Minnesota releases wolf hunting, trapping plans

Published 10:38 am Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota will offer 6,000 hunters and trappers a chance at taking 400 wolves when the state holds its first regulated wolf hunting and trapping season this fall, the Department of Natural Resources announced Monday.

The season will start Nov. 3 when the firearms deer season opens. The DNR has proposed splitting the season into two parts: an early wolf hunting-only season coinciding with the deer season, and a late wolf hunting-and-trapping season after the deer season.

“This is a very conservative first step,” Steve Merchant, the DNR’s wildlife programs manager, told reporters on a conference call.

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Minnesota has around 3,000 wolves, and researchers say the population should easily withstand the taking of 400. But Merchant said setting the quota at 400 for now will allow wildlife managers to better gauge hunter and trapper interest and success rates, and allow them to collect data that will help manage the wolf population more effectively in the future.

Licenses will be allocated through a lottery.