After talking to hunters for the last 15 years, I know 99% of the questions they are going to ask and when they’re going to ask them in our conversations. One of the first is always “When’s the best time to come?” Typically my response is “That depends on what your hoping to shoot”. If the answer is giant Canada geese, then my answer is always “Early season goose hunts in western MN”.
Most people think September when they think early season but for me, early season extends into early to mid October. This is the time of year where we are mainly hunting family groups of geese that mom and dad hatched that summer. This may come as a surprise but our favorite type of birds to hunt are … the young, dumb ones! Some of our biggest shoots every year come during this time. Birds, while local, are constantly shifting within their area in search of better food and habitat during this time. Any time birds move into an area they are the most susceptible to decoys spreads set up where they’ve been feeding.
We run these hunts from our lodge in western MN. One of the unique things about these hunts is that we can also hunt SD in addition to western MN. There are two reasons for this.
- First our lodge is located just 25 miles from the SD border. Our hunt radius is typically up to about 60 miles from our lodge this time of year, so a 25 mile drive to the border is a quick trip.
- Second the non resident license for SD early goose is an over the counter license that can be bought any time. If you want to hunt ducks in SD as a non resident you have to apply for a license in June and be entered into their lottery. South Dakota’s early season also offers a slightly larger bag limit of 8 Canadas per day (MN is 5).
Both states offer EXCELLENT habitat and hunting that time of year so we can put our hunters on their best spot regardless of which state we find them in.