Wildlife Management

Nesting eagle at Bearhead Lake State Park, near Ely

Apple Valley

Region: Metro
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Phone: (952) 431-9320 or (800) 366-7811
Fax: (952) 431-9300
E-mail: educate@mnzoo.org
Website: www.mnzoo.org
Tour Focus: Zoo Guided Tours – Join a naturalist on a fun and informative tour through the Tropics, Minnesota, Russia’s Grizzly Coast, the Northern Trail, or our Aquariums. These tours provide insight into animal behavior, animal management and conservation, and provide insider info on the zoo animals. These hour-long tours include time on the public walkway, as well as an opportunity to travel behind-the-scenes. Tours are available year-round and must be scheduled a minimum of two weeks in advance.
Group Size: up to 20 participants
Cost: Tours are $8/person (minimum $80), plus applicable zoo admission.
Availability: Year-round, must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance
Tour Guide: Zoo Naturalist


Region: Southern
J.C. Hormel Nature Center
1304 NE 21st Street
Austin, MN 55912
Phone: (507) 437-7519
Fax: (507) 437-8246
Tour Focus: On this tour, learn about the natural history of area woods, prairie, and wildlife. We also have an interpretive center with naturalists and hands-on exhibits.
Group Size: 10 minimum, 150 maximum
Cost: $2/person, school field trips are $3-$5/person. Visitor center and trails are free!
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: guided


Region: Metro
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
3815 American Blvd East
Bloomington, MN 55425
Phone: (952) 854-5900
Fax: (612) 725-3279
Website: www.fws.gove/Midwest/minnesotavalley
Tour Focus: This tour focuses on wildlife and habitat.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: free
Availability: year-round
Tour Guide: self-guided


Region: Northeast
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
P.O. Box 3006
Duluth, MN 55803
Contact: Janelle Long
Phone: (218) 428-6209
E-mail: mail@hawkridge.org
Website: www.hawkridge.org
Tour Focus: On this tour, learn all about bird banding and fall migration.
Group Size: no limit
Cost: Free for Hawk Ridge members, TBD for non-members
Availability: check websites
Tour Guide: guided by staff


Region: Northeast
French River Fish Hatchery
5357 North Shore Drive
Duluth, MN 55804
Contact: Pam Hetland
Phone: (218) 525-0852
Fax: (218) 525-0866
E-mail: Pam.Hetland@DNR.state.mn.us
Tour Focus: Get informed at the visitor center and view a video of operations, as well as yearling rainbow trout and the nursery.
Group Size: call
Cost: free
Availability: By appointment. NOTE: tours not available during 2008 due to construction. Please call for availability in 2009.
Tour Guide: self-guided


Region: Northeast
International Wolf Center
1396 Highway 169
Ely, MN 55731
Phone: (218) 365-4695
Fax: (218) 365-3318
Website: www.wolf.org
Tour Focus: The Wolf Center has a Wolves and Humans exhibit, Little Wolf exhibit, and a resident wolf pack in a natural setting, as well as daily programs.
Group Size: 15 minimum, 100 maximum
Cost: $8.50/12-64 years, $7.50/65 and older, $4.50/3-12 years
Availability: Daily programming, large groups require reservations.
Tour Guide: Guided and self-guided tours are available


Region: Northeast
North American Bear Center
1926 Highway 169
Ely, Minnesota
Phone: (218) 365-7879 or (877) 365-7879
E-mail: info@bearstudy.org
Website: www.bear.org
Tour Focus: Numerous programs offered about bear species, habits, etc. Tour behind the scenes of the Bear Center with a guide to learn how and what the bears are fed. You will see the fores they roam in and where they sleep and rest when they are out of site. This includes a walk along the outside of the bear enclosure and a look at each bear den. (cost $10.00 per person plus admission).
Group Size: 15 or more  with 24 hour notice
Cost: $9.50/adults and teens, $8.50/seniors (65+), children 3-12 $5.50 , call for group rates for 15 or more
Availability: May 1 to Oct 19 daily.Feb, March and April Friday and Sat only. Oct 20 thru Nov, Friday and Sat only. Closed in Dec, Jan EXCEPT for groups by apt.
Tour Guide: Bear Curator or staff member


