The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sent out a press release with their annual small game survey. It shows small game license sales were down 4% in 2017 compared to 2016.

Breaking it down by species shows a mixture of findings. Duck hunters dropped by 6% in 2017. However, those duck hunting had better fortune with a 12% increase in ducks bagged.

Canada goose showed an 8% increase in 2017 resulting in 23% more Canadian geese being taken.

The biggest drop off was a 32% decrease in Ring-necked pheasant hunters. The total of Ring-necked pheasants taken in 2017 was 14% few than in 2016.

The number of Ruffed grouse hunters in 2017 was about the same as 2016. Hunters took an average of 4.8 grouse in 2017 compared to an average of 5.3 per hunter in 2016.

Small game license sales have been on the down swing over the last few years. Early data so far in 2018 indicate that same downward trend.