Shooting Pests

Shooting Pests


Citizens of Willmar may obtain a permit to shoot certain pests within the City of Willmar. Commonly referred to as a “pest permit”, this permit only allows a citizen the ability to discharge a firearm within city limits, which is otherwise prohibited under Article 3, Section 10-54(d) for the purpose of shooting an animal designated as a pest. For clarity of law, even with this permit, a citizen still cannot take an animal they “think” is a pest unless the animal is listed as an “unprotected animal”, as designated by Minnesota DNR Statute 97A.015 subd. 53. If the animal is not designated as an “unprotected animal”, the citizen, under DNR rules, will still need to obtain a license from the DNR for the type of animal they wish to shoot and can only shoot it within the timeframe of the allowed hunting season.

To obtain a pest permit application, simply click on this link and download the City of Willmar Application For Permit To Shoot Pests on Private Property or call or stop by the Willmar Police Department, Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 2201 23rd St NE, Willmar, telephone No. (320) 214-6700, ext. 3999, and they will mail an application to you. There are no costs for the permit itself or for processing the permit. Once the permit application is completed, it can be mailed to the above address, where it will be submitted to the Chief of Police for review and final approval, and mailed back to you.

A person may obtain a permit on behalf of a corporation or business. They may also obtain a permit to shoot on another person's property, after obtaining the property owner's signature.

Once a permit has been obtained, a citizen can shoot pests with the following additional restrictions:

  • Only a pellet gun or a .22 caliber rifle using birdshot may be used.
  • The permit shall not be granted for more than sixty (60) days.
  • The permit is only applicable to private property.
  • Every applicant shall sign a “hold harmless” agreement indemnifying the City from all claims that result from the discharge of a firearm.
  • When the applicant for the permit is not the property owner, a hold harmless agreement shall also be executed by the property owner.
Municipal Code, Chapter 10, Article III. Discharge of firearms.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Statute.


The Willmar Police Department, in limited circumstances, can supply a live trap for citizen use. 
A live trap can be signed out for no more than one week.  If you would like to request a live trap, call the Police Department at (320) 235-2244.  Citizens requesting the use of a live trap, will need to sign the live trap agreement form, indicating they will be responsible for the disposal of any wild animals caught in the trap.