Region: Southern
Money Creek Buffalo Ranch
32488 Cody Drive
Houston, MN 55943
Contact: Valerie Shannon
Phone: (507) 896-2345
Fax: (507) 896-2284
E-mail: sales@buffalogal.com
Website: www.buffalogal.com
Tour Focus: See the 200+ Bison herd and the cute orange calves. See the very rare White Buffalo Cow and Bull. Visit with Cody the Buffalo II for photo opportunities. Some tour groups will be able to take their bus right into the pasture for an up close and personal experience with North Americas largest land animal. Tour the facilities, Cody's Mercantile Shop, and Take Home Meat Shop where our internet orders are shipped direct to the consumer for Pasture to Plate service. Also, tour the 100+ Wild Russian Boars living in natural herds and very exciting to see. The Boar meat is also available to ship or take home.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: $6-10/person
Availability: by appointment, late spring-early fall
Tour Guide: guided


Region: Southern
Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
28097 Goodview Drive
Lanesboro, MN 55949
Phone: (507) 467-2437
E-mail: groups@eagle-bluff.org
Website: www.eagle-bluff.org
Tour Focus: Naturalist programs are large-group presentations designed to inform and entertain. Each group leader communicates with Eagle Bluff staff to customize their own unique experience. No matter what you are planning they will work to help you plan to perfection. See http://www.eagle-bluff.org/classes.html for information on presentations offered for groups touring through the area. Popular to groups is Eagle Bluffs Raptor Presentation: live raptors will be featured including a Barred owl, Red-tailed hawk, and an American kestrel. Natural history information and the importance of raptors in a healthy ecosystem will be covered.
Group Size: no maximum, no minimum
Cost: varies on participant program
Availability: year-round
Tour Guide: guided


Region: Southern
Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery
23789 Grosbeak Rd
Lanesboro, MN 55949
Phone: (507) 467-3771
Tour Focus: This facility is one of five state cold water hatcheries managed by the Minnesota DNR, raising trout to increase fishing opportunity in area lakes and streams. Group tours are welcome. Guided tour are available to groups by reservation.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: free
Availability: year-round
Tour Guide: DNR staff

Middle River

Region: Northwest
Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge
22996 290th Street NE
Middle River, MN 56737
Contact: Gary Tischer
Phone: (218) 449-4115
E-mail: agassiz@fws.gov
Website: www.fws.gov/midwest/agassiz
Tour Focus: This 61.500-acre wildlife refuge is home to hundreds of species of wildlife, including one of the largest Franklins gill colony in the lower 48 states. Other wildlife includes: Moose, wolves, geese, duck, bitterns, cranes. There are also interpretive programs with field days and public volunteer banding programs for visitors to see.
Group Size: 10 minimum, no maximum
Cost: free
Availability: May-Oct
Tour Guide: guided by appointment, self-guided


Region: Metro
Eastman Nature Center
13551 Elm Creek Road
Osseo, MN 55369
Contact: Lee Ann Landstrom
Phone: (763) 694-7700
Fax: (763) 420-4477
Website: www.ThreeRiversParks.org
Tour Focus: The tour focuses on nature, the environment, birds, plants, insects, water quality, and hands-on and outdoor activities.
Group Size: 5 minimum; 100 maximum
Cost: Free Parking
Availability: year round
Tour Guide: naturalists, by appointment


Region: Northeast
Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary
P.O. Box 77
Orr, MN 55771
Contact: Gina Mankus, Carolyn Malcolm
Phone: (218) 757-0172
Fax: (218) 757-0179
E-mail: bears@americanbear.org
Website: www.americanbear.org
Tour Focus: Learn about wild black bears and watch them in their natural habitat. Operated by the American Bear Association.
Group Size: no minimum, 100 maximum
Cost: $7/age 18 and older, $3/6-17 years, 5 and under free,
Availability: By appointment, Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day. Open Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend the Monday of Labor Day Weekend. 5pm until Dusk every day except Mondays (closed).
Tour Guide: trained staff or volunteers


