Photos: Opening day of duck hunting season in Minnesota


Minnesota duck hunting season opens
1 At sunrise, about half an hour after the official opening of Minnesota's duck hunting season, John Larson aims at a duck flying over a lake in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
2 Attentive and always ready to go: Winnie sits next to her owner Ole Anderson along a Clearwater County lake on Saturday, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
3 John Larson (left) and Ole Anderson examine the blue-winged teal, mallard and six wood ducks they shot at a lake in Clearwater County on Saturday. Both hoped for a more successful outing but enjoyed the hunt anyway. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
4 It's 5:30 a.m., still about an hour before the official opening of duck hunting season on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. Ole Anderson and his hunting partner John Larson are busy putting out decoys out on a small lake in Clearwater County, Minn. They also clear some of the lily pads to create more open space, hoping to attract ducks to land there. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
5 Winnie, a 10-year old Chesapeake Bay retriever specially bred for cold-water hunting, is ready to go at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season, in Clearwater County, Minn. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
6 Ole Anderson, a passionate hunter since he was 8 years old, drives his ATV along a trail before sunrise in Clearwater County several miles southwest of Bemidji on Saturday. Anderson had scouted his hunting place the day before to check for ducks in the area. Apart from ducks on the lake, he also saw several grouse in the forest. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
7 John Larson (left) and Ole Anderson unload their guns and decoys from the ATV on Saturday in Clearwater County, Minn. There was still a half-mile hike through dense undergrowth ahead of them before they reached the hunting ground of their choice. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
8 Ole Anderson (left) and John Larson look at some wild rice grains they found growing in the lake on Saturday. Waterfowl such as mallards or swans love feeding on wild rice. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
9 Gunshots break the silence of this lake in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. Several hunting parties were near the place where Ole Anderson and John Larson chose to spend their time on opening day. While both patiently waited until the official opening time before they fired their first shots, other gunshots were heard more than 10 minutes earlier nearby. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
10 At sunrise, about half an hour after the official opening of Minnesota's duck hunting season, John Larson aims at a duck flying over a lake in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
11 Ole Anderson targets a duck on Saturday, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. Only minutes after the official start of the duck hunting season, he shot a blue-winged teal with his first shot on a lake in Clearwater County, Minn. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
12 First ducks of the season: a blue-winged teal and a mallard, shot at a lake in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
13 While hiding in the reeds of the marshland fringing a Clearwater County lake, Ole Anderson listens to the calls of ducks in the distance on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
14 After shooting a duck over a Clearwater County lake, John Larson tries to find it in the water surrounded by lots of decoys on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. Winnie, Anderson's tireless Chesapeake retriever, found it later. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
15 John Larson watches the horizon for ducks he hears calling in the distance on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season, at a lake in Clearwater County. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
16 A flock of ducks approach a Clearwater County lake on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
17 Winnie, a 10-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever, shakes off some water on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. Winnie is specially bred for hunting in cold water, tireless, and keen to run off as soon as a bird was shot to fetch it. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
18 Winnie delivers a wood duck she retrieved from the lake to Ole Larson on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
19 Winnie returns from the lake with another duck on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season, in Clearwater County. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
20 Winnie, the well-trained and experienced Chesapeake retriever, watches the horizon for incoming ducks on a Clearwater County lake on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
21 After imitating a duck call, Ole Anderson listens for a response in the distance on a lake in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
22 A flock of mallards flies over a Clearwater County lake on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
23 John Larson watches the horizon for ducks he hears calling in the distance on a lake in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
24 Trumpeter swans fly away from the noise of gunshots on a crisp morning in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. They're protected and cannot be hunted. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
25 After several hours tirelessly searching for and retrieving ducks, Winnie receives some appreciation from her owner Ole Anderson on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season, in Clearwater County, Minn. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
26 Winnie looks almost disappointed after Larson and Anderson decide to call it a day after only a few ducks showed up in the first two hours after the official opening of the waterfowl hunting season on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Clearwater County, Minn. No more gunshots were heard from a nearby hunting party nearby, either. Silence returned to the lake. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
27 Ole Anderson retrieves decoys from a Clearwater County lake on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
28 John Larson (back) and Ole Anderson begin to pick up their decoy ducks and geese from a Clearwater County, Minn., lake on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. They have been hunting together since the early 2000s. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
29 Picking up the ducks they shot on the first day of the waterfowl hunting season, both Ole Anderson (right) and John Larson discuss whether they will return the next day, hoping for more ducks and geese to be around. They were out hunting on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season, at a lake in Clearwater County, Minn. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
30 One of the six wood ducks Ole Anderson shot at a lake in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
31 With the ducks he shot strung over his shoulder, two decoy geese in his hands, and Winnie following him though the forest, Ole Anderson returns to where he parked his ATV in the dark before sunrise in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
32 Winnie the Chesapeake Bay retriever and John Larson try to make themselves comfortable in the ATV driven by Ole Anderson as they return home together after several hours of hunting in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
33 A blue-winged teal, a mallard and several wood ducks hang from the porch of Ole Anderson's home surrounded by a big collection of decoys arranged under the roof in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
34 Refueling after hours of hunting earlier in the day: Ole Anderson (left) and John Larson have breakfast together at Anderson's home in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season. Anderson met Larson 21 years ago on his first day of teaching biology, when Larson was one of his first students. Years later, Larson has not only helped him build his log home, but also two barns, a root cellar, and a sugar shack. 
Minnesota duck hunting season opens
35 A hunter's still life with waders, decoys, ducks, and dogs, as seen in Clearwater County, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, the opening day of Minnesota's waterfowl hunting season.