Prairie chicken in MN


New member
Hello I am thinking about trying for prairie chickens this fall. Is there populations on management areas/ public access or is it mostly private areas? I know it’s a lottery, but would hate to get lucky and not have any where to try. If you’ve done it any helpful information would be appreciated!
I am a new Minnesota resident. My wife and I moved to Rochester January 2019.

Last fall, my son-in-law drew a prairie chicken permit. I accompanied him on his hunt. Neither of us had ever seen a prairie chicken before. We hunted for 2 days. My dog pointed/flushed 21 prairie chickens and 3 sharptail grouse. My son-in-law shot 2 prairie chickens and one sharptail. It was a great time. We hunted both public and private land. We saw the majority of birds on public land. We never saw another bird hunter. A deer hunter allowed us to hunt his private land after we saw a prairie chicken cross the road from a bean field at midday.

Many of the prairie chicken zones have plenty of public land with excellent habitat. You can use the Minnesota Recreation Compass to identify a good zone to apply. If you draw a permit, you can call the regional biologist/manager. They are very helpful.
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Active member
I have hunted prairie chickens three times in the past 15 years. Probably should apply more often. I preferred the mid October start date vs. the current late September start. Been successful all three times including one time with my oldest son.

First time was the best in that I took two adult male birds in prime condition.

Most any of the areas with a season have huntable populations and ample public land.

One last comment. Both USF&W and MN DNR really need to run prescribed burns on the public land! Too much brush and cedar encroachment!!!!