Chris Niskanen of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote Saturday on Minnesota’s nearly non-existent duck season. The key indicators used to judge the success of waterfowling in the Mississippi Flyway’s most northern state are on the decline:

  • Minnesota’s duck harvest last year was 30 percent lower than in 2005 and the sixth lowest since 1961.
  • Minnesota sold only 90,000 state duck stamps last year, a 12 percent drop from 2005 and a 40 percent decline from the peak sales year of 1980

Hunters in Minnesota have found little success; some can no longer justify making the effort to hunt. So with more and more adults giving up the sport, odds are that a generation or two of hunters will disappear because fewer youths are being exposed to waterfowling.

Why the poor hunting conditions in Minnesota? Recent years has been affected by drier conditions in the Canada pothole region where Minnesota gets their migrating ducks. But directly west, both North and South Dakota have experienced excellent habitat conditions, so the ducks that once passed through Minnesota on their way south are now skipping the state altogether.

Why should an Arkansas duck hunter care? Given that Minnesota is in our flyway duck funnel, the less ducks are called at, shot at, decoyed, robo’d the better. Hopefully, more ducks make their way to Arkansas.

To read the entire article, visit Chris Niskanen: Future of duck hunting in Minnesota is grim.