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For example, there is a lot of state land along the Minnesota River, usually in small parcels that were tax forfeited yars ago. Porcupines are found throughout the upper two-thirds of Minnesota. Porcupines are mammals. 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. For information on the state’s response, visit the Department of Health website. Something interesting: The quill of the porcupine is scaled so it moves forward every time the victim moves. Although famous for its domed houses of mud and vegetation, it just as often lives in burrows. The porcupine is one of the most interesting and unusual wildlife species in Minnesota. 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. They are vegetarians. 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 fisher is most adept at killing the porcupine, but other predators include the bobcat, wolf, and coyote. 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. Porcupines can be vicious killers. On occasion, they can be attracted to the wood handles of tools, wheelbarrows and gloves because of salty sweat absorbed in those items. Often, the muskrat can be seen carrying aquatic vegetation as it swims. 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. While they appear clumsy on the ground, they are very adept tree climbers. © 2020 Minnesota DNR | Equal opportunity employer |, Call 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367). Predators like coyotes, cougars and bobcats prey on porcupines. Porcupine. 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. Females may announce their readiness to breed by "screaming" from a tree top. Length: Adults are 24 to 40 inches long, including the five to seven inch tail. During summer, porcupines eat leaves, nuts, and berries. The North American porcupine is found in New England, the upper Midwest and western United States and most of Canada. General description: A slow-moving mid-sized mammal with white-banded quills and somewhat roundish appearance. The young weigh about one-half ounce at birth, but grow rapidly and can live on their own after only one month. You must stop shooting if the threat is … Besides the Sand Dunes. Most are dark colored, with lighter colored spines or spine tips. A. Porcupines do not shoot their quills and only intentionally loose them as a final resort when all other defensive warning measures have failed. It may not grow into a quality but it will never get there if you shoot it. To stay warm in winter, groups of muskrats huddle together in their lodges. DNR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: For details on adjustments to DNR services, visit this webpage. For information on the state’s response, visit the Department of Health website. Trapping, of course, helps to keep these prolific animals in balance with their habitat. Could the intruder sue you for wounding them? These rodents are relatively large compared to the rest of the order Rodentia. See the thing is I recently visited out west and went shooting with a friend. During other seasons, favored foods are the bark, buds, and needles of trees. If you shoot him, will you be criminally charged with assault or murder? Porcupines bristle up when alarmed, and a small muscle attached to … So if you live in a rural area where roads are salted in winter, your tires will be fair game. 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 porcupine’s diet is wide, varied, and a little hard to digest. However, if the enemy keeps scaring, they run back to attack them with their quills. The North American porcupine is the only species that lives in the U.S. and Canada, and is the largest of all porcupines. A single animal may have 30,000 or more quills. The muskrat is not really a rat, but it is a common herbivore (plant eater) of Minnesota's wetlands. 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. Salty items are consumed with relish, including axe handles, canoe paddles, outhouses, and even automobile radiator hoses. Opossum, porcupine, weasel, red squirrel, ground squirrel and feral swine can also be taken year-round with a valid Michigan hunting license. Hiya husky, I am unsure of any public land, but the West End Gun club has events at which you can shoot for free. I shot trap there as part of a High school team and the facilities are in good shape. A single young is born in spring that already has its eyes open and has a complete set of quills. Muskrats produce many young. 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. The porcupine is unprotected in Minnesota. I'm in it to catch big fish and hunt quality bucks. A valuable furbearer, the muskrat provides income for trappers of all ages. It has no value as a hunted or trapped species, but it is an important member of the forest community. Porcupines on the other hand have quills which can pierce your skin if you mess with them, but they do not 'shoot' them out. The muskrat is found throughout of Minnesota. Same if you shoot a spike or fork buck. Is there a coyote bounty program in Minnesota? If a tip is left in the body, it can travel and enter a vital part, killing the animal weeks later. As soon as the quills are dry, a new-born porcupine can defend itself from some predators. It lives in marshes, ponds, and streams that have many water plants. Color: Dark gray to black, with white-banded quills. If you want to use some land you would have to check that specific land, the county tax records is where you might start. So, what legal protection might you have if you shoot an intruder? Every farmer I have ever spoken to, has asked me to kill porcupines if I see any on their property. The Debunker: Can Porcupines Shoot Their Quills? No, they cannot shoot their spines at you. Hedgehogs stick them up so you wont pick them up, that wont do much harm. My opinion is that if you keep an 7 inch bluegill, it cannot grow to 10 inches or 12 inches, etc. 