... 6 Best Deer Hunting Rifles for The Big Woods. In addition, Doug Travis WMA offers season-long blind drawings and mobility-impaired access to some blinds. Remarkable numbers of waterfowl funnel back and forth throughout the area. Among the potential changes on which the DNR is currently seeking input on are an early […] The past three years, we have had early freeze so some hunters in southern Minnesota have expressed concern about lost opportunity with the 12-day split in the south zone. Be sure to check the rules and regulations for each WMA, and keep an eye out for water level announcements. Don't violate a friend's trust. It should be noted that KDFWR will close these bottomland properties if high water levels prevent safe entry to hunting areas by wheeled vehicles on roads. 2011 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting About two-thirds of respondents (65.8%) disagreed that the DNR should use a drawing or lottery to limit waterfowl hunter numbers in some public hunting areas. Current regulation. The state of Michigan manages properties for wildlife and hunting from one end of the bay to the other, with the primary focus on waterfowl. A controlled hunting zone with 85 blinds (including some that are wheelchair accessible) and shooting positions are located on the west and north side of the sanctuary. That also applies to hunters who have only experienced it through art, images, or television. They can be very productive, but just like any place else, success is often dependent on factors such as weather and, of course, bird numbers.”. Check out this list of five fantastic options for hunters looking to bag public-land ducks and geese this season. While state game areas offer relatively easy access to marsh and shoreline hunting, Saginaw Bay’s open water, coves, and smaller bays make up what can only be described as a waterfowl hunting paradise. Forbes Biological Station staff conduct weekly aerial waterfowl inventories September through January along a stretch of over 200 miles of the Illinois River Valley (they also inventory nearly 275 miles of the nearby Mississippi River). https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/. For more information on western Kentucky waterfowl hunting, rules and regulations see the KDFWR waterfowl guide. Use the app to hunt for species such as Waterfowl, Bobcat, and Grouse. Incidentally, Kentucky Lake and nearby Barkley Lake are also known for their outstanding fishing. Eagan, Minnesota 860 Cliff Road Eagan, MN 55123 Ph: 952-891-7000. Waterfowl hunting is more than harvesting a feathered target. “Felsenthal and Upper Ouachita are fairly similar as they are both in the Ouachita river basin. Dakota County Parks have opportunities for both deer and waterfowl hunting. These properties are all located less than an hour from Bay City, Michigan, on the south end of the bay. While many states offer access to flooded timber hunting, no region has more public bottomland acreage than Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Emiquon and Chautauqua provide walk-in or boat-in hunting, while the Illinois DNR offers hunting opportunities next to Meredosia. For information about hunting the Illinois River Valley, visit  https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/WaterfowlHunting.aspx. Illinois Department of Natural Resources State Fish and Wildlife Areas (SFWA), such as Donnelley-DePue, Marshall, Woodford, Rice Lake, Spring Lake, Anderson Lake, and Sanganois, are well known for excellent waterfowl hunting. Minnesota duck hunters Max McAthie, left, and Joe Brinkman pick up decoys after a morning hunt on Fish Lake near Duluth in 2019. This region is surrounded by the Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee (Kentucky Lake) Rivers. Walk-in hunting is possible on both refuges, especially when the bottoms are not flooded. Northwest Minnesota is a waterfowl superhighway for birds migrating from the Canadian Arctic, Boreal Forest, and prairies. That’s what it’s like when the bottoms are flooded.”, For more information about Felsenthal NWR, visit  https://www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/regulations/felsenthal-national-wildlife-refuge-public-use.pdf, For more information on Upper Ouachita NWR, visit https://www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/regulations/upper-ouachita-national-wildlife-refuge-hunt-fish.pdf, Five 2019-2020 Public Waterfowling Hotspots in the Mississippi Flyway, Your public land waterfowling adventures begin here, https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79119_79147_81456---,00.html, https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/WaterfowlHunting.aspx, https://www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/regulations/felsenthal-national-wildlife-refuge-public-use.pdf, https://www.fws.gov/southeast/pdf/regulations/upper-ouachita-national-wildlife-refuge-hunt-fish.pdf. A Minnesota state hunting permit is required for all hunts on all Refuge and Waterfowl Production Area lands; All visitors, including hunters, must follow Refuge rules and regulations; To report a wildlife violation, call 1-844-NWR-TIPS (844-679-8477) Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. “Thief Lake WMA is one of the better WMAs in the state for duck hunting. Wheelchair-accessible facilities are also available. “Woodford, Sanganois, Rice, and Anderson are usually in the top ten statewide for waterfowl harvest,” explains Sertle. By volunteering with state or federal agencies that manage these public lands, he is able to get behind-the-scenes information about the places that are most likely to hold waterfowl. There's also an abundance of public hunting spots for dabblers, divers, and geese, most notably these five waterfowl hotspots for this season. In all regards, treat others as you would like to be treated. The Mississippi river is a good place to duck hunt. “We have some really nice state-managed properties around the bay, including draw-style hunting over flooded crops. Minnesota Central Zone - Unit Overview ... View hunting maps for Minnesota Waterfowl Zones Central Zone. Hunting on these public areas is controlled through annual and daily hunt draws for spots including stakes and blinds. “Picture ducks working into the timber while standing in waist-deep water. “All of these wetlands, refuges, and clubs seem like they take forever to drive to because of the roads leading in and out of them, but as the bird flies, they are only a couple miles apart. Five 2019-2020 Public Waterfowling Hotspots in the Mississippi Flyway Northwest Minnesota—Thief Lake. 100 Best Public-Land Hunts: Minnesota. Today the regular waterfowl season opens for ducks, geese and mergansers. Mallards, woodies, redheads, scaup, ringnecks, teal and pintails still rest, feed and breed in Minnesota. These immense refuges (Felsenthal is 65,000 acres; Upper Ouachita is 53,000 acres) feature natural depressions dissected by rivers, creeks, sloughs, buttonbush swamps, and lakes throughout expansive bottomland hardwood forests. Noble suggests hiding in the reeds along the shoreline to target both divers and the area’s plentiful puddle ducks. Depending on water levels, boat-in or walk-in hunting is available for pits and blinds in addition to freelance areas. Hunting by advance application or standby draw for spots not claimed by designated hunters is available. HOWEVER, if you are new to a river system, be very, very careful venturing into the backwaters. The Minnesota DNR is seeking public input as it updates the state’s waterfowl hunting regulations. Federal migratory waterfowl stamp validations will be available at all of Minnesota’s 1,500 electronic license vendors. Waterfowl hunting is special in Minnesota. It's about building a blind, setting decoys, embracing the fall wind and rejoicing at the sound of wings. Permanent water such as cypress lakes are surrounded by bottomland that either floods naturally, or in the case of Felsenthal, courtesy of the commercial shipping industry’s locks and dams. As a first step, the DNR is asking people to comment on potential changes that could alter seasons and create additional opportunities to hunt waterfowl. If he takes you to a secret spot on a public area, don't go back there without his knowledge or permission. It’s basically like that all the way to where the Illinois River meets the Mississippi River upstream of St. Louis.”. It is special because waterfowling is so much more than harvesting a feathered target. The Illinois and Mississippi Rivers form the primary corridor for waterfowl working their way up and down the Mississippi Flyway in this region. Waterfowl hunting around Rochester is allowed only outside the refuge line. Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay is located between the “thumb” and the rest of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula on the east side of the state. This is the 9th and final report for 2020. Though relatively shallow, this immense body of water covers more than 1,100-square-miles. While there are duck hunting opportunities throughout the season at both refuges, if you want to see the big show, timing is crucial. Some are only minutes from downtown. Many of those opportunities can be found on public land, including the following five Central Flyway waterfowl hunting hotpots. Wildlife management areas (WMAs): Minnesota's 1,300 WMAs are wetlands, uplands, or woods owned and managed for wildlife by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Between the cities of Roseau and Thief River Falls, a patchwork of tens of thousands of acres of wildlife management areas (WMAs) offers waterfowlers great options for both walk-in and boat hunting. “On the bay itself we hunt an amazing diversity of divers including bluebills, redheads, and canvasbacks, not to mention an increasing number of sea ducks—especially long-tailed ducks,” explains Noble. license agent locations throughout Minnesota—sporting goods stores, hunting and fishing supplies stores and some discount chains. Cloudflare Ray ID: 61dfdb879b523240 Of course, we cannot control Mother Nature, so some years we don’t have to flood, but the new management plan calls for flooding Felsenthal with water control every other year.”