Region: Northwest
Norris Camp/Red Lake Wildlife Management Area
PO Box 100
Roosevelt, MN 56673
Contact: Gretchen Mehmel
Phone: (218) 783-6861
Fax: (218) 783-6832
E-mail: Gretchen.mehmel@dnr.state.mn.us
Tour Focus: On this tour, experience an historic 1930s CCC-WPA work camp, bird watching, hunting, wild flowers viewing, and berry picking.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: free
Availability: year-round
Tour Guide: guided by appointment


Region: Northeast
Audubon Center of the North Woods
54165 Audubon Dr.
P.O. Box 530
Sandstone, MN 55072
Phone: (888) 404-7743
E-mail: audubon1@audubon-center.org
Website: www.audubon-center.org
Tour Focus: This tour focuses on wildlife and environmental education. A nice conference center is also available for use with advance notice.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: varies by program
Tour Guide: guided

St. Paul

Region: Metro
Como Park, Zoo, and Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
St. Paul, MN 55103
Phone: (651) 487-8201
E-mail: comoeducation@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Website: www.comozooconservatory.org
Tour Focus: On this tour you will see our indoor and outdoor exhibits along with a stop in the conservatory. Guided tours also come with a lunch. Make sure to stop at the new Tropical Encounters exhibit and the seasonal Blooming Butterflies exhibit.
Group Size: 10 minimum, no maximum
Cost: free for self-guided tours, guided tours typically begin at $10 per person
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: guided or self-guided

St. Paul

Region: Metro
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota
1920 Fitch Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
Contact: Gail Buhl (Education Program Manager)
Phone: (612) 624-3261
E-mail: gailbuhl@umn.edu
Website: www.TheRaptorCenter.org
Tour Focus: Tours include viewing several raptors in bird enclosures, information about natural history and environmental careers, and presentations by appointment during the week. We are open to the public on weekends. Presentations include a tour as well as a program with live raptors.
Group Size: 0-10 can walk-in, group of 11 or more must call to schedule a tour
Cost: small fee per person, donations are welcome
Availability: year-round, Tue-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat and Sun 12pm-4pm, closed Mondays
Tour Guide: volunteers and staff


Region: Southern
National Eagle Center
50 Pembroke Avenue
Wabasha, MN 55981
Phone: 651-565-4989 or (877) 332-4537
Fax: 651-565-5357
E-mail: info@nationaleaglecenter.org
Website: www.eaglecenter.org
Tour Focus: The best place to see and learn about live eagles is to attend one of the Eagle Educational Programs at the Center. They are free with admission and given several times a day. Call to inquire about private group programs.
Group Size: 10+, call for group rates and special programs
Cost: $6/adults, $5/seniors (65+)
Availability: hours vary by season, call for information
Tour Guide: self-guided or by staff


Region: Southern
Rockie Hill Bison
22627 Buffalo Ridge Rd
Winona, MN 55987
Contact: Dave and Gail Griffin
Phone: (507) 452-8951
E-mail: buffalo@ridge-runner.com
Tour Focus: Visitors' experiences are tailored to each group's interest. Traditional tour includes presentation on the history of bison and today's industry followed by an open wagon ride in the herd's pastures. The group will enjoy this rural adventure while taking in the beautiful river valley view. Gift bags are presented at the tour's conclusion.
Group Size: Can accommodate families to multiple busses
Cost: $5/person
Availability: By appointment only, late May-early October
Tour Guide: owners


Region: Southern
Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge
51 East 4th Street
Winona, MN 55987
Phone: (507) 452-4232
E-mail: uppermississippiriver@fws.gov
Website: http://midwest.fws.gov/UpperMississippiRiver/
Tour Focus: The 261-mile refuge is the longest river refuge in the continental U.S. Refuge programs include forestry management work, waterfowl banding, invertebrate sampling, heron and egret nest counts, and surveys for waterfowl, neotropical migrants, eagles, and marsh and water birds.
Group Size: call for information
Cost: no fee
Availability: with advance notice, educational programs are available to organized groups throughout the year.
Tour Guide: by naturalist