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Frequently asked questions

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When do hunting seasons open?

Check the hunting seasons page for the most up-to-date list.

When do fishing seasons open?

Check the fishing seasons page for the most up-to-date list.

How do I get a duplicate Firearms Safety Certificate?

Go to any ELS agent and ask for Duplicate Firearms Safety Card, code 998. There is a $3.50 fee for the duplicate.

How do I find information on firearms safety classes?

You can find the current listing of classes in the metro area, as well as statewide listings, on our firearms safety training page. People born after December 31, 1979 are required to take a firearms safety course in order to legally hunt in Minnesota. Minnesota honors firearms safety training taken out of state.

Where can I find a place to hunt?

You can hunt in Minnesota's Wildlife Management Areas, State Forests, National Forests, and some county land. Contact the DNR Information Center for an information packet on where to hunt in Minnesota. Public Recreation Information Maps (PRIM) are available for purchase at the DNR Gift Shop, Minnesota's Book Store, as well as various map stores and sporting goods stores around the state.

When do the fall colors peak?

Fall colors peak at different times, depending on where you are in the state. We've put together a typical peak color page to help guide you.

How long are Minnesota State Parks open?

Minnesota State Parks are open year round. Refer to the individual State Park pages' seasonal updates for available facilities throughout this fall and winter.

How do I make a reservation for State Park campsites and cabins?

Check the Minnesota State Parks reservation information page for the most current details on making reservations in State Parks.

Can I camp in a state forest?

You may camp at a designated campsite or you may camp in other areas of a state forest that are public land with no posted restrictions. Campfires are allowed provided that a fire ring is used and dismantled when you break camp. Living trees may not be cut down, although you may gather dead wood. Finally, the site must be left as it was found; all litter must be carried out. There are 3,200,000 acres of State Forest land to explore. More State Forest camping information

Where can I find bike trail information?

Check out the biking, mountain biking & in-line skating section to find out about biking opportunities on state trails, and in state parks and state forests.

Where can I find river levels for State Water Trails?

The DNR Parks and Trails Division interprets a broad network of river level gauge data for canoeing, kayaking and boating.  Check out Water Trail river level reports and find out more about Water Trails in Minnesota.

Who do I contact for Boundary Waters permits?

The BWCA is operated and managed through Superior National Forest external link. You can call the Superior National Forest with questions, map requests and general information at 218-626-4300. To get permits for the BWCA call Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 or go to the BWCAW reservations Web site.

Where do I find information on trail conditions for recreational motor vehicle riding?

Check the trail conditions page for the current status of roads and trails in state forests. For roads and trails on county or federal land, contact those entities directly.

Where do I find information about ski trail conditions?

Check current trail conditions via the Current Conditions page. Click on a region of the Minnesota map to check the listing of trails in that area. Trail conditions are updated every Thursday after 2:00 p.m.

Are teenagers allowed to operate an ATV or motorcycle?

Youth between the ages of 12 and 16 may operate an ATV or off road motorcycle on public land by obtaining the CD-ROM course from the DNR Information Center, and taking the behind the wheel 4 hour course listed on the ATV safety training webpage. People over age 16 and born after July 1, 1987, must also take the CD-ROM ATV course.

Where can I purchase a cross-country ski permit?

The Great MN Ski Pass can be purchased at all ELS license agents.

Where can I snowshoe?

All Minnesota State Parks and Forests are open and available for snowshoeing. Snowshoe trekkers have the advantage of being able to blaze their own trails in the park or forest and are not confined to a particular area or trail. Please note: Snowshoe activity must be kept off of groomed ski and snowmobile trails. Some state parks have cleared sections of trail for snowshoe use. Call ahead to make sure they have "packed" snowshoe trails if a designated trail is important to you.

What can I do about nuisance animals?

The Living with wildlife section of the Web site outlines more techniques and suggestions for discouraging nuisance animals.

What do I do with an abandoned/injured animal?

Please check the list of permitted wildlife rehabilitators in your area.