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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Devils Lake Ducks

This sprawling North Dakota lake offers endless public hunting opportunities for freelance waterfowlers
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About Devils Lake

Devils Lake is a bull's-eye for ducks and geese moving south from Canada's prairie provinces. Historically, this vast, natural lake has attracted large numbers of waterfowl. But rising waters have expanded the lake dramatically, increasing the habitat available for waterfowl.

An extended wet cycle has caused Devils Lake to rise more than 30 feet in the past 18 years. The lake's surface area has grown from 45,000 to more than 200,000 acres. Sadly, dozens of farms have been flooded as the water has crept ever higher. Today, a vast complex of shallow wetlands surrounds the original Devils Lake basin. This catastrophe for farmers has been a boon for ducks and geese that pile in when the fall migration begins. The birds are drawn by an abundance of both food and refuge. As a result, waterfowl numbers in and around Devils Lake have increased significantly as the waters have spread.

All this has created a freelance hunter's paradise. North Dakota law states that as the water rises, the land it covers becomes public domain. Boats can be launched in various places, and hunters can explore the seemingly endless marshes and shallow flats. Ducks and geese are where you find them. Dabblers and geese typically feed in grainfields at dawn and return to loaf in nearby marshes midmorning. Find these resting spots and your waterfowl hunter's dreams can come true.
If You Want to Go For information about lodging, restaurants, and other amenities in the Devils Lake area, contact the local tourism bureau by phone at 701-662-4903 or visit its website at devilslakend.com. Waterfowl hunting regulations are posted online at the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov. This site also includes maps of private land enrolled in North Dakota's PLOTS (Private Lands Open To Sportsmen) program, which offers good public waterfowl hunting in the Devils Lake area. 
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