Watch for wild ricers when new early teal season opens

August 30, 2021

Minnesota waterfowl hunters will have a new opportunity to hunt teal during an experimental early season from Saturday, Sept. 4, through Wednesday, Sept. 8.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to follow all applicable laws, including not hunting in areas that are posted closed. Hunters should also be aware that there may be tribal restrictions on hunting wild rice lakes within the boundaries of the White Earth and Leech Lake reservations.

Shooting hours will be from sunrise to sunset. Hunters may harvest six birds per day in any combination of blue- and green-winged teal.

“Since wild rice season is open at the same time, teal hunters will need to be aware of and cautious about wild ricers,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. “A safety mindset and mutual courtesy will allow for successful early teal hunting and wild ricing. With this year’s drought conditions, scouting ahead to ensure access to desired areas is critical for both teal hunters and ricers.”

The early teal season is experimental for up to three years. Observers will be documenting what species hunters target and shoot so DNR biologists can evaluate that data each year.

“Future seasons are contingent on hunters’ abilities to hunt safely and accurately target only the species of allowed teal,” Cordts said. “With others on the water at the same time, hunters must know with certainty what’s beyond their blinds and decoys before shooting.”

Information to help hunters properly identify waterfowl is available in an illustrated guide contained in the 2021 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting Regulations. Complete regulations and the illustrated guide also are available in Hmong, Karen, Somali and Spanish.

Access to complete information on Minnesota’s waterfowl hunting seasons is available from the DNR’s waterfowl hunting web portal.