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MN DNR: Opportunities available to hunt elk in Minnesota

May 14, 2024 09:00AM ● By Content Editor

Photo: Jongsun Lee on

From the Minnesota DNR - May 14, 2024

Hunters have through Saturday, June 15, to apply for one of the 10 elk licenses offered this year by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Licenses offered this year include two landowner permits, two 10-year history permits, and six general lottery permits.

Hunters can apply for:

  • One of three available licenses to harvest either a bull or antlerless elk in zone 20’s season A.
  • One of two available licenses to harvest an antlerless elk, which can be a female or a young male, in zone 20’s season B.
  • One of five available licenses to harvest either a bull or antlerless elk in zone 30’s season C.

All three seasons will be conducted from Saturday, Sept. 21, through Sunday, Sept. 29.

There are currently three recognized herds in northwestern Minnesota: Grygla, Kittson Central and Caribou-Vita. The Grygla area zone remains closed to state-licensed elk hunters.

 Image: MN DNR

The DNR is committed to managing elk for specific population goals set in the most recent elk management plan. The reduction in harvestable elk by state hunters reflects our desire to move toward population goals while considering potential harvest by Red Lake Nation Band members.

The reduction also accounts for uncertainty in elk numbers since lack of snow prevented DNR from conducting its aerial elk population survey in 2024.

“We know there are concerns related to crop and fence damage,” said Kelsie LaSharr, DNR elk coordinator. “The DNR will continue to work with tribal nations, local landowners, agricultural producers, legislators, local government officials and state agencies to address those concerns and manage Minnesota’s elk sustainably.”

Hunters must select a season and can apply individually or in parties of two at any license agent, online or by telephone at 888-665-4236. There is a nonrefundable application fee of $5 per hunter.

Two licenses, one in zone 20 and one in zone 30, are reserved for individuals who meet landowner requirements and apply for a license.

Successful hunters must present the animal within 24 hours of harvest for registration and collection of biological samples to screen for diseases or other health-related issues.

More information is available on the DNR’s elk hunting webpage. For more on Minnesota’s elk, visit the DNR’s elk management webpage.

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