DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

September 21, 2020

Registration open for wolf plan virtual open houses

Registration is open for virtual open houses that will offer opportunities for people to hear about wolves in Minnesota and share their thoughts as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources updates the state’s 20-year-old wolf management plan.

The open houses will include informational presentations from the DNR and allow real-time public input and Q&A. Each open house takes place from 6-8 p.m. and will focus on a particular geographic area.

  • Northwest region - Tuesday, Sept. 29.
  • Central and southern region, including Twin Cities metro area - Tuesday, Oct. 6.
  • Northeast region - Thursday, Oct. 8.

Attendees must register for the open houses on the DNR website and are encouraged submit questions in advance on their registration form.

Members of the public will also be able to share their thoughts about wolf management by commenting on the DNR website from Tuesday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Nov. 1.

Later in the process, the public will have an opportunity to comment on draft updates to the state’s wolf management plan. The DNR anticipates releasing the draft plan for comment later this year.

Waterfowl hunting begins this weekend

Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season opens a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday, Sept. 26. The duck season structure this year is similar to recent years. The waterfowl seasons are based on a federal framework that applies to all states in the Mississippi Flyway. Regulations for waterfowl hunting, including Canada goose, sandhill crane and other migratory bird hunting, are available wherever DNR licenses are sold and on the DNR waterfowl hunting page.

Teach a kid to hunt small game during Take a Kid Hunting Weekend

Getting youth outdoors in pursuit of squirrels, rabbits and other small game is the focus of Take a Kid Hunting Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 26, and Sunday, Sept. 27. During the weekend, adult Minnesota residents accompanied by a youth younger than age 16 may hunt small game without a license, although they must comply with open seasons, limits and other regulations.

Hunting small game is a great way to introduce kids to hunting. Kids learn how to search for game sign, properly handle firearms and access hunting land—all without too much time sitting still and being quiet. Anyone who wants to learn how to hunt can find helpful how-to guides on the DNR website. For more information on small game hunting and hunting regulations, visit the small game hunting page.

Snare breakaway devices required starting Oct. 1

Trappers who use snares need to know about a regulation change that is about to go into effect. Beginning Thursday, Oct. 1, snares capable of taking a wild animal must include a breakaway device that causes the snare loop to disassemble at 350 pounds of pull as measured by a static load test. This applies to all snares, except those set under the ice. Devices that cause the snare loop to disassemble at less than 350 pounds also meet this requirement.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources made this regulation change to prevent the accidental capture of large mammals while continuing to allow the use of snares statewide. Breakaway devices allow large, non-target mammals such as moose, elk, wolves, bears and adult deer to escape when the snare disassembles under high tension. Smaller target animals, such as coyotes, bobcats, and foxes, are not able to break the snare by pulling.

The DNR began discussing this regulation change with state trapping groups and others in 2018. Public input taken by the DNR online in April of 2019 showed strong support for the restrictions, with 58% of respondents supporting the change, 16% opposing it and 26% having no opinion, out of 2,147 responses. More information about breakaway devices is available on the DNR website.