Wildlife and nature viewing tips
How do you find wildlife?
- You can use these tips from "Traveler's Guide to Wildlife in Minnesota". It's a guide to 120 "hotspots" of Minnesota's best wildlife viewing sites.
- We have a mobile Recreation Compass to help you find a place to watch wildlife on the go.
- Plan your wildlife viewing trip with help from Explore Minnesota .
Places you can go to view wildlife
- State Parks
- State Forests
- Scientific and Natural Areas
- Wildlife Management Areas
- National Wildlife Refuges
Try to keep an open mind. Look for any wildlife - not just a particular species - and you won't be disappointed.
Improve your chances
- Bring binoculars, spotting scope or telephoto lens camera.
- Go out at dawn and dusk for the best viewing.
- Be alert, move slowly and quietly. Be patient and don't move in for a closer look. You might spook them.
- Search for tracks in the mud or snow and look for gnawed saplings.
- Look near the edges of forests and fields, pond margins and treetops.
- Do some research before you go and choose the right place to find the species you want to spot.
- Look for species during the season they are most likely to be found.
Respect our land and animals
To protect our state's diversity of plants, animals, and geological features, we encourage you to observe and learn.
- Don't trespass on private property. Ask first before entering.
- Leave pets at home. Pets and wildlife don't mix.
- Leave feathers, eggs, nests or animals where you find them.
- Don't harass, touch or feed animals.
- Be courteous to the other wildlife viewers that you meet.
- Stay safe! Do not approach moose, black bear, rattlesnakes or animals acting strangely. And don't eat or touch plants if you don't absolutely know that they are not dangerous.