Explore the outdoors this winter by hunting Minnesota small game
Hunting pheasants, ruffed grouse, squirrels or rabbits offers opportunities to enjoy the Minnesota outdoors as temperatures fall and snow blankets the landscape.
- Pheasants: Hunting season is open through Jan. 1, 2023. On Dec. 1, the daily bag limit increased to three roosters, with a possession limit of nine roosters. The best places to find pheasants at this time of year are in tall grass or cattail marshes. Hunters should remember to exercise caution around thin ice.
- Grouse: Hunting season is open through Jan. 1, 2023. Wintertime grouse hunters may find success during the “golden hour,” which is the last hour before sunset, when ruffed grouse move out of their snow roosts to feed.
- Squirrels: Hunting season is open through Feb. 28, 2023. Winter is breeding season for squirrels, which means they are active and easier to find.
- Rabbits: Hunting season is open through Feb. 28, 2023. Hunters will find the most success around thick cover, such as brush piles, thorn tangles and briars.
Additionally, the DNR invites people interested in rabbit hunting to join an upcoming webinar at noon Wednesday, Dec. 7, when DNR staff will share tips and ideas on how to hunt rabbits, return with delicious table fare, and gain lifelong memories in the process. More information is available on the outdoor skills and stewardship page of the DNR website.