Bill seeking more wolf study heads to committee

Published 10:23 am Monday, March 10, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Opponents of Minnesota’s wolf hunt will take their case to state lawmakers this week.

The Senate Environment and Energy Committee takes up a bill Tuesday that would require the Department of Natural Resources to conduct an annual wolf census. The DNR would also have to sample public opinion on hunting wolves.

Wolf baiting would be banned within 10 miles of tribal lands, and the DNR would have to produce a map that shows where wolves are a threat to livestock, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

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Maureen Hackett, a member of the anti-hunt group Howling for Wolves, says the DNR needs to collect more data on wolf deaths and how the hunting season affects the overall population.

“Once we get this clear understanding of all these factors, we could talk about a hunt, but until then we would suspend the hunt,” he said. “That’s what we’re asking for.”

The DNR says it already keeps closer track of wolves than most other species.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Foung Hawj, DFL-St. Paul.