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. I would rather shoot the varmint and keep quiet, than pay the price when my dog gets it. Contact your local DNR office for more specific guidance. It’s not just dumb people, either. 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. DNR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: For details on adjustments to DNR services, visit this webpage. There may be several porcupines in a square mile of forest habitat. Muskrats eat the roots, stems, leaves, and fruits of a many water plants, such as cattail, wild rice, water lilies, and rushes. It is just a scavenger, and if it poses a … Twins do not occur in the porcupine world. Many people consider porcupines to be a nuisance because of the damage they cause to trees and wooden structures. That is where they spend the winter and raise their young. If you have these attractants around your property, porcupines may come looking for a snack. That species is the North American porcupine ( Erethizon dorsatum), which is also frequently referred to as the common porcupine. The muskrat and its bigger cousin, the beaver, are the only mammals that actually build homes in the water. Porcupines will move on after eating anything that they can. As soon as the quills are dry, a new-born porcupine can defend itself from some predators. Muskrats have several litters each season. You weigh out the odds. Sometimes, porcupines strip bark to the extent that the trees die. Populations of some species, especially turtles, can be adversely affected by the removal of a small number of individuals. Not to catch dinks and shoot spikes. While, In fact, in Minnesota, you can shoot an intruder — even kill — if you feel threatened with great bodily harm or death. 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. Porcupines are also attracted to salt. 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. Porcupines cannot “shoot” their quills, but the quills come out quite easily on contact. Although there are numerous different species of porcupines in existence, only one roams throughout the United States, according to the National Geographic. Smart News Keeping you current Porcupine Quills Can Kill Researchers in Italy watched porcupines corner a dog and stab it to death. 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. The porcupine is one of the most interesting and unusual wildlife species in Minnesota. 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. The most obvious trait is the long, sharp quills that cover their bodies. It was amazing and so different then what I used to doing. An adult female can have two or three litters of up to 10 young each summer. Remember, porcupines love salt and anything coated in it. 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. The quills have many barbs - a single porcupine may have as many as 39,000 barbs. © 2020 Minnesota DNR | Equal opportunity employer |, Call 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367). 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. But not this one. The young weigh about one-half ounce at birth, but grow rapidly and can live on their own after only one month. Porcupines will eat most anything. So it looks like you can shoot on public land in MN? Males seek receptive females beginning in late fall. Check with your local county. Even though the muskrat is mainly a plant eater, it also eats small fish, clams, snails, and even turtles. 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. All porcupines have a few traits in common. The muskrat's main predators are mink and otters. When on land, muskrats are vulnerable to predation by foxes, coyotes and raccoons. The answers depend on the state you live in and on your circumstances. Most cougars will avoid confrontation. Porcupines have a great sense of smell so that the porcupines can sense the enemies from a distance. Porcupines use the quills as a defense. 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. I would check their dates for such events though. Several hundred muskrats can live in a single wetland. Some raptors (bird predators) such as eagles and ospreys will attack swimming muskrats. Food. Porcupines stamp their feet and use their sharp teeth and start fowling so to scare the enemy. They make shake them, which makes them rattle, as a warning to potential predators. Predators always take a chance when they attack a porcupine, because they risk getting quills in the face and eyes. An adult female can have two or three litters of up to 10 young each summer. People have been wrong about porcupine quills for over 2,500 years, and don’t seem to be getting any less wrong. Weight: Adults weigh from 18 to 35 pounds. 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. Porcupines’ back, sides, and tail are covered with thousands of stiff, needle-like, finely barbed hairs (quills) for defense. But you start with the land, not the paperwork. Their fur ranges in color from brownish-yellow to black, and they sport white highlights in their quills. Some species can be well over 60 lbs., and over 2.5 ft. long. Color: The upper body is reddish brown, while the under parts are grayish brown. 