Over the weekend I was out in the woods for the early antlerless deer hunting season. I saw a bunch of animals, squirrels, tree frogs, a chipmunk playing at my feet, cats, a Great Gray Owl, and my favorite, a porcupine.

My family has some hunting land that is the ultimate porcupine hangout. It seems like we see them almost yearly now. As I was sitting in my stand Saturday morning I heard the crunch of leaves underfoot. I was expecting a deer to walk over the hill toward me, but instead, I was greeted by a porcupine.

I didn't mind. He was waddling through the forest taking his sweet time. He sniffed a few logs that were down, stopped for a minute, and then kept right on trucking.

It got me thinking about what it would be like to own one as a pet. I've had the chance to hold a baby porcupine at Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls, and he was really sweet and cute.

Abbey Minke
Abbey Minke
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A Google search on the topic revealed that porcupines are unprotected animals in Minnesota. It has no value as a hunted or trapped species, but it is an important member of the forest community.

Knowing that I went back to Google and followed a link to Unappeal.org/Minnesota:



  • Unprotected birds – English sparrow, starling, cormorant, common pigeon, Eurasian collared dove, chukar partridge, quail except bobwhite, mute swan
  • Unprotected wild animals – wild animals not protected including coyote, plains pocket gopher, porcupines, striped skunk, and unprotected birds except endangered/threatened/special concern

BANS import and export of live coyotes.

  • EXEMPT: authorized under permit

Other unprotected birds and mammals may be taken at any time and in any manner with a few exceptions and may be possessed, bought, sold or transported in any quantity.
(Minnesota Statutes 97B.651)

So based on that information from a state statute, I guess it would be legal to possess a porcupine.

I can only imagine how difficult it would be to properly maintain that kind of creature and ensure that it had a happy and healthy life. I think I'll stick to watching them from my deer stand every fall.

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