MN Hunting Season is Approaching
September 2, 2016
As summer nears its end and the leaves begin to change, the Minnesota Northwoods transforms into a hunter’s haven. We’ll trade in our orange life vests and the 10,000 lakes for blaze orange hunting vests and millions of acres of designated hunting areas.
Ruffed grouse season begins September 17 and even if you aren’t an experienced hunter, small game hunting is a great place to start. The Minnesota Northwoods is full of walking and ATV trails which offer well-distributed timber stands and clear cuts, providing the different aged forest habitats that this popular upland game bird favors.
The ruffed grouse is named for the concealed neck “ruff” of shiny dark feathers that are displayed when a male is trying to capture the attention of a female. They can be heard in the spring “drumming” air under their wings to attract a mate.
In the Minnesota Northwoods there are several Ruffed Grouse Management Areas with walking trails in close proximity to our premiere resorts. The Chippewa National Forest is home to 298 miles of non-motorized trails passing through some of the best grouse habitats around. This is not only a great excuse to hunt, but you’ll get a chance to enjoy the beautiful fall colors, and get some fresh air and exercise for you and your dog. Check out the DNR’s handy hunter walking trail tool to find trails nearest to you.
If you are grouse hunting without a dog, you will still most likely see grouse. The woodland bird feeds on aspen and mountain ash twigs as well as clover leaves, which are found close to the hunting trails. The grouse tend to gravitate toward the trails to eat small rocks and gravel which help digest their mostly green diet.
To ensure the safety of yourself and other hunters, be sure to adhere to the MN Hunting Regulations Handbook and make certain that you are not trespassing on private land. It is required that anyone born after Dec. 31, 1979 obtain a firearm safety certificate to purchase a hunting license in Minnesota. This course can be completed online.
What You’ll Need for Grouse Hunting:
- DNR Firearms safety certificate
- Valid small game hunting license
- .12 or .20 gauge shotgun
- Blaze orange hat and vest
- Good hiking boots
- Dog (optional)
- ATV (optional)
Finding a great public land to hunt can often be a challenge. Luckily, the search is not nearly as difficult as it is in other states for Minnesota hunters. Minnesota boasts well-managed state forests, national forests, state wildlife management areas (WMA), and federal waterfowl production areas (WPAs), all abundant with wildlife.Learn More About Hunting in MN