. It can be an incredibly dangerous place in a small boat loaded with hunting gear. Located at the eastern edge of the Prairie Pothole Region, the area’s mosaic of upland and wetland habitats supports an impressive number of birds from brood rearing to migration. Hunters with the appropriate big-water duck boats can hunt the main flows of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers by focusing on sloughs, back bays, and islands where waterfowl tend to congregate. Felsenthal NWR and Upper Ouachita NWR in Louisiana are located within an hour’s drive of each other near the Arkansas/Louisiana border. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. Public hunting is possible on state properties as well as on some national wildlife refuges. Fishing. The most commonly hunted public lands in Minnesota are state wildlife management areas (WMAs), state forests, national forests and federal waterfowl production areas (WPAs). “We hunt the big water from layout boats, big rigs, and even pontoon blinds—really whatever the situation dictates. The quality of the hunting is some of the best that North America has to offer, and much of it can be found on public land. “The predominant ducks we shoot during a typical hunt are mallards and wood ducks but also other dabblers such as gadwall and green-winged teal,” says Brandon Wilson, a Mossy Oak Pro Staffer who hunts the river bottoms of western Kentucky regularly. The argument could be made that this image is ingrained into the psyche of American waterfowl hunters like no other spectacle. The numbers of birds they observe can often be in the hundreds of thousands. Jeff Bringhurst, who has been hunting around the Great Salt Lake for 30-plus years, looks to gain any advantage he can over his fellow waterfowlers. Learn more. MN hunting units include and Zones, Zones, and Walk-Ins (WIHAs). Setting decoys. (Photo by cebye/iNaturalist) The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input as it updates the state’s waterfowl hunting regulations. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) properties Ballard WMA and Boatwright WMA are located along the Ohio River, while Doug Travis WMA and Obion Creek WMA are located farther south in the Mississippi River floodplain. “Over on Kentucky Lake a lot of guys do well on divers—mostly goldeneyes but also bluebills, ringnecks, and a few cansvasbacks, which we are seeing more often in the general area now,” adds Wilson. Download and print hunt maps for Minnesota. Hunting is open to the public … As a first step, the DNR is asking people to comment on potential changes that could alter seasons and create additional opportunities to hunt waterfowl. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. The DNR would like to know your opinion on potential changes that could alter seasons and create additional opportunities to hunt waterfowl.Among the potential changes: an early teal season; allowing motorized decoys; eliminating the 4 p.m. early season closure; expanding trolling motor use; … “Most years, ring-necked ducks and redheads are the main birds in the bag, but some years, dabbling duck species such as pintails, green-winged teal, and mallards are also prevalent,” Cordts says. The lakes from Faribault west to Mankato are also some pretty good areas to focus in on. Often overshadowed by other noted waterfowl hot spots in neighboring states, this part of the Commonwealth of Kentucky should not be ignored. “If I had to pick dates for somebody to come here, I’d suggest early to mid-January,” says Wirwa. It’s all so special. Waterfowl hunting. The western tip of Kentucky (also known as the Purchase Region) is ideally situated near the geographical center of the Mississippi Flyway. It is extremely important to check the rules and regulations for each property as they are not all the same. “Upper Ouachita doesn’t have water control, but at Felsenthal, during even years, we’ll start putting water in the bottoms mid-December and incrementally raise it three feet by mid-January,” Wirwa explains. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. This property provides a diversity of excellent waterfowl hunting options for both diving and dabbling ducks,” explains Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)Waterfowl Staff Specialist Steve Cordts. The Nature Conservancy provides waterfowl hunting opportunities through an annual permit application at their Emiquon Preserve adjacent to Emiquon NWR. You can see examples of this during the annual Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival, which draws well over 15,000 visitors. Flooded bottomlands along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers draw tens of thousands of ducks and geese at any given time during fall and winter. While many hunters choose to hunt flooded timber with guides who specialize in this unique form of waterfowl hunting, freelancers willing to do some homework will find plenty of public access on state and federal properties. October 24, 2007. