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MN: One duck hunter learns the hard way

October 2, 2010

One duck hunter learns the hard way

Conservation officers report some success on duck opener

MANKATO - At least one hunter managed to bag a limit of ducks and a couple of geese while hunting in Blue Earth County on the opening day of the 2010 Minnesota Waterfowl Season.

Problem was, says Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Bob Geving, the successful hunter began his season about two hours too early.

On opening day, the season opens at 9 a.m., and Geving received a complaint about early shooting in a flooded field shortly after 7 a.m. and met the happy hunter coming as he came out.

"He said he completely forgot about the 9 a.m. opener," Geving said.

For his forgetfulness the hunter was rewarded with a citation and had to forfeit his ducks and geese.

Geving said he worked eastern Blue Earth County on opening day and found good numbers of hunters on Indian Lake, Smith Lake and Perch Lake.

"There must have been two dozen rigs at Perch Lake," he said.

"Hunters really did better than I expected," he said, adding that the recent rains have flooded so many cornfields that can provide ideal habitat for waterfowl.

"Hunters average two-three birds each, mainly teal but some gadwalls, mallards and shovelers," he said.

Conservation officer Chris Howe worked Buffalo Lake in Waseca County and found a fair number of hunters there.

"There were birds flying in the morning but that tapered off by mid-morning," he said.

"I'd say there was about one bird per hunter - mostly teal but a couple a mallards as well."

Howe agreed that all of the recent rain probably spread out the birds a lot in flooded creeks and fields, making them more difficult to find.

However, in the case of Buffalo Lake, which is in the middle of a drawdown, the extra water made it much easier for hunters to get around.

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