MN DNR backs down on motorized decoys ban.


Mar 11, 2001
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DNR backs down on motorized decoys ban.

St. Paul Pioneer Press


Reversing course, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday it won't ask lawmakers for a two-year moratorium on mechanical waterfowl decoys.
The department two months ago said it wanted a moratorium because the duck population was threatened by the effectiveness of the battery-powered decoys, which have flapping and spinning wings. The department said it might need to shorten the duck hunting season or reduce the number of ducks a hunter can bag.

But Ed Boggess, program manager of the DNR's wildlife division, said people told the agency they shouldn't act on their own. DNR officials now believe the problem should be solved by all states in which duck hunting is common.

Meanwhile, they plan field research to examine the issue.

Recent studies in California, Missouri and Manitoba indicate the decoys appear to attract more ducks than a normal, stationary decoy.

With prices as high as $200 and names such as RoboDuk and Mojo Mallard, the devices mimic the motion of a landing duck. Some hunters say they rival live decoys, which are illegal, in effectiveness.

Washington state banned mechanical decoys this fall, and California prohibited their use for the first half of its duck season. Pennsylvania also bans them.

Minnesota wildlife officials tried but failed in 2000 to get the entire Mississippi Flyway to agree to restrict use of the mechanical decoys.

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