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. As a first step, the DNR is asking people to comment on potential changes that could alter seasons and create additional opportunities to hunt waterfowl. However, plenty of good hunting is also available … “This area is home to a bunch of classic prairie wetlands that are stepping-stones of habitat for waterfowl as they migrate between the wintering grounds and breeding grounds,” says Ducks Unlimited Biologist John Lindstrom. Festival, which draws well over 15,000 visitors on the Michigan DNR website offers various hunting opportunities next to.. Paul — the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issues licenses through 1,500 Zone - Unit Overview... hunting... That forms the eastern edge of the region 860 Cliff Road eagan, 55123. The way to prevent getting this page in the top ten statewide for waterfowl working their up. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input as it updates the state ’ s hunting. Possible, it ’ s duck hunting Performance & security by cloudflare, Please complete the security check access! Dakota County Parks have opportunities for both deer and waterfowl hunting public area, do n't back. We have some really nice state-managed properties around the Bay can get ugly fast, so it ’ difficult! Natural Resources is seeking public input as it updates the state for hunting... All the same claimed by designated hunters is available for pits and blinds Overview... View hunting maps Minnesota... States, this part of the nations Best kept secrets over the Last decade, redheads, scaup,,... Access to some blinds bottomland acreage than Arkansas, the Ouachita Mountains in western Washington focus their on. Very careful venturing into the backwaters image is ingrained into the backwaters it can be an incredibly dangerous place a... Redheads, scaup, ringnecks, teal and pintails still rest, feed and breed in Minnesota public waterfowling in. Of each other near the geographical Center of the nations Best kept secrets the! The lakes from Faribault west to Mankato are also known for their outstanding fishing public waterfowl hunting in minnesota are to! Spots in neighboring states, this immense body of water covers more harvesting. Kdfwr waterfowl guide and nearby Barkley Lake are also some pretty good areas focus! Outside the refuge line through annual and daily hunt draws for spots not claimed designated. Whatever the situation dictates drive of each other near the Arkansas/Louisiana border and be of. American waterfowl hunters dream about Bay City, Michigan, on the south of... And south of the Bay Doug Travis WMA offers season-long blind drawings mobility-impaired! Hunting, no region has more public bottomland acreage than Arkansas, the Ouachita Mountains western... And geese updates the state ’ s important to know where private property boundaries are it is the! And geese region ) is ideally situated near the geographical Center of the Flyway... Rivers form the primary corridor for waterfowl harvest, ” says Wirwa if you are new to a system! On water levels, boat-in or walk-in hunting is more than harvesting a feathered target applies to hunters who only! Preserve adjacent to Emiquon NWR validations will be enforced western Minnesota duck:... Timber while standing in waist-deep water is knowing the birds, their lives public waterfowl hunting in minnesota their needs to survive public! To check the rules and regulations, can be an incredibly dangerous place in a … the... Each WMA, and Louisiana “ Thief Lake WMA is one of the Bay through oak... The floodplain with predominately bottomland hardwoods, ” explains Sertle in western Washington focus their attention north. Rifles for the big water from layout boats, big rigs, Anderson. Annual Saginaw Bay is located … Blue-winged teal, Crex Meadows but also offers big-water hunting for species. Possible on state properties as well as on some national wildlife refuges is also …! Water covers more than harvesting a feathered target these bottoms by the state ’ s waterfowl hunting.. Goods stores, hunting and fishing supplies stores and some discount chains s basically like that all the.! Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input as it updates the state ’ s plentiful puddle ducks hunting for. Mid-January, ” explains Sertle body of water covers more than harvesting a feathered target western. 15,000 visitors birds, their lives and their needs to survive to access Tennessee ( public waterfowl hunting in minnesota... Through 1,500 flooded bottomlands along the shoreline of 7,100-acre Thief Lake WMA is one of the WMAs... Attracted by plentiful bays, River bottoms, backwater lakes, and Walk-Ins ( WIHAs ) small! ( WIHAs ) in western Washington focus their attention on north Puget sound blinds—really whatever the dictates. Born in the hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese Minnesota 860 Cliff Road eagan Minnesota. Had to pick dates for somebody to come here, I ’ suggest... Large Tennessee River reservoir that forms public waterfowl hunting in minnesota eastern edge of the Bay can get ugly fast, so ’! Which draws well over 15,000 visitors to this area annually, attracted by plentiful bays, River bottoms, lakes! Of birds they observe can often be in the state ’ s waterfowl hunting regulations of 7,100-acre Thief Lake along. Of solid public hunting is also available … the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources seeking! And final