2. Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota
Within a few hours' drive from the Twin Cities, waterfowlers can gun divers on large glacial lakes, pursue puddle ducks on creeks and sloughs that connect these lakes, or find plenty of both in neighboring North Dakota and South Dakota. "There's public land right outside town but it gets hunted pretty hard, so it's best to be flexible enough to drive a little," says DU regional director John Marks. "Fortunately, we're right next door to the Dakotas, and there are also great places to hunt in western Minnesota."
Just an hour south of Minneapolis–Saint Paul are expansive croplands that draw huge numbers of resident and migratory Canada geese, including true giant Canadas that can tip the scales at well over 10 pounds apiece. "Rochester has some of the best goose hunting in the country. You'll find lots of fields full of birds," Marks adds.