News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, Sept. 18

September 18, 2023

Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season begins this weekend

Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season opens a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday, Sept. 23, with the same regulations as last year. Minnesota has three waterfowl hunting zones — north, central and south — that share the Sept. 23 season opener but have varying end dates. The central and south zones also have a mid-season closure Oct. 2-6.

Hunters are advised that water levels might be low due to dry conditions across the state. Scouting ahead of the season can help identify any changes hunters need to make in accessing their preferred hunting locations. Hunters should check the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s waterfowl hunting page for complete information including season dates, regulations, a waterfowl identification guide and weekly waterfowl migration reports.

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. 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24. 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 Minnesota DNR website plus a recorded webinar about how to get started small game hunting. Small game hunting regulations are available at the Minnesota DNR small game hunting webpage.

Minnesota DNR webinars focus on sandhill cranes and planning a bird hunting trip

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to check out the fall program schedule for the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series.

In a webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 20, Jade Pederson, refuge park ranger at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near St. Cloud, and Cynthia McSherry, refuge volunteer, will share the life history, quirks and migration of sandhill cranes. Greater sandhill cranes are now common throughout Minnesota, and up to 29,000 greater sandhill cranes can be found at the wetlands of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge during the peak of the cranes’ fall migration. The loud and varied calls, dancing skills and massive wingspan of the cranes make them an exciting sight to behold.

In a webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 27, Minnesota DNR biologists and bird hunting experts will cover how to plan an upland bird hunting trip. They will answer questions and talk about helpful resources, must-have items, and everything to consider in planning a successful road trip.

The Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series webinars are free and offered year-round, though registration is required. Visit the Outdoor Skills and Stewardship webpage of the Minnesota DNR website for the registration portal, more information about upcoming webinars and recordings of past webinars.

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