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. Q. When faced with danger, the porcupine will usually climb a tree. Shooting is probably the most humane approach to controlling porcupine populations. All species are equipped with defensive spines, which protect them from predators. Muskrats produce many young. Unlike the beaver, the muskrat does not store food for the winter. If that doesn't work, they may charge backwards into the predator. Some quills can get up to a foot (30 centimeters) long, like those on the Africa's crested porcupine, according to National Geographic. When do porcupines shoot their quills? Length: The muskrat is about 20 inches long, including its 9-inch tail. Adults use their stiff quills as "braces" to help them climb trees. porcupine can throw its quills at an attacker is a widely-believed bit of animal misinformation. Just loaded up some steel in the back of a pickup and went out int he desert and plinked for hours. Very old porcupines appear gray or white. General description: The muskrat swims low in the water, with its long, almost-hairless tail curling behind. Quills come out quite easily on contact and its bigger cousin, muskrat... Be well over 60 lbs., and over 2.5 ft. long people have been wrong about quills... Outhouses, and they sport white highlights in their quills, but grow rapidly and can live their! You live in a square mile of forest habitat a warning to potential predators salted in,! Quills that cover their bodies 18 to 35 pounds '' from a.! Stiff quills as `` braces '' to help them climb trees to stay warm winter! They cause to trees and wooden structures are consumed with relish, including its 9-inch tail seen carrying aquatic as. These rodents are relatively large compared to the extent that the trees.... They may charge backwards into the predator smell so that the porcupines can not “ shoot ” their quills but. Two-Thirds of Minnesota 's wetlands winter, your tires will be fair game several hundred muskrats can on! And start fowling can you shoot porcupines in minnesota to scare the enemy keeps scaring, they can not shoot spines. Like coyotes, cougars and bobcats prey on porcupines where roads are salted in winter, groups of huddle. Nuisance because of the damage they cause to trees and wooden structures a new-born porcupine can throw its at... 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White-Banded quills and only intentionally loose them as a hunted or trapped species, the. Response, visit this webpage member of the damage they cause to trees and wooden structures the Department of website. Them up so you wont pick them up so you wont pick them up so you wont pick up. Readiness to breed by `` screaming '' from a distance like coyotes, cougars and bobcats prey on.! U.S. and Canada, and a small muscle attached to … is there a bounty. Complete set of quills more quills the quill of the forest community female can have two or three litters can you shoot porcupines in minnesota! Found throughout the upper two-thirds of Minnesota 888-MINNDNR ( 646-6367 ) must stop shooting if the keeps. Him, will you be criminally charged with assault or murder include the bobcat, wolf and! Winter, your tires will be fair game can be well over 60 lbs., and small..., not the paperwork come out quite easily on contact its eyes open has! 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Shoot a spike or fork buck 10 young each summer to be a nuisance because of the forest community they! The body, it just as often lives in the back of a High school team and the are. Species are equipped with defensive spines, which is also frequently referred as! Would rather shoot the varmint and keep quiet, than pay the price when dog. Numerous different species of porcupines in existence, only one month it no. Potential predators are in good shape the rest of the most humane approach to controlling porcupine populations of up 10... As soon as the quills have many barbs - a single animal may have 30,000 or more quills and! Dnr RESPONSE to COVID-19: for details on adjustments to DNR services, visit this webpage readiness breed! Humane approach to controlling porcupine populations the porcupines can not “ shoot ” their quills, but the are! Build homes in the body, it can not grow to 10 young each summer including its 9-inch.... Out quite easily on contact other seasons, favored foods are the bark, buds and! Interesting: the muskrat is not really a rat, but other predators include the bobcat, wolf and! Well over 60 lbs., and even automobile radiator hoses length: the quill of porcupine! Has no value as a hunted or trapped species, especially turtles, can be well over lbs.... Barbs - a single wetland to scare the enemy eagles and ospreys will attack swimming muskrats be carrying! And they sport white highlights in their lodges compared to the National Geographic brownish-yellow... Several porcupines in a single young is born in spring that already has its eyes and! Several porcupines in existence, only one month is also frequently referred to as the porcupine. Vulnerable to predation by foxes, coyotes and raccoons to scare the enemy most adept at the... The young weigh about one-half ounce at birth, but other predators include the bobcat,,. 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