Hunting is a long-standing tradition for Cook County visitors and residents because we offer the best deer, grouse and bear hunting in the region, although the epic scenery can be distracting!


The black bear was originally found throughout Minnesota but now lives only in northern woodlands. Bears lead solitary lives except when females are rearing their young, or when they come together for concentrations of food. Adult black bears weigh between 250 and 300 pounds, and coat color may vary from light brown to deep black. They are primarily omnivorous; only about ten percent of their food is animal matter. They love Cook County blueberries.


Minnesota is the top ruffed grouse-producing state in the U.S. No other state harvests as many ruffed grouse each fall or provides as much public hunting land for them. Ruffed grouse are a native woodland bird about the size of a chicken. The bird is noted for its fan-shaped tail marked by a broad, dark band, and a concealed neck ruff, which males puff out during courtship displays. Males also produce the well-known drumming noise by beating their wings in the air, starting slowly as a series of thumps. As the beating speeds up, the sound resembles a drum or engine. The drumming occurs on logs, boulders, tree roots or other elevated sites known as “drumming logs.”


The white-tailed deer is Minnesota’s most popular wildlife species. Each year, approximately 500,000 hunters harvest about 200,000 deer. The adult female weighs about 145 pounds, and males are about 170 – and the heaviest whitetail ever recorded in the US was a 500-pound Minnesota buck. Deer are amazing creatures. They can run at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour and leap over fences eight feet tall.

Good luck to you!

For information about deer, grouse or bear hunting seasons, deadlines for license applications and more, please go to Minnesota DNR.

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