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DNR seeks public input on waterfowl hunting changes

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging the public to submit input on potential changes to state waterfowl hunting regulations that could alter seasons and create more hunting opportunities.

Those wishing to provide input can help the DNR by identifying their preferences on potential season and regulatory changes. Comments will be accepted through Monday, Jan. 31.

Receiving public input early allows the DNR to be responsive and offer proposals considering public preferences.

The DNR will use public input as it finalizes waterfowl regulation change proposals.

In early March, the DNR plans to present final proposals at an online public meeting. Comments will be accepted at the meeting and for two weeks online after the meeting.

Final regulation changes could become effective as soon as this fall’s waterfowl season.

Possible regulation changes include:

• Establishing a three-year experimental early teal season for as many as 16 days prior to the regular duck season, allowing up to 6 daily teal.

• Allowing a bonus of two blue-winged teal daily during the first 16 days of the season.

• Expanding allowance for use of motorized decoys throughout the statewide season including all wildlife management areas.

• Extending hours to sunset, making it consistent with the rest of the season.

• Removing all restrictions against hunting geese within 100 yards of surface water.

• allowing hunters statewide to shoot from open water using a layout boat or anchored boat blind.

• Creating a two-day, weekend active duty military and veterans hunting opportunity prior to the regular duck season.

• Creating an experimental, three-year regulation allowing hunters to shoot three ducks of any species.

• Increasing the Canada goose bag limit to 5.

• Allowing trolling motors on Wildlife Management Areas.

• Register, take the online questionnaire and attend the March online public meeting at www.dnr.state.mn.us/wildlife/waterfowl/waterfowl-public-input.html.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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