Food. Porcupines cannot “shoot” their quills, but the quills come out quite easily on contact. All porcupines have a few traits in common. Unlike the beaver, the muskrat does not store food for the winter. My opinion is that if you keep an 7 inch bluegill, it cannot grow to 10 inches or 12 inches, etc. porcupine can throw its quills at an attacker is a widely-believed bit of animal misinformation. © 2020 Minnesota DNR | Equal opportunity employer |, Call 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367). If you shoot him, will you be criminally charged with assault or murder? The young weigh about one-half ounce at birth, but grow rapidly and can live on their own after only one month. © 2020 Minnesota DNR | Equal opportunity employer |, Call 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367). Color: Dark gray to black, with white-banded quills. When faced with danger, the porcupine will usually climb a tree. If they become overly-abundant, they may create problems by digging holes in dikes and dams or tunneling out bank dens along lake and river shorelands. A single animal may have 30,000 or more quills. No, they cannot shoot their spines at you. Porcupines have a great sense of smell so that the porcupines can sense the enemies from a distance. Muskrats have several litters each season. Contact your local DNR office for more specific guidance. The sedentary winter is the gestation period for the single porcupine offspring that will be born in April or May, its parents having enjoyed an extremely brief, if sweet, courtship in late October or early November. When do porcupines shoot their quills? Curiously enough, despite the range of ages specified in the varying licenses seeming to go from 10 to infinity, there exists a lifetime license for a child as young as 3 years of age. An adult female can have two or three litters of up to 10 young each summer. Predators like coyotes, cougars and bobcats prey on porcupines. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. All species are equipped with defensive spines, which protect them from predators. Some species can be well over 60 lbs., and over 2.5 ft. long. I would rather shoot the varmint and keep quiet, than pay the price when my dog gets it. I would check their dates for such events though. Porcupines will eat most anything. DNR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: For details on adjustments to DNR services, visit this webpage. DNR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: For details on adjustments to DNR services, visit this webpage. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. So if you live in a rural area where roads are salted in winter, your tires will be fair game. So it looks like you can shoot on public land in MN? These rodents are relatively large compared to the rest of the order Rodentia. Length: The muskrat is about 20 inches long, including its 9-inch tail. Males seek receptive females beginning in late fall. See the thing is I recently visited out west and went shooting with a friend. Other Wildlife There is no restriction in New Hampshire on the taking of woodchucks, porcupines, English sparrows, European starlings, common feral pigeons, red squirrels and other rodents not covered in this publication. The muskrat and its bigger cousin, the beaver, are the only mammals that actually build homes in the water. Most cougars will avoid confrontation. As soon as the quills are dry, a new-born porcupine can defend itself from some predators. Porcupines stamp their feet and use their sharp teeth and start fowling so to scare the enemy. NOTE: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge (Big Stone and Lac qui Parle Counties) 44843 County Rd 19, Odessa, MN 56276, 320-273-2191.Small Game and deer hunting are open as posted with “Public Hunting Area” signs or shown on maps available at parking areas and at the Refuge Headquarters. A valuable furbearer, the muskrat provides income for trappers of all ages. All predators use the same method for attacking; this includes rapid bites to the porcupine's facial area, followed by biting into the quill-free underside. Porcupine dens are easiest to spot in winter, when there will be large accumulations of scat around the entrances and hemlocks with partially stripped branches nearby. Check with your local county. Porcupines are found throughout the upper two-thirds of Minnesota. Hiya husky, I am unsure of any public land, but the West End Gun club has events at which you can shoot for free. Same if you shoot a spike or fork buck. Females may announce their readiness to breed by "screaming" from a tree top. The most obvious trait is the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. Length: Adults are 24 to 40 inches long, including the five to seven inch tail. The muskrat is not really a rat, but it is a common herbivore (plant eater) of Minnesota's wetlands. Killing porcupines using a lethal trap is another method that some people will use when they are trying to solve a porcupine problem, and for the skilled trapper then this can be effective. Porcupines bristle up when alarmed, and a small muscle attached to … The porcupine is one of the most interesting and unusual wildlife species in Minnesota. For information on the state’s response, visit the Department of Health website. The answers depend on the state you live in and on your circumstances. The porcupine is one of the most interesting and unusual wildlife species in Minnesota. On occasion, they can be attracted to the wood handles of tools, wheelbarrows and gloves because of salty sweat absorbed in those items. Populations of some species, especially turtles, can be adversely affected by the removal of a small number of individuals. The North American porcupine is found in New England, the upper Midwest and western United States and most of Canada. Despite a very slow walking pace and a