One of the questions we get asked repeatedly is “when is the best time to come duck hunting in MN? That is never an easy question to answer because as hunters or guides we have no way of knowing what is going to happen from one year to the next. For a general reference this is what I tell my clients.
It really depends on what type of hunt your looking for. Are you someone thats looking to shoot nothing but drake green heads mallards with the hopes of putting a “trophy duck” on the wall or are you looking to simply get a little trigger time and are happy shooting any type of duck that comes into the spread.
Late September and early October are some of my favorite times of the year for MN duck hunting. Your not likely to shoot anything that’s going to end up on your wall during this time, you are however likely to get a lot of shooting. This is when we are typically targeting local ducks that were born in the state of MN. These hunts are mixed bag hunts with wood ducks, mallards and lots of teal. Like I said since it is early in the year it can be tough to tell drakes from hens but the action is constant and, at times, fast and furious.
Every year is different on how long these locals birds stick around, typically a lot of the teal are gone by mid October (although the last two years we’ve shot teal in November).
We then go through a lull in the season until the last 10 days of October. This is when we start to see our first large pushes of mallards and divers. This is also when things start to pick up for field hunting ducks. Last year we were able to get into a handful of field wood duck hunts during this time that were in a word….”amazing”.
Hunting during this period is consistently good to great. It’s during this time that as soon as you get worried that the ducks have moved on another wave arrives.
This carries us into our late season hunting for mallards which I consider to be mid november until the end of the season. This is when we have our best field hunting for mallards and are really shooting some beautiful “trophy” greenheads. Typically by this time we are exclusively field hunting and our water options are limited if not gone all together.
As we said earlier, no two years are the same. However this should give you a general guide on when the best time is to schedule you next duck hunt. Of course if you have more questions you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.