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Mallard population way up, with waterfowl hunting season set to kick off tomorrow

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Waterfowl hunting season will open 30 minutes before sunrise Saturday across the entire state – and local officials says duck numbers are good.

The DNR said in a news release this year's survey of mallards pegged the estimated population at 11.8 million – way above the long-term average, and among the highest numbers estimated since 1997.

"There are lots of opportunities to find uncrowded areas to hunt, and duck numbers look strong compared to our long term average," Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist, said in the release.

The season will be open for a total of 60 days in each zone (though some will include small breaks where it has to be paused, before resuming again).

The daily bag limit is six ducks per day, same as last year. To see the rest of the limits, click here. (The only change from last year is canvasbacks, which increases from one to two.)

The DNR also publishes a weekly waterfowl migration report, which is available here.

This week's says blue-winged teal, wood ducks and mallards will likely be the most common for hunters.

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