Minnesota’s sandhill crane season will open two weeks later this year and does not coincide with the early goose season. The crane season will remain the same length as last year, but it opens Saturday, Sept. 15, and closes Sunday, Oct. 21. Cranes may only be hunted in the northwest goose zone.

The delay in season opening date is expected to reduce harvest on resident sandhill cranes by opening the season when a higher percentage of migrant sandhill cranes are present. Hunters should note that overall sandhill crane abundance during the season still is expected to be as high as or higher than last year.

“The delay in the season is designed to shift harvest more toward migrant sandhill cranes by better timing the season with expected higher migrant bird numbers,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. “Hunters should expect the same or better harvest opportunities this year compared with last year.”

The daily bag limit for sandhill cranes is two per day. A sandhill crane permit is required in addition to a small game hunting license.

Logo courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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