ST. PAUL -- Minnesota’s 2021 waterfowl hunting season dates have been formally approved with the state’s inaugural early teal-hunting season set for Sep. 4-8.
The Department of Natural Resources first announced the early season in March but had to wait for formal approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to set dates.
Other changes to waterfowl hunting regulations for the 2021 season include shooting hours will continue until sunset rather than ending at 4 p.m. during the first portion of Minnesota’s waterfowl hunting season; increasing the bag limit for geese from three to five per day; reducing the 12-day season split in the south zone to a five-day split; and opening four areas where over-water goose hunting was restricted.
Waterfowl hunting season dates this coming fall will be Sept. 25 through Nov. 23 in the north zone and Sept. 25 through Oct. 3 and Oct. 9 through Nov. 28 in the south and central zones.
The five-day early teal season from Sept. 4-8 will allow an additional opportunity to hunt teal that otherwise would have migrated south by opening day of waterfowl season Sept. 25. Hunters may shoot up to six teal — blue, green-winged and cinnamon — in any combination from sunrise to sunset during the experimental early season.
“There was some concern expressed about establishing an early teal season so the experimental approach the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires allows the DNR to carefully evaluate impacts,” Steve Cordts, waterfowl specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said in a statement. “We’ll assess the season this year and can renew it for up to two years.”
Initial details of the 2021 waterfowl regulations including a zone map are available at mndnr.gov/hunting/waterfowl. Information about waterfowl management in Minnesota is available at mndnr.gov/waterfowl.