The small game hunter mail survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) estimated that slightly fewer small game licenses were sold in 2019 than the previous year, continuing a downward trend in overall license sales for the past 20 years.

Despite fewer ruffed grouse and ring-necked pheasant hunters, hunters harvested more grouse and pheasants in 2019, and successful hunters put more birds in their bags.

The survey also showed a 38 percent increase in duck hunters and a 72 percent increase in Canada goose hunters from 2018 to 2019, leading to a higher harvest estimate compared to 2018.

The survey covers the estimated harvest and number of hunters for two dozen species, and most showed increases compared to 2018.

The complete survey report is on the DNR Web site at

- Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain