Drought Impacts Duck Hunting Wetlands In The Northern Plains

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – When duck hunters in the Northern Plains take to the field this fall, they’ll find fewer wetlands at which to set up their blinds and float their decoys due to a summer of devastating drought.

A North Dakota Game and Fish Department survey finds the number of duck-hunting wetlands statewide at the lowest level in nine years.

In South Dakota, Harold Bickner with Ducks Unlimited says wetlands have dried up in many areas, and ducks have moved out.

The prevalence of wetlands isn’t the only determining factor in how many ducks will be available to hunters. Weather conditions and migration patterns also are big influences.

Saturday is opening day for duck hunting in North Dakota. South Dakota’s season opens next Saturday in some areas and Oct. 14 in others.

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