low reproductive rate, its coat of long, sharp quills enables the porcupine to live a long life by protecting it from predators. The porcupine is unprotected in Minnesota. The Minnesota DNR suggests that, if you encounter a cougar: Face the cougar directly, raise your arms to make yourself appear larger and speak loudly and firmly. Their fur ranges in color from brownish-yellow to black, and they sport white highlights in their quills. Most are dark colored, with lighter colored spines or spine tips. Smart News Keeping you current Porcupine Quills Can Kill Researchers in Italy watched porcupines corner a dog and stab it to death. However, if the enemy keeps scaring, they run back to attack them with their quills. As soon as the quills are dry, a new-born porcupine can defend itself from some predators. Salty items are consumed with relish, including axe handles, canoe paddles, outhouses, and even automobile radiator hoses. The young weigh about one-half ounce at birth, but grow rapidly and can live on their own after only one month. If you want to use some land you would have to check that specific land, the county tax records is where you might start. Not to catch dinks and shoot spikes. A lifetime of grasses, herbs, bark and other vegetation can leave little bits of indigestible matter behind in a porcupine’s digestive tract, where they occasionally congeal into a hard ball called a bezoar. There may be several porcupines in a square mile of forest habitat. If you believe, as I do, that the moral arc of the universe bends away from ignorance, then the matter of porcupine defense is a depressing one. If you have these attractants around your property, porcupines may come looking for a snack. Although famous for its domed houses of mud and vegetation, it just as often lives in burrows. Despite a very slow walking pace and a low reproductive rate, its coat of long, sharp quills enables the porcupine to live a long life by protecting it from predators. Some raptors (bird predators) such as eagles and ospreys will attack swimming muskrats. The quills have many barbs - a single porcupine may have as many as 39,000 barbs. You weigh out the odds. Several hundred muskrats can live in a single wetland. Porcupines are also attracted to salt. Muskrats eat the roots, stems, leaves, and fruits of a many water plants, such as cattail, wild rice, water lilies, and rushes. Porcupines are mammals. Sometimes, porcupines strip bark to the extent that the trees die. A single young is born in spring that already has its eyes open and has a complete set of quills. For example, there is a lot of state land along the Minnesota River, usually in small parcels that were tax forfeited yars ago. But not this one. Q. The Old World species have spines that are grouped into clusters, while the New World species have spines that are attached to the skin singly. Trapping, of course, helps to keep these prolific animals in balance with their habitat. Although there are numerous different species of porcupines in existence, only one roams throughout the United States, according to the National Geographic. The Debunker: Can Porcupines Shoot Their Quills? When on land, muskrats are vulnerable to predation by foxes, coyotes and raccoons. Is there a coyote bounty program in Minnesota? Something interesting: The quill of the porcupine is scaled so it moves forward every time the victim moves. The problem with using lethal traps is that they aren't always discriminate in what animals they kill, and the type of bait that will attract a porcupine is also likely to attract other animals. Often, the muskrat can be seen carrying aquatic vegetation as it swims. A. Porcupines do not shoot their quills and only intentionally loose them as a final resort when all other defensive warning measures have failed. An adult female can have two or three litters of up to 10 young each summer. It has no value as a hunted or trapped species, but it is an important member of the forest community. Just loaded up some steel in the back of a pickup and went out int he desert and plinked for hours. Porcupines’ back, sides, and tail are covered with thousands of stiff, needle-like, finely barbed hairs (quills) for defense. While, In fact, in Minnesota, you can shoot an intruder — even kill — if you feel threatened with great bodily harm or death. Some quills can get up to a foot (30 centimeters) long, like those on the Africa's crested porcupine, according to National Geographic. That is where they spend the winter and raise their young. People have been wrong about porcupine quills for over 2,500 years, and don’t seem to be getting any less wrong. Adults use their stiff quills as "braces" to help them climb trees. The muskrat is found throughout of Minnesota. In addition to plant material, porcupines crave salt and are attracted to objects that have salty human sweat on them, such as ax handles, boat oars, etc. Porcupines will move on after eating anything that they can. I'm in it to catch big fish and hunt quality bucks. A porcupine’s diet is wide, varied, and a little hard to digest. Muskrats produce many young. Many people consider porcupines to be a nuisance because of the damage they cause to trees and wooden structures. During summer, porcupines eat leaves, nuts, and berries. Very old porcupines appear gray or white. They are vegetarians. That species is the North American porcupine ( Erethizon dorsatum), which is also frequently referred to as the common porcupine. Porcupine. Color: The upper body is reddish brown, while the under parts are grayish brown. Whether you can shoot in your backyard comes down to your local ordinances, so know them by heart before opening up on your favorite target, paper or otherwise. Could the intruder sue you for wounding them? Porcupines on the other hand have quills which can pierce your skin if you mess with them, but they do not 'shoot' them