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Minnesota hunting licenses are a requirement for all prospective hunters in the state planning on removing wildlife from state lands. Individuals found hunting in public areas without proper hunting permits will be prosecuted and charged with poaching, which carries a number of fines and penalties. To avoid these penalties, hunting enthusiasts should make sure to have a proper hunting license prior to heading out on hunting trips. Each license to hunt is issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, with options for both residential hunting licenses and non resident hunting licenses. Factors that affect both the fee and overall category a hunting license is placed in include the applicant’s age, residency status, the length of the license’s validity period before expiration and the type of animal the license allows hunters to catch. Prior to buying hunting licenses, applicants must first complete the state’s hunter education program. Hunter education programs are conducted by wildlife experts and cover topics such as safe firearm use, wildlife management skills, survival skills and hunting ethics. Once the program is passed, hunters can complete the hunting license application process and buy hunting licenses. Hunters can buy hunting permits from the Department of Natural Resources online, in person or over the phone. Fees for hunting licenses must be paid at the time of application. To learn more about how to get hunting licenses in Minnesota, read the sections outlined below:

  • Types of hunting licenses in Minnesota
  • How to buy hunting licenses in Minnesota
  • Hunter education in Minnesota
  • Replacing Minnesota hunting licenses

What types of hunting licenses are available in Minnesota?

Minnesota hunting licenses are required for all hunting enthusiasts who plan to remove wildlife from state-sanctioned hunting areas. The Department of Natural Resources offers a number of licenses to hunt based on various factors, such as age, residency status, the type of game the applicant plans to hunt and the length of the hunting license’s validity period prior to expiration, among other factors. The wildlife department offers a number of residential hunting license options based on the applicant’s desired animal, including youth, adult, senior and military bear hunting licenses. Other animal-specific hunting licenses include adult and youth deer hunting licenses (with options for military, archery, firearm and combo bonus firearm/archery/muzzleloader).

Other residential hunting permits offered by the Department of Natural Resources include disability hunting permits, disabled veteran licenses, federal duck stamps, lifetime hunting licenses, moose licenses, prairie chicken licenses and sandhill crane permits. Small game hunting licenses are available with both annual and 72-hour validity periods for seniors, adults and youth applicants. The department also offers youth and adult spring and fall turkey hunting licenses.

Available non resident hunting licenses include bear licenses (adult and youth), deer archery licenses, deer bonus firearm/ archery/muzzleloader licenses and deer youth licenses. Non residents can also buy 72-hour, annual and lifetime small game hunting licenses (with youth and adult options), as well as youth or adult spring and fall turkey licenses.

Groups of individuals who are afforded discounts on hunting licenses include senior citizens, former and active military members and fully disabled persons.

How do I purchase hunting licenses in Minnesota?

Hunters can buy hunting licenses from the state wildlife department in a variety of ways. Prior to buying a hunting permit in Minnesota, applicants should know exactly which type of hunting license they would like to purchase and how much the total fees will cost. Additionally, applicants in certain age groups must also complete the state’s hunter education requirements. Once all requirements have been met, the wildlife department allows hunters to purchase hunting licenses in person, online or over the phone.

To buy hunting licenses over the phone, call the Department of Natural Resources licensing hotline and speak to one of the licensing representatives. The licensing hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A small convenience fee is required for all phone orders. To buy hunting licenses in person, visit a Department of Natural Resources authorized licensing agent or the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Central Office in St. Paul. To buy hunting licenses online, visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Online License Sales page.

When completing a hunting license application, applicants will need to provide their name, address, date of birth, driver’s license number and Social Security Number.

Am I required to take any hunting classes to be eligible for a Minnesota hunting license purchase?

All hunting license applicants born after December 31, 1979 need to meet the department’s firearms certification requirements. To meet firearm safety requirements, applicants must complete the firearm safety courses administered by Department of Natural Resources experts. Courses consist of 12 hours of classroom time, where students will learn about a variety of topics including but not limited to:

  • Firearm safe handling.
  • Hunter responsibility.
  • Field experience with a firearm.
  • Wildlife management.
  • Survival skills.

Firearm safety courses typically charge a small fee that may vary depending on the location. The option is also available to take the firearm safety course online. Online students are required to complete an obligatory field day requirement following the completion of the online portion.

How do I replace hunting licenses in Minnesota?

In the event that a hunter is dealing with a lost, stolen or damaged Minnesota hunting license, he or she must complete the hunting license replacement process prior to going on any hunting trips. To replace hunting licenses, hunters must visit an authorized Department of Natural Resources licensing agent or the St. Paul DNR Central Office to apply for a duplicate. Duplicate hunting license fees vary based on the type of license the hunter originally possessed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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