Hunting/trapping Rules Changes Listed For Minn. And Wis.

Here’s a summary of regulation changes for this fall’s hunting and trapping seasons. For more details, consult the Minnesota and Wisconsin hunting regulations booklets.


Small game

  • Youth age 15 and under are now required to obtain a free license.
  • Sandhill crane hunt — Minnesota will hold its first modern sandhill crane hunt in several northwestern counties from Sept. 4 to Oct. 10. A sandhill crane permit, but no other license, is required for the hunt.


  • Rules governing use of ATVs and off-highway vehicles during deer season have changed. Hunters must now remain on designated forest roads on public lands during firearms and muzzleloader deer seasons.
  • Hunters may now apply for both firearms and muzzleloader lottery either-sex deer permits.
  • New procedures are in place for registering deer. In many areas, hunters may now register their deer over the phone or on the Internet.
  • An either-sex youth deer seasons runs Oct. 21-24 in the northwest and southeast.
  • Several changes have been made in the Zone 3 deer season.
  • Several boundaries have changed in deer permit areas, including those in Northeastern Minnesota. Hunters should be sure they designate the right area when buying their licenses.


  • New restrictions are in effect for the placement of body-gripping traps in road rights-of-way.
  • New regulations apply to tending weasel boxes.
  • The fisher and pine marten limit is five but may include no more than two fisher.
  • Beaver season will close April 30.
  • New rules apply to staking muskrat houses.
  • The raccoon/fox/badger/opossum trapping season will open Oct. 16 in the north mink/muskrat/beaver/otter zone.
  • New rules are  in effect for reporting incidental take of certain furbearers.



  • No longer is there a three-day waiting period to use an archery license purchased during the open season.
  • Non-residents 65 years and older may use a crossbow for hunting with the appropriate hunting license without a special permit authorizing the crossbow’s use. This provision is the same as residents 65 and older.
  • A four-day antlerless-only deer hunt will be held in all herd-cotnrol and CWD units Oct. 14-17. Another four-day antlerless-only hunt will be held Dec. 9-12 for all units statewide except in state parks and non-quota areas.
  • A two-day youth deer hunt will be held Oct. 9-10.

Small game/trapping

  • The bobcat hunting and trapping season is split between two time periods, and permits are valid for only one of the seasons.
  • Bobcat harvest must be reported within 24 hours.
  • Fall turkey hunting with dogs is allowed statewide.
  • Non-residents 65 years and older may hunt with a crossbow.

2 Responses

    1. Sam Cook

      Tom…Sorry to be a long time in responding. Under state law, it’s legal to trap gray squirrels (Minnesota Hunting Regulations, page 38, asterisk at bottom of small-game chart). However, I don’t know where you live. If you live in a municipality, you’d have to check those regulations before trapping. It might not be legal in town. And if you have neighbors around with pets, you might think about whether you want to place a trap. …Sam

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