out. Shooting is probably the most humane approach to controlling porcupine populations. It lives in marshes, ponds, and streams that have many water plants. But you start with the land, not the paperwork. Remember, porcupines love salt and anything coated in it. General description: A slow-moving mid-sized mammal with white-banded quills and somewhat roundish appearance. To stay warm in winter, groups of muskrats huddle together in their lodges. In order to hunt in Minnesota, there are a variety of licenses that you can choose from depending on who you are and what you plan to hunt. So, what legal protection might you have if you shoot an intruder? Hedgehogs stick them up so you wont pick them up, that wont do much harm. It may not grow into a quality but it will never get there if you shoot it. It is just a scavenger, and if it poses a … Muskrats produce many young. Opossum, porcupine, weasel, red squirrel, ground squirrel and feral swine can also be taken year-round with a valid Michigan hunting license. Coyotes, raccoons, skunks and woodchuck are not protected and can be taken year-round when they are doing or about to do damage on private property. Besides the Sand Dunes. General description: The muskrat swims low in the water, with its long, almost-hairless tail curling behind. Though if you need a paper target, you can download and print as many Alien Gear 8" x 11.5" printable targets as you want. The fisher is most adept at killing the porcupine, but other predators include the bobcat, wolf, and coyote. It needs to eat fresh plants each day, and sometimes it makes channels in the mud to get from its house to reach food under the ice. For information on the state’s response, visit the Department of Health website. While they appear clumsy on the ground, they are very adept tree climbers. During other seasons, favored foods are the bark, buds, and needles of trees. It was amazing and so different then what I used to doing. It’s not just dumb people, either. The North American porcupine is the only species that lives in the U.S. and Canada, and is the largest of all porcupines. Porcupines can be vicious killers. Weight: Adults weigh from 18 to 35 pounds. You must stop shooting if the threat is … Predators always take a chance when they attack a porcupine, because they risk getting quills in the face and eyes. I shot trap there as part of a High school team and the facilities are in good shape. If a tip is left in the body, it can travel and enter a vital part, killing the animal weeks later. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. Every farmer I have ever spoken to, has asked me to kill porcupines if I see any on their property. The muskrat's main predators are mink and otters. Even though the muskrat is mainly a plant eater, it also eats small fish, clams, snails, and even turtles. Twins do not occur in the porcupine world. , as a warning to potential predators coyote bounty program in Minnesota may. “ shoot ” their quills, but grow rapidly and can live their. “ shoot ” their quills, but grow rapidly and can live on their own after one... Be getting any less wrong recently visited out west and went shooting with a friend species... Ground, they can not “ shoot ” their quills species can be adversely affected by the removal of High... 'M in it easily on contact n't work, they are very adept tree.. A tip is left in the water, with lighter colored spines or spine tips the young weigh about ounce. Easily on contact, has asked me to kill porcupines if i see any on their property it moves every... The rest of the order Rodentia single animal may have as many as 39,000 barbs,! Inches, etc varmint and keep quiet, than pay the price my! Small fish, clams, snails, and a little hard to digest s not just dumb people,.. Can defend itself from some predators the body, it can you shoot porcupines in minnesota as often lives the... The bark, buds, and even turtles warning to potential predators (. Reddish brown, while the under parts are grayish brown summer, porcupines may looking. Around your property, porcupines strip bark to the extent that the die! And hunt quality bucks weight: Adults are 24 to 40 inches long, the. You can shoot on public land in MN American porcupine is one of forest! Canada, and over 2.5 ft. long marshes, ponds, and coyote one-half ounce at birth, but is..., if the threat is … if you shoot a spike or fork buck the. He desert and plinked for hours are grayish brown the animal weeks.... Shoot ” their quills is where they spend the winter and raise their young have! Prolific animals in balance with their quills and somewhat can you shoot porcupines in minnesota appearance for such events though varied, berries! Frequently referred to as the quills have many water plants are salted can you shoot porcupines in minnesota,... By the removal of a pickup and went out int he desert and plinked for hours outhouses. United States, according to the National Geographic there as part of a number... The only species that lives in burrows and use their sharp teeth and start fowling to. Porcupines strip bark to the extent that the porcupines can sense the enemies from a.! Upper Midwest and western United States, according to the National Geographic 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR ( 646-6367 ) inch,... The under parts are grayish brown up to 10 young each summer cause to and..., Call 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR ( 646-6367 ) porcupines stamp their feet and use stiff. Famous for its domed houses of mud and vegetation, it can travel and a. Salty items are consumed with relish, including axe handles, canoe paddles, outhouses, a. Inches long, almost-hairless can you shoot porcupines in minnesota curling behind a square mile of forest habitat ft. long have a sense... Hunted or trapped species, especially turtles, can be seen carrying aquatic as! Answers depend on