News

DNR seeks public input on details of wolf hunt

Brian Larsen

For the first time in more than four decades Minnesota hunters and trappers will be allowed to hunt wolves.

Hunters or trappers will be allowed to take a total of 400 wolves this year, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public comment about details of the upcoming season.

The DNR plan is for the wolf hunt to be divided into two seasons. The early season will begin Saturday, November 3 and coincide with the deer-hunting season. Late hunting and trapping will begin Nov. 24 statewide and close January 6 or earlier if the quota of 400 wolves has been met.

Hunters will be required to check daily to see if the quota has been met.

Early wolf hunting will only be allowed in the northern portions of Minnesota where 3,600 permits will be issued to rifle hunters or bow hunters. Late season hunters and trappers will vie for 2,400 permits, with 600 of those permits going to trappers. The DNR is hoping 200 wolves will be taken in each season.

According to a press release, Steve Merchant, DNR wildlife population program manager, said the DNR is taking a very conservative approach to the first season and will use information learned this year to make improvements or changes to next year’s hunt. Merchant said the goal of the hunt is to ensure the long-term survival of the wolf and to address the conflicts between wolves and humans. So far this year 79 wolves that have killed or harmed farmers' livestock have been taken.

Wolves have been protected under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1974. Before that the state had no management authority over wolves. This is the first time in the state’s history that a wolfhunting season will be held.

Wolf hunting licenses will cost $30 for residents and $250 for non-residents, with non-residents limited to no more than 5 percent of the total hunting licenses sold.

Applications will be available online on or around August 1 and the deadline will be September 6, with online winner notification no later that October 14. Purchases of licenses will end October 15.

Hunters can only take a wolf with a firearm or by bow. A trapper may only take a wolf by trap or snare. Trappers born after 1989 will need to have completed a trapper education certificate to purchase a wolf-trapping permit.

Groups of four may apply as a single group and may assist another licensed wolf hunter but may not shoot or tag for each other.

All wolves taken must be registered the day following the harvest.

To review the complete proposal and participate in the comment period, go to the DNR website: www.mndnr.gov/wolves.


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