ST. PAUL - The early Canada goose season will open statewide on Saturday, Sept. 1 and will run through Friday, Sept. 21. Bag limits for Canada geese will be five per day statewide.
A $4 permit is required to hunt Canada geese in the early season. Permits are available wherever hunting and angling licenses are sold. The restriction prohibiting hunting within 100 yards of surface water remains in effect in the Northwest goose zone, Carlos Avery WMA, Ocheda Lake Game refuge, and an area surrounding Swan Lake in Nicollet County. Early season goose hunters should consult the 2012 Waterfowl Supplement for zone maps and additional details.
Minnesota's regular goose season will open in conjunction with the duck season statewide on Saturday, Sept. 22 with a bag limit of three Canada geese per day the entire season. Goose season will be closed in the central and south duck zones when duck season is closed.
In the North Duck zone, goose season will run from Saturday, Sept. 22-Sunday, Dec.16. In the Central Duck zone, goose season will run from Saturday, Sept. 22-Sunday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 6-Friday, Dec. 21. In the South Duck zone, goose season will run from Saturday, Sept. 22-Sunday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 13-Friday, Dec. 28.
"Hunters can expect to see excellent numbers of Canada geese again this fall," Cordts said. "The number of breeding geese in Minnesota is very high and local production was very good this spring. In addition, we should see good numbers of migrant geese in the state this fall, particularly in areas such as Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area."
The season for light geese (snow, blue and Ross' geese), white-fronted geese, and brant will run concurrent with open Canada goose season in each zone. Bag limits are 20 light geese per day, one white-fronted goose per day, and one brant per day.
The season for sandhill cranes will open two weeks later this year and run from Saturday, Sept. 15-Sunday, Oct. 21 in the Northwest Goose zone only. The daily bag limit will be two sandhill cranes per day.
A Sandhill crane permit ($3) is required in addition to a small game hunting license.
Additional details on the duck, goose, sandhill crane, and other migratory bird hunting seasons will be available in the 2012 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting Regulations, available in mid-August.