Wildlife Control

What is a nuisance animal?

Wild animals (not domesticated animals like dogs or cats) that cause property damage are nuisance animals.

What does "taking" mean?

As defined in Minnesota statute, taking is defined as: "...pursuing, shooting, killing, capturing, trapping, snaring, angling, spearing, or netting wild animals, or placing, setting, drawing, or using a net, trap, or other device to take wild animals. Taking includes attempting to take wild animals, and assisting another person in taking wild animals." You can take an animal using any method except poison, artificial lights, or a motor vehicle. The most common methods for taking an animal are by firearm or bow and arrow. Before you take an animal, make sure you check the local laws. In many urban areas or areas regulated by local ordinance, you may be restricted to live trapping.

Do I need a license or permit to take an animal?

You can take some animals which are normally protected by Minnesota Statute without a license or permit if they are doing damage. If you are the landowner, manager or occupant of the property where the animal is causing damage, you can take the following animals.

Mammals include:

  • mink
  • squirrels
  • rabbit
  • hare
  • raccoon
  • bobcat
  • fox
  • muskrat
  • opossum
  • beaver

Birds include:

  • English sparrow
  • starling
  • common pigeon

What is the best method for taking an animal?

Check the list of animals (menu on the left side of this page) for more detailed information on methods for getting rid of specific types of animals.

Should I tell someone when I take an animal?

You must notify a Conservation Officer within 24 hours when you take a protected nuisance animal. Find a local Conservation officer

Squirrels, rabbits and hares can be taken if they are causing damage, and do not need to be reported to a Conservation Officer.

After I take the animal should I destroy it or release it?

Once you catch the animal, you may choose to destroy or relocate it. If you relocate a captured wild animal, make sure you take it 10 to 15 miles away from where it was captured. This helps ensure that it does not return. You must get permission from the governing agency or landowner of the property before releasing the animal. Also, make sure you check the local laws.

What if I still have questions?

If you have questions about taking animals, you should contact the DNR Information Center.

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