Northwoods Adventure: Duck And Grouse Hunting Regulations
Duck and grouse are two of the most popular small game hunting sports among Minnesotans. The season started two weeks ago, and hunters will need two separate licenses to go grouse and duck hunting.
“For grouse, all you need is small game license, but for ducks you’re going to need a federal waterfall stamp, then you’re going to need your state migratory stamp, plus your small game along with that,” Justin Wiese of Wheezy Outdoors said.
The most common small game animals that are hunted include pheasants, rough grouse and ducks. Bemidji Wildlife Area Supervisor David Rave says the seasons been really slow because of the weather.
“There’s been an awful lot of nasty weather, and I think bird numbers are just lower this year then they have been in previous years.” Rave said.
Wheezy Outdoors hunting guide Justin Wiese says the numbers for grouse are up, especially in Remer where he’s located.
“We’ve got a lot of birds around here, we do a lot of grouse and woodcock hunting here in Northern Minnesota,” Wiese said. “The duck numbers are kind of average for the state right now. You know a lot of our local birds are pushed out, but northern birds are starting to move in, so it’s going to be a good season for that too.”
Rave says hunters are allowed to shoot up to 6 ducks a day. But Wheezy says people often forget there’s a limitation on species of ducks you can hunt.
“You can take six ducks, some people might think you can take six red heads or something, but no, you can’t,” Wiese said. “When you get into duck hunting, there’s lots of different things you got to look for. And anybody who wants to duck hunt, they really need to go through regulations, I mean grab a book, really read through it because it’s all those little things that can get you on that.”
For safety, Rave says there’s differences in duck and grouse hunting. For grouse hunting, the most important thing is visibility, and for duck hunting it’s water safety, you need to be wearing a life jacket and to not overload your boat. Grouse season ends January 1st and duck season ends sometime in November, depending on your zone.
Rave says because duck and grouse overlap with deer season, hunters should be cautious.
“During the dear season, it’s really important that you wear some orange to go out duck hunting or grouse hunting, just so other people can see you. A deer rifle goes a long way so if you’re in camouflage clothing as you’re walking out to your duck somebody might not see you and that could be dangerous,” Rave said.
He says hunters are allowed to hunt in state forests and county land, but need permission for private land.