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minnesota department of natural resources

Minnesota Wildlife

Aug. 10, 2023

Stay informed! Here’s a summary of upcoming wildlife and habitat management activities and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

bunch of wild turkeys on a trail

Let’s talk about wildlife!

Wildlife managers with the DNR, whose work improves wildlife habitat and public land access, are inviting you to talk about wildlife in local DNR offices across the state from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17. Local wildlife managers will also be available by phone during these same hours.

Conversation topics can include anything related to wildlife, from wild turkeys to deer population levels, new hunting regulations, wetland restoration that benefits waterfowl, accessibility improvements at wildlife management areas, animal damage issues, and more.

We want to hear from you and are hoping to foster some great connections, so please join and share what’s on your mind about wildlife.

Other topics might include where new properties are to hunt, how pheasants are faring in your area, bird watchers might want to hear about the wetland and prairie restoration projects taking place nearby, staff can share how partnerships with conservation groups can add a multiplier effect to work completed by the DNR, and there are others who might benefit from simply discussing the basics about how to access public land or about what wildlife lives nearby.

To find an area wildlife office location and contact information, visit the DNR website.

two deer hunters in blaze orange in a tree stand

Pheasants Forever, Minnesota DNR join forces to get new hunters into fields and forests

The DNR and Pheasants Forever invite Minnesota hunters to join the Hunter Mentor Challenge and take someone hunting who has never hunted or hasn’t hunted for a few years.

Minnesota hunters who participate will qualify for a discount code for ALPS OutdoorZ brand gear; and after the hunt, they have the chance to win a custom, limited-edition Pheasants Forever hunting backpack from ALPS OutdoorZ.

The program is open to all types of hunting in Minnesota that are legal and in-season — including, but not limited to, pheasants, grouse, waterfowl, deer, squirrels, and wild turkey (applies to fall and spring turkey seasons). Experienced hunters can invite a new hunter of any age, if both participants have the proper license/tag necessary and the mentee has either taken hunter’s safety or has their apprentice hunter validation.

Participation is simple: hunters visit the Minnesota DNR page on the Pheasants Forever website and take the pledge. After taking the pledge, hunters are asked to bring a novice or returning hunter on a hunt during the 2023-24 season and snap a picture or short video during the hunting trip. The last step is to submit contact information, a hunt recap and a photo or video on the submission page to be entered for prize giveaways. All online entries must be received by June 30, 2024.

The DNR has helpful information for new hunters and experienced hunters who would like to share their skills with new hunters. To learn more, visit the DNR take a friend hunting webpage.

a wild rice harvester on the water

Wild rice conditions report posted

Each year we round up wild rice condition reports from DNR area wildlife staff and shallow lakes specialists across the state. The conditions report is available now on the DNR wild rice page.

Wild rice harvesters going out during the upcoming season will find generally good conditions throughout much of Minnesota.

Unusually warm days this spring got plant growth off to a fast start. And generally dry weather meant many rice waters weren’t impacted by rainstorms. Overall rice stands are looking pretty good, though rice stands on some lakes are better than others.

up close on wild rice growing

When is wild rice season?

Wild rice harvesters are allowed to take ripe wild rice each year between Aug. 15 and Sept. 30, but Minnesota’s green rice law makes it illegal to harvest unripe or “green” rice, even within the dates of the harvest season. So although rice beds may look like they are ready, ricers must make sure the grain is ripe and falling easily from the stalk before attempting to harvest it. Check the DNR website for wild rice harvesting regulations.

Twins hat held with the field in the background

Catch this Twins offer

Anyone with a 2023 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can receive a free special edition orange Minnesota Twins logo cap and a ticket discount from the Twins, through a partnership between the Twins and the Minnesota DNR. Upcoming DNR Days at Twins games this season are:

  • Saturday, Aug. 19 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 9 vs. New York Mets, 1:10 p.m.

Promotion details, instructions for purchasing tickets, and information on buying a fishing or hunting license, are available on the Minnesota DNR Days page. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time using our special DNR link to receive this offer.

hunter going out in semi-darkness ahead of a deer hunt

Webinars coming up on cattails, and the 2023 deer season

We have a couple noon webinars coming up that may be of interest.

  • Cattails on Wednesday, Aug. 16, with Amy Schrank, Minnesota Sea Grant Extension Program leader
  • All about the 2023 deer season on Wednesday, Aug. 23, with Todd Froberg, DNR big game program coordinator

The webinars are part of the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series. They’re free and registration is required.

a prairie chicken

Aug. 18 hunt deadlines to know

Reminder here that you have through Friday, Aug. 18, to apply for the:

Get hunting information

Find hunting and trapping regulations, harvest registration, how to contact a conservation officer and information about pursuing a variety of species at the DNR hunting webpage. New to hunting? Check out the DNR learn to hunt guides.

Have Minnesota wildlife or deer hunting photos to share? Upload your photos so we can share them in DNR email updates, social media and our website.