Low water levels ahead of waterfowl openers

Waterfowl hunters should be aware of lower water levels as hunting seasons begin, starting with the experimental early teal season from Saturday. Sept. 4, through Wednesday, Sept. 8, and the early goose season from Sept. 4 through Sept. 19.

Due to the extended drought, many shallow wetlands or temporary waterways are dry, according to the DNR.

Hunters are encouraged to scout areas ahead of time for water levels, vegetation densities and bird use.

Hunter crowding could be an issue this year, as hunters may move to new locations if their traditional opener hunting locations are too dry.

Hunters should also be aware of wild ricers who may be on waterways during the experimental early teal season.

“Since wild rice season is open at the same time, teal hunters will need to be aware of and cautious about wild ricers,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist.

“A safety mindset and mutual courtesy will allow for successful early teal hunting and wild ricing. With this year’s drought conditions, scouting ahead to ensure access to desired areas is critical for both teal hunters and ricers.”

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