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Minnesota's wolf hunt - success or failure depends on point of view

Early trappers and settlers in Minnesota trapped and hunted them, but Minnesota’s first modern day hunting of the timber wolf brought with it a barrage of criticism from animal rights groups.

Now the obvious question — will there be a 2013 wolf hunting season?

Probably. After all of the howling against the modern wolf hunting and trapping season, bagging a canine specimen proved successful in the three regions of the state open to wolf hunting. This year’s early wolf hunting season coincided with the gun whitetail deer season in early November.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 1, 170 wolves had been taken by hunters and trappers in northwestern Minnesota. That’s 17 shy of the projected 187 wolves the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had predicted.

The DNR established a quota for the 2012 wolf hunting season of 400 statewide, of the state’s estimated 3,000 wolf population.

There were reports of a few glitches in the DNR’s computerized reporting system on New Year’s Day. It seems as though hunters/trappers in northwestern Minnesota were unable to log-in and report. “The problem began Tuesday morning when the DNR website that hunters and trappers are required to check wasn’t posting its running tally of wolves taken in the northwest region of the state — the last region still open,” according the StarTribune. The tally informs hunters and trappers if the quota for wolves killed has been met. Further complications came when a telephonic system that hunters are to check prior to heading out to hunt wolves had a recorded message stating that the seasons was closed.

According to late season (Nov. 24 to Jan. 31) statistics provided by the DNR, 58 wolves were harvested in northeastern Minnesota. The DNR had a target of 56 wolves for the region. Hunters in east central Minnesota reported taking nine wolves. Ten wolves had been the target in that region of the state.

Groups angered the state’s season plan to fight against Minnesota’s wolf hunting/trapping season. Howling for Wolves is such a group and plans to launch a war against continued wolf hunting in Minnesota via the Legislature and the court system.

While that is the right of Howling for Wolves to protest and try to kill wolf hunting in Minnesota, it flies in the face of good conservation and research to do so. Sportsmen and women are the grass root conservationists throughout the United States. They will ensure the continued growth of the wolf pack in this state.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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