Bear hunting

News & notices

2021 application procedure

Information needed to apply for a 2021 bear hunting license now is available. Check out the details needed to submit a lottery application by the May 7 deadline.

See a bear, report a bear

Minnesota's black bear range has been slowly expanding southward and westward. If you see a bear outside of the animal's normal range, report it to the DNR.

Regulations coming in June

Updated bear hunting regulations for the 2021 season should be available on June 1. Until the 2021 regualtions are complete, you can reference last year's version.


Lottery application deadlineMay 7
Winner notificationJune 1
License purchase deadlineAug. 1
Unsold licenses offeredNoon on Aug. 4
Baiting beginsAug. 13
HuntingSept. 1 - Oct. 17


Resident, age 18 and older: $45 (includes fee)
Non-resident, age 18 and older: $231 (includes fee)
Ages 13-17, regardless of residency: $6 (includes fee)
Ages 10-12, regardless of residency: $1 issuing fee

Limits & requirements

Quota areasOne adult bear per licensed hunter; includes permit area 451
No-quota areaOne adult bear per licensed hunter
All areasSuccessful hunters must submit a tooth sample
Don't shoot collared bears


Firearm legal for big game
Bow and arrow legal for big game

Tagging & registration

A person who takes a bear must tag it appropriately before transporting it. The hunter must present the harvested bear for registration at a registration station within 48 hours after taking and obtain a big game possession tag. See complete rules in the tagging and registration section of the bear hunting regulations.

Bait stations

A person may not place bait for bears unless the person has a current year bear license or is operating under the direction of a person with a current year bear license. Registration of all bait stations is required. See complete rules in the bait stations section of the bear hunting regulations.

  • Bear bait registration form [not yet available for 2021]
  • Bear bait registration online [not yet available for 2021]

Guides & outfitters

DNR provides names and contact information for current year licensed bear outfitters when all registrations are complete. This is not an endorsement of any individual on the list. We do not provide referrals or other types of information, and licensure by the state does not mean that the outfitter has been certified as to competence, quality of hunt, success, etc.

Learn to hunt

Do you value strong connections to your outdoors and the food you eat? Are you looking for a new way to interact with the fields, woods, and waters around you?

Then discover September forests with help from our getting started guide to bear hunting.


Hunting is only one aspect of the DNR's effort to manage bear for the public trust. We are committed to socially and ecologically responsive and responsible bear management for the benefit of all Minnesotans now and into the future.