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Three-zone duck season opens Sept. 22 in Minnesota

Brothers Tony Sellner (left), of West Fargo, N.D., and Allen Sellner, of Dalton, Minn., take aim at incoming ducks during a morning duck hunt on Devils Lake. (2011 file / News Tribune)

Minnesotans will have a 60-day, three-zone duck waterfowl season opening on Sept. 22, the earliest the season has opened in 45 years, Department of Natural Resources officials announced Tuesday.

The state's waterfowl season will open one-half hour before sunrise on Sept. 22 statewide. In the North Duck Zone (north of Minnesota Highway 210), duck season will run from Sept. 22 to Nov. 20.

The daily bag limit of six ducks per day and a 60-day season are unchanged from last year. The mallard bag limit remains at four per day, including two hen mallards. The wood duck bag limit will remain at three per day. The daily limit for scaup is four, up from two last year. Possession limits remain at twice the daily bag limits.

Youth Waterfowl Day will be Sept. 8.

Last year, the DNR split the state into two hunting zones with different season dates as part of an effort to provide additional hunting opportunity as birds migrate from north to south. The addition of a third zone furthers that approach.

A third zone was supported in data collected as part of a hunter survey and a first-ever waterfowl hunter focus group, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said.