Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Minnesota [No]

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Pigeons are multiplying at a rapid rate in the state. They might not be four-legged creature, but it is still a pest. It destroys property and spreads diseases. So, is it illegal to kill pigeons in Minnesota?  

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in Minnesota. The state allows the shooting and trapping of nuisance pigeon species. But, it is unlawful to harm any Migratory pigeon species. Hunters can hunt the Migratory pigeons in small games.  

Pigeon shooting and hunting have been in practice for years. It is easy as long as you know the rules. Continue reading to learn more about shooting rules in the state. 

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In Minnesota? 

It is illegal to hunt Ring-necked pheasant in Minnesota. The Ring-necked pheasants appear similar to the chicken. They have long legs, plump bodies, and long necks. The tail of the Ring-necked pheasant is long and pointed.  

They have red faces and green necks with white rings. The tail of the male pheasant is copper with thin black bars. But, females have brown tails with paler scaling on the upper and cinnamon on the underparts. 

It is also illegal to hunt Migratory birds off-season. One of the Migratory birds in the state is the Mourning dove. It is a small elegant dove bird with a tiny head and slender tail.  

Mourning doves are light brown to buffy tan all over. They also have black spots on the body and white strips on the wings. It is legal to eat Mourning doves and other pigeons in the state. 

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In Minnesota?

In Minnesota, it is illegal to hunt Ring-necked pheasant. They are endangered pigeon species. The female population is at more risk of going extent than the male. In some states, you can hunt a few male Ring-necked Pheasant, but not in Minnesota. However, if you have found a dead Ring-necked Pheasant, you can eat its meat.  

It is also unlawful to hunt Mourning doves off-season. Mourning doves are part of the Migratory bird treaty act. This treaty was signed between the USA and other foreign countries. The aim of the treaty was to protect migratory birds. However, federal authorities allow the hunting of Mourning doves during small games. Mourning dove hunting season begins September 1st and ends November 29th.  

Plus, Mourning doves are also part of the military services. In the past, they were also known as Mail pigeons or Messenger pigeons. Hunters can eat the Mourning doves harvested in small games. But avoid eating Feral pigeons and Eurasian collared dove meat. 

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In Minnesota State 

The hunting laws in Minnesota are to ensure the safety of wildlife and hunters. Hunting rules are very similar across the USA but can have slight changes according to each state. Below are some laws you must know before pigeon hunting in the state. 

Hunting Education Course 

All people who wish to purchase a hunting license in Minnesota will have to complete a Hunting education course. The course is mandatory for people born on or after December 31, 1979. Students aged eleven and older can take classes online. But, they will have to take physical lessons for field practice days.  

There are separate classes for youth hunters to practice firearms. It is a four-class session and teaches the handling of weapons. It also guides youth hunters on hunting responsibilities and ethics. On the other hand, there are three practice classes for adult hunters. 

On the completion of the hunting course, students must appear in the test. It is an MCQ-based quiz. So, students must achieve an eight percent result to pass the test. 

Hunting License  

In Minnesota, every hunter must have a hunting license. However, it is only valid for a year. So, hunters will have to renew their hunting licenses each year. It depends on the issuing date. People can purchase the hunting license either online or via a wildlife agent.  

Carrying an expired hunting license to the hunting field is a crime. A hunting license can be in any form, either in print or on an electronic device. However, the hunter must have it on the field.  

A hunting license depends on age, residency, and background. People above ten can shoot pigeons in the state. But, youth hunters from 10 to 17 must be under direct guidance from an adult. The adult accompanying the youth hunter must be above 21 and should have a hunting license. Additionally, there is a separate license for senior hunters. 

Migratory Birds 

A migratory pigeon specie in Minnesota is the Mourning dove. It is illegal to harm, kill, shoot, or trade them. Hunting of Mourning dove opens at the beginning of September and ends in November. However, there is a daily bag and possession limit. 

Hunters cannot shoot more than 15 Mourning doves each day and cannot possess more than 45. The daily bag count tells the number of pigeons you can harvest. The possession count means the number of doves you can own. 

Private property 

You cannot shoot pigeons on private property without the landowner’s permission. So, hunting on private land without a permit is a crime and is considered trespassing. Most of the land in Minnesota is private.

Therefore, contact the owner if you plan to go hunting on private land. The permission form is also available online. The property owner, their spouse, children, and tenants can hunt without a permit. 

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In Minnesota State? 

Pigeon hunting and shooting are not difficult when you are through with all the laws. There are laws one must remember while hunting pigeons, like the protected pigeons and the bag count of Migratory pigeons. The pointers below will guide you through all the steps. 

  • Hunters must carry their Hunting licenses and essential permits on the field. The documents can be in print or on any device. 
  • Register for small games to hunt Mourning doves. 
  • Check the website for dove hunting dates. 
  • The hunting time begins thirty minutes before sunrise and ends thirty minutes after sunset. 
  • Wear blaze orange or pink clothing. You can wear a similar vest, cap, and backpack. 
  • Take your safety gear, including a vest and goggles. Also, carry a first aid kit in your backpack.  
  • The legal hunting weapon is shotgun, bow, and archery. 
  • Avoid using decoys, food, and electronic calls to attract Mourning doves onto the field. You can use it for Feral pigeons and Eurasian collared doves.   
  • After hunting, collect all the pigeon harvest. Never leave the dead pigeon on the field. 
  • Separate the harvest in bags according to species. 
  • Inform the bag count and possession limit of the wildlife authorities. 


In Minnesota, it is legal to kill pigeons. They are the cause of disturbance and disease. The easiest way is to shoot them. However, many states don’t allow shooting pigeons. In Minnesota, as long as you have a hunting license, you can shoot Feral pigeons and Eurasian collared doves.  

To hunt Mourning doves, you will need a permit. Mourning doves are migratory pigeons. You can hunt them for a short period with a limited bag count. Additionally, the federal authorities prohibit hunting of Ring-necked pheasant as they are endangered pigeon species.