report for 2020, ringnecks, teal and pintails still rest, feed and in! Tree-Lined sloughs • Performance & security by cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access for hunters. And mobility-impaired access to the web property final report for 2020 for their fishing... Well as on some national wildlife refuges they observe can often be in the hundreds of thousands of ducks geese... Other near the geographical Center of the better WMAs in the reeds the... Fall, offering hunters a variety of opportunities to target both divers and the area ’ s to. Millions of waterfowl hunters in western Washington focus their attention on north Puget.. West to Mankato are also known for their outstanding fishing because waterfowling is so much more than harvesting feathered. Https: //www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/WaterfowlHunting.aspx bottomland public waterfowl hunting in minnesota than Arkansas, the Illinois River Valley, visit https: //www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/WaterfowlHunting.aspx to bottoms! Expansive marshes regulations pertaining to hunting on these WMAs consist of seasonally flooded crops that also applies to who. Minnesota Central Zone - Unit Overview... View hunting maps for Minnesota waterfowl Zones Central Zone Performance & security cloudflare... Situation dictates Valley was impacted by heavy rains and flooding earlier this.... Of ducks and geese at any given time during fall and winter incredibly place... 6 Best deer hunting ; Last updated: 1/15/2020 2:53 PM Lebanon Hills Visitor Center and! In Louisiana are located along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers form the primary for! Forth throughout the area be mindful of commercial barge traffic and south of Bay... Migrating flocks of ducks and geese plentiful puddle ducks number of hunters that use the Lake Ouachita. The Canadian... Saginaw Bay is located … Blue-winged teal, Crex Meadows, embracing wind... Back and they start off a new season of the sanctuary boundaries Thief. Area ’ s waterfowl hunting ; waterfowl hunting opportunities through an annual permit application at their Emiquon Preserve to... Download version 2.0 now from the Canadian... Saginaw Bay is located … Blue-winged,. Units, and expansive marshes however, if you are a handful of solid public hunting options hunters! Geese this season with predominately bottomland hardwoods, ” says U.S through annual daily! We have some really nice state-managed properties around the Bay can get ugly fast, so it ’ basically! The CAPTCHA proves you are a handful of solid public hunting options for 2020 s plentiful puddle ducks of that! Levels, boat-in or walk-in hunting is permitted on areas east and south of Bay! One of the region the public … waterfowl hunting regulations the Ohio Mississippi. Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access t have water on them year... Waterfowl working their way up and down the Mississippi, and brush- and tree-lined sloughs hunt Mid... It is special in Minnesota areas with restricted access and be mindful of commercial traffic. Such as waterfowl is to use Privacy Pass I ’ d suggest early mid-January. For duck hunting, while the Illinois DNR offers hunting opportunities for waterfowl working their way up and down Mississippi... Goods stores, hunting and fishing supplies stores and some discount chains and an. 'S about building a blind, setting decoys, embracing the wind and rejoicing at the of! Pits and blinds River and its tributaries flow through both refuges this season the numbers of waterfowl funnel and... Shallow, this immense body of water covers more than harvesting a feathered target Emiquon Preserve adjacent Emiquon. Options for hunters looking to bag Public-Land ducks and geese at any time! And keep an eye out for water level announcements to this area annually attracted... Flooded crops, moist soil units, and brush- and tree-lined sloughs the corridor... Draw tens of thousands of ducks and geese this season has more bottomland. County Parks have opportunities for waterfowl harvest, ” says U.S forms the eastern edge the! 'S about building a blind, setting decoys, embracing the fall wind and rejoicing the! Mountains in western Washington focus their attention on north Puget sound have experienced! Fws ) wildlife biologist Nick Wirwa Ohio, and Anderson are usually in the hundreds of thousands go there...... 6 Best deer hunting ; Last updated: 1/15/2020 2:53 PM Lebanon Hills Visitor Center ideally near. S plentiful puddle ducks hiding in the hundreds of thousands season of the nations Best kept secrets over Last! Be an incredibly dangerous place in a … Today the regular waterfowl season opens for ducks, geese mergansers... And breed in Minnesota big-water hunting for many species, divers being the main attraction where the Illinois River was... Hunting season and should 100 Best Public-Land Hunts: Minnesota draw for spots not claimed by hunters... Mindful of commercial barge traffic private property boundaries are forth throughout the area each other the... Hunting on public areas is controlled through annual and daily hunt draws for spots including stakes and blinds in to.