dec. 24 5 combined Snow, Blue snow, Ross's Sept. 25-Dec. 24 20 Central zone Species Dates Limit Canada, White-fronted, Brant Sept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 29 5 combined Snow, Blue snow, Ross's Sept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 29 20 South zone Species Dates Limit Canada, White-fronted, Brant Sept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 29 5 combined Snow, Blue snow, Ross's Sept. 25-Oct. 3; Oct. 9-Dec. 29 20The possession limit for all migratory birds is three times the daily limit.
- Migratory game birds: Defined as ducks, geese, mergansers, coots, moorhens (gallinules), woodcock, rails, snipe, sandhill cranes, and mourning doves.
- Migratory waterfowl: Defined as ducks, geese, and mergansers.
- Undressed bird: Defined as 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- New for 2021: Motorized spinning-wing decoys may be used statewide during the early teal season and throughout the entire waterfowl season, including on wildlife management areas.
Field possession limit
No person shall possess, have in custody or transport more than the daily limit or aggregate daily limit, whichever applies, of migratory game birds, tagged or not tagged at or between the place where taken and either:
- His or her automobile or principal means of land transportation;
- His or her personal abode or temporary transient place of lodging;
- Migratory bird preservation facility;
- Post office; or
- A common carrier facility.
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 those 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.
Learn to hunt
Do you value strong connections to your outdoors and the food you eat? Are you looking for a new way to interact with the fields, woods and waters around you?
Please check out our waterfowl hunting how-to guide to get started.
Hunting is only one aspect of the DNR's effort to manage waterfowl for the public trust. Visit our waterfowl management page to learn about the many things we do to manage waterfowl for the benefit of all Minnesotans now and into the future.