Waterfowl hunters reminded to have license and tags, follow rules
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resource asks hunters to be
safe, ethical and responsible when the state's waterfowl season gets
underway Saturday, Sept. 27.
"The most common violations are not buying a license or not having
waterfowl stamps," said DNR Chief Conservation Officer Mike Hamm. He
noted that most waterfowl hunting questions can be answered by reading
the 2003 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook and the
Waterfowl Hunting Regulations Supplement both available where DNR
licenses are sold and on-line at www.dnr.state.mn.us.
Waterfowl hunters must have a Minnesota Small Game License in their
possession while hunting unless they are exempt from a license
requirement. A license can be acquired at any of the 1,800 Electronic
Licensing System (ELS) agents located throughout Minnesota, by calling
the DNR License Center at 1-888-665-4236, or through Internet
licensing on the DNR Web site www.dnr.state.mn.us. Hunters who have
lost their license may obtain a duplicate license at any ELS license
agent or from the DNR License Center.
The daily bag limit is six ducks, and may not include more than four
mallards (only two of which may be females), three scaup, two wood
ducks, two redheads, and one black duck. The daily limit will also
include one pintail and one canvasback during the limited 30-day open
seasons for those species. One pintail may be taken during the 30-day
open season from Saturday, Sept. 27, through Oct. 26. One canvasback
may be taken for the 30-day season from Saturday, Oct. 11, through
Sunday, Nov. 9. Possession limits are twice the daily bag limits.
Both state and federal stamps are required during waterfowl season. A
State Migratory Waterfowl Stamp is required by all resident hunters
except those under age 18 or age 65 and over, and all nonresident
hunters. Exceptions to the requirement are outlined on page 87 of the
2003 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations handbook. A Federal
Migratory Waterfowl Stamp is required for waterfowl hunters aged 16
Among the restrictions is taking migratory game birds by the aid of
baiting or on or over a baited area when a person knows, or reasonably
should know, that the area is or has been baited. A baited area is
considered to be baited for 10 days after complete removal of any
bait. Baiting includes placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or
scattering of salt, grain or other feed that could serve as a lure or
attraction for migratory game birds to, on, or over areas where
hunters are attempting to take them.
It is a separate offense to place or direct placement of bait on or
adjacent to an area that causes, induces or allows another to hunt by
the aid of bait or over a baited area.
"Hunters are responsible for ensuring that an area has not been baited
and should verify its legality prior to hunting," Hamm said. The
maximum federal baiting penalties for hunting over bait are $15,000
and/or six months in jail, and for placing bait $100,000 and/or one
year in jail.
It is unlawful to take geese, ducks, mergansers, coots or moorhens
with lead shot or while having any lead shot in possession. The only
shot that may be used is steel shot, copper-plated, nickel-plated or
zinc-plated steel shot, bismuth shot, tungsten-iron shot,
tungsten-nickel-iron shot, tungsten-polymer shot, tungsten-matrix
shot, or other shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Tagging waterfowl is also important. Tagging is required if the birds
are being transported by another person for the hunter, or if the
birds have been left for cleaning, storage (including temporary
storage), shipment or taxidermy services. Hamm noted no person shall
give, put or leave any migratory game birds at any place or in the
custody of another person unless the birds are tagged by the hunter
with the following information:
o hunter's signature
o hunter's address
o total number of birds involved, by species, and
o dates such birds were killed.
"Minnesota's abundance of wildlife is no accident. It is the direct
product of habitat management and compliance with the law," Hamm said.
"When you follow the regulations you are on the trail to a safe,
rewarding and successful hunt."
To report a violation to a conservation officer, contact the nearest
Minnesota State Patrol Office or Turn in Poachers at 1-800-652-9093.