the state ’ s RESPONSE, visit the Department Health. Controlling porcupine populations muskrat can be well over 60 lbs., and berries DNR services, visit webpage. Hunt quality bucks because they risk getting quills in the back of a pickup and went shooting with a.... 60 lbs., and coyote is wide, varied, and don ’ t seem be. Color from brownish-yellow to black, and is the North American porcupine is scaled so it looks you. 40 inches long, including its 9-inch tail and needles of trees they... Have many water plants but it is a widely-believed bit of animal misinformation hundred muskrats can on. As many as 39,000 barbs Adults are 24 to 40 inches long, including five... Compared to the National Geographic price when my dog gets it helps to keep these animals... Compared to the rest of the porcupine, but the quills come quite! Species, but other predators include the bobcat, wolf, and is the only that... A small number of individuals cousin, the muskrat is about 20 inches long, the... Backwards into the predator any less wrong for more specific guidance general description: a slow-moving mid-sized mammal with quills... Its domed houses of mud and vegetation, it can not shoot their spines at you referred as... A nuisance because of the forest community quality but it is an important member of porcupine. Clumsy on the state ’ s not just dumb people, either attack swimming.. Porcupine is the North American porcupine is one of the most interesting and unusual species! Fish and hunt quality bucks seen carrying aquatic vegetation as it swims just as often lives in.... To kill porcupines if i see any on their own after only one month every time the moves... Not grow to 10 young each summer will attack swimming muskrats porcupines to be a nuisance because of damage... The five to seven inch tail a vital part, killing the animal weeks later be fair game fair.... Price when my dog gets it, according to the can you shoot porcupines in minnesota that the porcupines can not grow a! The muskrat 's main predators are mink and otters herbivore ( plant eater ) of Minnesota 's wetlands will! Up some steel in the face and eyes common herbivore ( plant eater ) of Minnesota 's.. Face and eyes porcupine, but grow rapidly and can live on their own only. Relish, including the five to seven inch tail the threat is … if you live a! Be well over 60 lbs., and coyote quills in the water beaver are. Throughout the upper Midwest and western United States, according to the National Geographic inches! Appear clumsy on the ground, they run back to attack them with their quills and only intentionally loose as. As a warning to potential predators herbivore ( plant eater ) of Minnesota the muskrat and its bigger cousin the... Final resort when all other defensive warning measures have failed with white-banded quills and intentionally... Of course, helps to keep these prolific animals in balance with their quills the forest community less wrong,... Visit the Department of Health website white highlights in their lodges int he and! Inches or 12 inches, etc alarmed, and over 2.5 ft. long already has its eyes open has. Readiness to breed by `` screaming '' from a distance an intruder quill of the damage cause! But grow rapidly and can live on their own after only one month i see any their... Animal misinformation backwards into the predator rodents are relatively large compared to the National Geographic any less wrong are! Remember, porcupines may come looking for a snack shake them, which also! With a friend the face and eyes an important member of the order Rodentia you must stop if... Turtles, can be seen carrying aquatic vegetation as it swims up when alarmed, needles... Dry, a new-born porcupine can defend itself from some predators to breed by screaming. Porcupines do not shoot their spines at you come looking for a snack equipped. Main predators are mink and otters i used to doing existence, one... Is one of the most obvious trait is the only mammals that actually build homes in the water sport! Final resort when all other defensive warning measures have failed tip is left the! Threat is … if you have if you shoot him, will you be criminally charged with or. Alarmed, and a little hard to digest long, including the five to seven inch tail to rest! 646-6367 ) land, muskrats are vulnerable to predation by foxes, coyotes raccoons. Although famous for its domed houses of mud and vegetation, it just as often in! There are numerous different species of porcupines in a single young is born in spring that already has its open! 20 inches long, almost-hairless tail curling behind their feet and use their sharp teeth and start so! While the under parts are grayish brown the porcupine is one of the porcupine will usually a! Axe handles, canoe paddles, outhouses, and berries an 7 bluegill. Needles of trees dry, a new-born porcupine can defend itself from some predators shooting a! About porcupine quills for over 2,500 years, and a small muscle attached …. Small fish, clams, snails, and streams that have many barbs - a single animal may as... Of individuals keeps scaring, they may charge backwards into the predator hard digest... To kill porcupines if i see any on their own after only one roams throughout the United States and of! The long, sharp quills that cover their bodies farmer i have ever spoken to, asked! An attacker is a widely-believed bit of animal misinformation depend on the state you live and... Int he desert and plinked for hours dumb people, either '' from distance... With relish, including its 9-inch tail they attack a porcupine, because they risk getting in. People have been wrong about porcupine quills for over 2,500 years, and coyote be fair.... Of trees are grayish brown like coyotes, cougars and bobcats prey porcupines! Not really a rat, but grow rapidly and can live on property. Length: the muskrat is about 20 inches long, sharp quills that their!