Wolf hunting and trapping

Wolves in Minnesota can only be killed in defense of human life.

Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if pets or livestock are threatened, attacked or killed.

Protect all evidence and report depredation incidents to a DNR conservation officer. Use the Conservation Officer Locator and leave a recorded message 24/7.

Late Season Status

Zone Status Harvest Target




Season status also available by calling toll-free 888-706-6367
A zone may close before its target harvest is met to properly limit take

All wolf surplus licenses have been sold out.


Early Season Dates

  • Saturday, Nov. 8, to Sunday, Nov. 23, in Series 100 deer permit areas
  • Saturday, Nov. 8, to Sunday, Nov. 16, in Series 200 deer permit areas
  • Saturday, Nov. 8, to the close of shooting hours on Sunday, Nov. 9, in deer permit areas within the east-central zone

Late Season Dates

  • Saturday, Nov. 29, to Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, in all zones. A zone will close earlier if the harvest target is reached.


  • Firearm or bow and arrow legal for big gameThis is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. Traps and snares allowed for licensed, late-season wolf trappers only. The statewide bag limit is one wolf.

Before hunting each morning, hunters must check season status via:


2014 Wolf Season Map

Minnesota's wolf management zones

View a more detailed map

View important information about wolf management at mndnr.gov/wolves



Wolf ID

Harvest Targets

Wolf site tagHunters must register all wolves by 10 p.m. the day of harvest in order for the DNR to monitor zone-specific harvest levels.

Registration is available via:

Animals must be tagged per the instructions printed on a hunter's wolf license and site tag. Do not field dress.

Radio collars and ear tags must be retained and turned into DNR at the time of carcass and pelt inspection, which occurs after the season in a particular wolf zone closes.

Hunters must skin the animal before bringing in for inspection. Pelt and carcass must be brought to inspection.

Hunters may not party hunt for wolves; possess the site tag of another wolf hunter or trapper; or use a dog or a horse to take a wolf while hunting or trapping.

Questions should be directed to an area wildlife office.

Hunters should bring wolves in for inspection as soon as possible after wolf harvest registration to one of the scheduled wolf carcass inspection locations or to a DNR wildlife office by scheduling an appointment. For a hunter to receive a wolf fur registration tag, which is required in addition to wolf harvest registration, and for DNR to collect biological information on wolves harvested during the season, wolves must be brought in for carcass inspection by a DNR wildlife manger or designee.

A hunter must:

  • Keep the pelt and carcass covered and stored in a vehicle until you've visited the reception area of the wildlife office and have been directed to the appropriate inspection location.
  • Wolves should not be field dressed like a deer. Wildlife managers will be collecting samples from the abdominal cavity for data collection. For pelt preservation, skin the animal as soon as possible after wolf harvest registration.
  • Skin the animal before arriving and present both the pelt and the carcass.
  • Keep evidence of sex attached to the pelt for data collection and population monitoring.
  • Retain any radio collars or ear tags and return them at the time of inspection.
  • To speed up wolf inspection, complete the inspection form This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. before arriving for a designated or scheduled wolf inspection.

Plastic tags supplied by the wildlife manager or designee must remain affixed to the raw pelt until the pelt is tanned or mounted. Tanning a wolf pelt does not eliminate the need for carcass inspection of a wolf.

A hunter or trapper is responsible for carcass disposal following inspection. Remember the following when disposing of the carcass:

  • The disposal or abandonment of a wolf carcass within a wildlife management area is prohibited
  • Dumping a wolf carcass on public land is considered littering
  • Carcasses may be disposed of in an appropriate trash container, at the local landfill, on the hunter's land or on private land with permission of land owner

Questions should be directed to an area wildlife office.

Know Your Target

Map of Minnesota's wolf rangeHunters can legally take coyotes in Minnesota and may misidentify a coyote as a wolf while wolf hunting. Make sure the animal you take is a wolf prior to wolf harvest registration. Wolves and coyotes are closely related but are well distinguished by their difference in size and physical characteristics.

Gray wolf (Canis lupus) or timber wolf: Height – 30 inches average; Length – 5½ feet; Weight – 50-110 pounds; Color – shades of gray or tan, sometimes black, rarely white.

Gray wolf Wolf track 4½ inches long
3½ inches wide          

Coyote (Canis latrans) or brush wolf: Height – 18 inches maximum; Length – 3 feet; Weight – 25-35 pounds; Color – all shades of gray, tan, buff, black or white (very rare).

Coyote Wolf track 2½ inches long
1½ inches wide          

Target harvests have been established in each of the state's three wolf hunting zones. If a target harvest is achieved, hunting and trapping will be closed in that zone. The statewide target harvest is 250 wolves, which includes all three wolf zones. Zones may close before the season's established target is met to properly limit take.

Wolf Zone All Seasons Harvest Target Early season harvest target
East Central 12 N/A*
Northeast 73 37
Northwest 165 83
Total 250 120
* A two-day season is scheduled in the east-central zone, concluding when legal shooting hours end on Sunday, Nov. 9. The east-central zone target harvest for the early and late seasons combined is 12 wolves.