The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will grant just 30 elk licenses this year. Hunters looking to participate in a once-in-lifetime hunt need to apply by Friday, June 11.

The DNR announced that Minnesota's elk seasons will run from late August to mid-October in 2021 and this year’s seasons will be similar to last year’s, which provided hunters with more opportunities to harvest antlerless elk.

Minnesota hunters can choose from three license options: a license for a bull elk; a license for an antlerless elk, which can be a female or a young male; or a license for either a bull or antlerless elk.

The dates for the 2021 Minnesota elk season are:

  • Saturday, Aug. 28, to Sunday, Sept. 5: Five antlerless tags and two either-sex tags will be available in the Kittson central (zone 20) zone.
  • Saturday, Sept. 11, to Sunday, Sept. 19: Five antlerless tags and two either-sex tags will be available in the Kittson central (zone 20) zone and two bull-only tags will be available in the Kittson northeast (zone 30) zone.
  • Saturday, Sept. 25, to Sunday, Oct. 3: Five antlerless tags and two either-sex tags will be available in the Kittson central (zone 20) zone.
  • Saturday, Oct. 9, to Sunday, Oct. 17: Five antlerless tags and two either-sex tags will be available in the Kittson central (zone 20) zone.
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Hunters interested in applying for an elk license must select a season, zone and license type when applying. A lottery will then be conducted for each season, giving hunters who chose an antlerless license better odds of being selected. Complete information on Minnesota elk hunting can be found by following the button below

Keep in mind there is a non-refundable application fee of $5 per hunter. Total license cost for selected applicants is $288. During the application process, Minnesota residents may apply individually or in parties of two:

  • A party of two only receives one elk tag to share and is both individual's once-in-a-lifetime hunt.
  • Elk hunters are required to attend a mandatory pre-hunt orientation meeting the Friday before each hunt.

The DNR uses hunting as the main tool to manage elk populations, with focused harvest of female elk aimed at keeping populations within goal range.

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