Across Minnesota, conservation officers report good duck opener – Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — Minnesota’s general waterfowl season kicked off last Saturday, Sept. 24, with generally favorable reports from conservation officers across the state patrolling wetlands, lakes and rivers over the opening weekend.

As usual, the number of ducks and hunters varied greatly from place to place. But most reports said ducks, especially blue-winged teal, were plentiful, and hunters were doing quite well.

However, some officers reported high levels of violations of the regulations, including the lack of personal flotation devices on the boats, the lack of duck seals, and the use of lead shot.

Here are some of their reports;

Bell: Officer Tony Elwell reported that “heavy fog and lack of wind made for a slow opening day, but overnight northwesterly winds helped some hunters on Sunday. A fair number of Wood Ducks and Teals have been observed in the area.”

black duck: Officer Demosthenes Regas reported that the duck opener “began with

Almost perfect conditions for duck hunting on opening morning. Regas noted that the hunters reported seeing a good number of ducks, but also that their shooting skills were a bit rusty.”

Bemidji: Officer Brice Vollbrecht reported “a busy waterfowl opener at many public approaches, with a mixed bag of ducks being brought in. Waterfowl hunters caught mallards, wood ducks, pintails, ringnecks, and teals.”

Elbow Lake: Officer Ryan Brown reported that “many hunters were out for the opening of the waterfowl hunt this weekend. A high percentage of the groups he found were lucky enough to reach their limits. Hunters reported seeing mostly teal, with the occasional mallard or wood duck.”

Alexandria: Officer Mitch Lawler “supervised the waterfowl hunters during the busy opening weekend. Many groups were reviewed and almost all were very successful. Teals were the most commonly taken birds, with various limits of two and three hunters counted.

Ray: Officer John Slatinski reports that “waterfowl hunters didn’t seem as eager as in years past. Although there were hunters in the water, the total number of birds seen in the area seemed to have decreased. Mosquitoes and sandflies were still present.”

hiving: Officer Marc Johnson reported that “waterfowl hunters enjoyed a cool/rainy start that allowed for some success in the blinds.”

Virginia: Officer Shane Zavodnik reported that “waterfowl numbers were higher than normal for the first weekend, and most hunters were found to be successful.”

OR: Officer Troy Fondie reported that “the waterfowl opener was one of the worst he has ever seen. Few ducks and fewer hunters were observed.”

He and: Officer Sean Williams reported that “the waterfowl opening saw generally low turnout in the Ely area, despite a good number of ducks and geese being reported.”

north house: Officer Vinny Brown reported that “a decent number of waterfowl hunters were out and most had a small number of ducks in their bags. Some hunters keep forgetting that they don’t own the public waters. Numerous reports of territorial hunters harassing other hunters were received.”

deer river: Officer Mike Fairbanks reported “a busy opening weekend of the regular waterfowl hunting season, with much success for area hunters.”

big rapids: Officer Thomas Sutherland reported “a busy waterfowl opening weekend in the area, with very good results from hunters. Hunters harvested numerous blue-winged teals, wood ducks, and some mallards.”

Lake Benton: Officer Derek Daniels reported that the “duck opener was busy with many groups leaving with limits.”

Onamia: Officer Dan Starr reported that “The opening of the regular waterfowl season was a bit discouraging for CO Starr as an unacceptable number of violations were found. A large list of violations included no small game license, state duck stamps, unsigned federal duck stamps, unplugged shotguns, possession/use of lead shot, insufficient PFDs, overloaded boats, failure to retrieve downed ducks, no HIP certification, no possession license and illicit possession of drugs”.