Minnesota has two types of bear hunting. Quota and No-Quota. No-Quota allows you to purchase a tag over the counter and harvest two bears. Quota is a lottery system and only one bear is allowed. You have the opportunity to harvest three bears between Quota and No-Quota. Be aware that No-Quota bear hunting may be more difficult because there are typically less bears in these areas. These are two separate hunting licenses and two separate areas to hunt in.
Quota is broken up into Zones. The Zones are a lot like county boundaries laid out by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR). The boundaries are subject to change each year by the MN DNR. The Zones have different harvest limits. The Quota Zones are in the northern portion of Minnesota. The remainder of the state is No-Quota.
You may apply as an individual or up to a group of four.
You will have a first and second choice of Zone to hunt in.
Bear hunting in Minnesota for the Quota Zone is based on Preference Points. You gain preference point by applying each year. It is a good idea to apply each year even if you do not intend to hunt to gain preference points. This is done by applying to Zone 99 (a non-existent Zone).
One example of applying would be there are two in your group who have contacted a guide/outfitter in a particular zone. You would only like to hunt with this guide, so you apply to that zone as your first choice. You make your second choice Zone 99 for preference points because you would rather wait for next year to hunt with that guide if not drawn for the guide’s zone this year. Next year you will have better odds of being drawn.