The duck season in Minnesota is coming to a close (Dec. 3 is the last day in the South Duck Zone) and while Canada goose seasons remain open for another month or so, the reality is that most waterfowl hunters by now have hung up their decoys and waders. Hopefully, however, they haven’t stopped thinking about waterfowl.
We can assure you that we haven’t. In some ways, the hunting season is a payoff for all the work you put in throughout the rest of the year. That means repairing cords, painting decoys, patching waders and hitting the shooting range, of course, but also it means working on habitat projects, raising money for conservation, or taking steps to bring new hunters into the fold.
Here at the Minnesota Waterfowl Association, we’re in the thick of planning for our annual waterfowl symposium, banquet dinner and hall of fame induction. They’re always fun events and afford attendees an awesome opportunity during the heart of the winter to talk shop with other waterfowl enthusiasts, or learn from professionals who have devoted their careers to learning about things like ducks and wetlands. (As soon as we nail down details, we’ll let you know.)
Right around that time, the state Legislature will begin meeting. We’ll monitor the goings-on at the Capitol and make our voice heard as necessary. It’s hard to imagine there’s much on the horizon when it comes to duck-specific legislation, but there are sure to be habitat proposals that bear watching. Additionally, we’ve made great use of the grant money that’s available through the Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program (or the Outdoor Heritage Fund’s small grants program, as it’s sometimes known), so we’ll be working to ensure the Legacy Amendment bill that moves through the Legislature contains a strong CPL component.
As the Legislature begins to wrap up, we’ll already have turned our attention to Woodie Camp, as the registration deadline is in the middle of May. Then we’ll move into Woodie Camp planning and making sure it continues to be a great youth conservation camp. By the time camp ends, we’ll be just weeks away from the opening of yet another waterfowl season.
While there’s a lot more that will happen between now and then, those are some of the highlights. We hope everyone has a great start to the winter here. We also know many of you are ice fishermen, so please stay safe as you head out onto hard water.