DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

February 24, 2020

Turkey hunting licenses on sale March 1
Turkey hunters can buy their licenses for the spring 2020 season starting Sunday, March 1. Licenses may be purchased online, by telephone 888-665-4236 or in person wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Starting this year, hunters can hunt statewide and buy licenses for any time period (A-F) over the counter.

For research purposes, license agents will be asking hunters what permit area they plan to hunt, so hunters are advised to know what permit area they plan to hunt when they buy their license. The information is useful to the DNR in managing the state’s turkey population. Hunters who identify their permit area will not be restricted to that area.

Season dates and hunt rules can be found on the DNR’s turkey hunting page. Permits to hunt the popular Carlos Avery, Mille Lacs and Whitewater wildlife management areas in the A-C time periods are by lottery only for firearms hunters 18 and older.

Time to buy new fishing and hunting licenses
It’s the time of year when hunters and anglers need to buy new fishing and hunting licenses. Minnesota fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 2019 expire Saturday, Feb. 29. Licenses for 2020 are now available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236. All 2020 fishing licenses become effective Sunday, March 1. New licenses are required for 2020 hunting and fishing seasons that continue past Feb. 29. Ice shelter licenses, though, are valid through Thursday, April 30. Anyone who wants to start fishing or hunting can visit the DNR’s learn to fish and learn to hunt pages.

Elk harvest numbers available
The DNR offered a limited number of licenses to hunt elk in 2019, split between two zones in Kittson County: central and northeast. A total of 27 permits were issued consisting of four either-sex; 21 antlerless, and two bulls-only. Hunter success rates were slightly lower than in previous years, with a total of five bulls and 10 antlerless elk harvested. Poor weather conditions likely played a role in the lowered success during the 2019 season. Hunting elk in Minnesota is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and Minnesota’s herds have drawn nationwide attention for their trophy-sized bulls. Learn more about elk in Minnesota at the DNR’s elk management page.