News release: DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

September 20, 2021

Waterfowl hunting begins this weekend
Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season opens a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday, Sept. 25. Hunters need to be aware of new regulations in effect for the 2021 season:

  • Shooting hours end at sunset the entire season.
  • The Canada goose daily bag limit is five per day the entire season, with a possession limit of 15.
  • In the South Zone, the split (closed period) is five days instead of 12 days. The closure is from Monday, Oct. 4, through Friday, Oct. 8.
  • Motorized decoys may be used statewide throughout the entire waterfowl season, including on wildlife management areas. Remote controls for motorized decoys are legal.

Although drought conditions in some areas have improved, waterfowlers should plan ahead to ensure they can access areas they plan to hunt.

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.

Join this webinar on waterfowl hunting
Anyone curious about waterfowl hunting is invited to join a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources webinar at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 22. The webinar will cover how the state and federal governments work together to study waterfowl and set regulations, as well as tips and resources on how to get started in waterfowl hunting.

The webinar is part of the DNR’s Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series, which aims to give participants quick, relevant information on upcoming seasons and events, and skills to help enjoy these opportunities. Registration and more information are available on the DNR website.

Teach a kid to hunt small game during Take a Kid Hunting Weekend
Getting youth outdoors in pursuit of squirrels, rabbits and other small game is the focus of Take a Kid Hunting Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26. During the weekend, adult Minnesota residents accompanied by a youth younger than age 16 may hunt small game without a license, although they must comply with open seasons, limits and other regulations.

Hunting small game is a great way to introduce kids to hunting. Kids learn how to search for game sign, properly handle firearms and access hunting land — all without too much time sitting still and being quiet. Anyone who wants to learn how to hunt can find helpful how-to guides on the DNR website plus a recorded webinar about how to get started small game hunting. Small game hunting regulations are available at the DNR small game hunting page.

Reminder for trappers: Snare breakaway devices required
Trappers who use snares are reminded that snares capable of taking a wild animal must include a breakaway device that causes the snare loop to disassemble at 350 pounds of pull as measured by a static load test. This applies to all snares, except those set under the ice. Devices that cause the snare loop to disassemble at less than 350 pounds also meet this requirement.

This regulation has been in effect since October 2020. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources made the regulation change to prevent the accidental capture of large mammals, while continuing to allow the use of snares statewide. Breakaway devices allow large, non-target mammals such as moose, elk, wolves, bears and adult deer to escape when the snare disassembles under high tension. Smaller target animals, such as coyotes, bobcats, and foxes, are not able to break the snare by pulling. More information about breakaway devices is available on the DNR website.