There are quite a few animals that can be legally taken year-round in Minnesota. Some of them are because they are nuisance animals, while others are invasive species.

Minnesota DNR Protected Animals VS Unprotected Animals

According to the Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet for 2023-2024, protect animals are all birds and mammals that may be taken as authorized during an established hunting species.

Unprotect animals may be taken at any time with no or very limited regulations.

Those regulations include:

  • no use of artificial lights (with exceptions for coyote and fox)
  • no use of a motor vehicle to chase or run over an animal

Do you need a license to hunt unprotected species?

Neither residents nor nonresidents need a license to hunt unprotected species. Nonresidents may only trap on land they own in Minnesota with nonresident trapping and small game licenses.

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Poisons can only be used when safety is a concern for humans and animals.

If humans or animals are threatened, poison may be used in accordance with state and federal restrictions.

Most hunting in Minnesota is regulated and has seasons.

Remember, hunting in Minnesota is regulated for most species. It's very important that you understand what you are hunting, as some of the unprotected animals may look very similar to protected animals and you may be subject to fines and penalties. For example you can legally hunt the plains pocket gopher, while the Northern Pocket Gopher is a threatened species.

You can find all of the hunting regulations in the pdf brochure from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Animals You Can Hunt Year Round In Minnesota

Gallery Credit: Ken Hayes

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger