Laws for Hunting Bobcats in Minnesota

Are you thinking about hunting bobcats in Minnesota? This article covers many of the fundamental laws you will need to know to get started. It also provides information such as seasons, harvest limits, and required permits for bobcat hunting in Minnesota. It is not a legal document and is not intended to cover all hunting laws and regulations.

Laws for hunting bobcats in Minnesota
Laws for hunting bobcats in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, the bobcat season for the next 3 years runs from 12/17/22 – 01/22/23, 12/16/23 – 01/21/24, and 12/14/24 – 01/19/25. Bobcats may only be hunted North of I-94 and U.S. Highway 10. Hunting hours are 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 after sunset (except 9 a.m. on opening day)—5 bag limit.

Purchase a Minnesota small game license here.

Check out the Minnesota hunting seasons.

If this is your first time hunting bobcats, read this article on three vital tips to a successful bobcat hunt.

Related: What are the laws for hunting coyotes in Minnesota?

Related: What are the laws for hunting fox in Minnesota?

General laws for hunting bobcats in Minnesota.

Electronic callers and decoys. Legal to use for hunting furbearers, as are hand and mouth callers.

While electronic callers are expensive, mouth and hand callers are less pricey but take time to learn how to use.

Read this article and watch the video to learn how to use a closed reed rabbit squealer.

Follow along as call manufacturer Brian Rush shows you three open reed calls you can learn and use today.

You can read about some highly effective but inexpensive ($20) coyotes decoys here.

You can check Amazon’s price list for callers and decoys here.

Suppressors. If you may legally possess one, you may use it for hunting bobcats.

Can I Kill a bobcat on my property in Minnesota?

You can take some animals which are normally protected by Minnesota Statute without a license or permit if they are doing damage. If you are the landowner, manager or occupant of the property where the animal is causing damage, you can take the following animals.

Mammals include:

  • mink
  • squirrels
  • rabbit
  • hare
  • raccoon
  • bobcat

You must notify a Conservation Officer within 24 hours when you take a protected nuisance animal. Find a local Conservation officer.

Other regulations for hunting bobcats in Minnesota.

Hunting while under the influence.

You may not hunt or be afield with a loaded or uncased firearm or an uncased bow while under the influence of a controlled substance or with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher.

Hunter/trapper harassment prohibited

A person may not prevent or disrupt another person from taking or preparing to take a wild animal. A person may not disturb wild animals with the intent to prevent or disrupt another person from hunting.

What should I do if there’s an accidental shooting?

A person who shoots and injures another person with a firearm, or believes that another person might be injured, and any witnesses to a shooting, must immediately investigate the extent of the person’s injuries and give reasonable assistance, including calling law enforcement or medical personnel to the scene.


A person must allow inspection in the field of firearms, licenses, wild animals, motor vehicles, boats, or other conveyances used while taking or transporting wild animals.

Wild animals that are unlawfully taken, bought, sold or possessed may be seized and confiscated. The person may be liable for wildlife restitution in addition to criminal fines.

Personal property such as firearms, traps and archery equipment that were unlawfully used may be seized and confiscated.

Blaze clothing requirements required for bobcat hunting in Minnesota?

Hunter safety is a top priority. Blaze clothing has been found to be one factor that has helped make hunting one of the safest sports/activities.

• All hunters and trappers in the field during the open firearms/muzzleloader deer seasons must display blaze orange or pink on the visible portion of the person’s cap and outer clothing above the waist, excluding sleeves and gloves.

• When no firearms/muzzleloader deer season is open, a person may not take small game unless the visible portion of at least one article of clothing above the waist isblaze orange or pink. See exceptions noted below.

Exceptions: Blaze clothing is not required when no firearms/muzzleloader deer season is open if:

Hunting raccoons and predators (coyote, fox, bobcat). BUT WHY TAKE THE CHANCE?

Trespass laws apply when hunting bobcats in Minnesota.

The trespass law applies to all outdoor recreation, including: hunting, boating, fishing, trapping, hiking, and camping. When taking part in outdoor recreation, you may not enter legally posted land or agricultural land without permission.

Landowners, lessees, or authorized managers need only post their land once a year.

The signs must be placed at intervals of 1,000 feet (500 feet in wooded areas) or signs may be placed at primary corners of each parcel and at access points to the property.

Signs must state “No Trespassing,” or similar words, in 2-inch high letters and have either the signature or the name and telephone number of the landowner, lessee, or manager.

There can be civil or criminal penalties for violation of the trespass laws with maximum fines up to $3,000 and license revocation. All conservation officers and peace officers enforce trespass laws. If you have doubts about whether you may be trespassing on private land, ask the landowner for permission.

A person may not enter legally posted land for outdoor recreation purposes without permission.
• A person may not enter agricultural land for outdoor recreation purposes without permission.
• A person may not remain on or return within one year to any private land for outdoor recreation purposes after being told to leave by the owner, occupant or lessee.

On another person’s private land or a public right-of-way, a person may not discharge a firearm within 500 feet of a building occupied by humans or livestock without written permission of the owner, occupant or lessee of the building. This does not apply to people hunting on their own property.

• A person may hunt from the water, a private shooting preserve, or from public land that is within 500 feet of a building occupied by humans or livestock.
• A person may not discharge a firearm within 500 feet of a corral of one acre or less confining livestock for the purpose of normal livestock holding or sorting operations without permission. This does not apply to persons hunting during an established season on state or local government-owned land that is not road right-of-way.
A person may not take a wild animal on any land where the person is prohibited from lawfully entering by this law. This prohibition includes coyote hunters intentionally running their dogs on posted or agricultural land without permission of the landowner, occupant, or lessee.

• A person on foot may, without permission, enter land that is not posted to retrieve a wounded wild animal that was lawfully shot, but may not remain on the land after being told to leave.

Trespass laws apply for hunting bobcats in Minnesota.

A person on foot may, without permission, enter private land without a firearm to retrieve a hunting dog. After retrieving the dog, the person must immediately leave the premises. This exception does not authorize the taking of the wild animal.
A person on foot may, without permission, enter land that is posted with “Walk-In Access” signs.
Permission is required on agricultural land even if it’s not posted.

Hunters and trappers must always respect private lands. Ask first before entering lands not posted as being open to hunting and trapping.

Notification to stay off private land, authorization to remove a sign posted to prevent trespass, or legal permission to enter private land or to take wild animals near occupied buildings or corrals, may only be given by the owner, occupant, or lessee.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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