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Recovery of wolf populations is far from over

Thanks to John Fitzgerald for highlighting the positive decision by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to offer fewer wolf licenses this year (“DNR lowers Minnesota wolf-hunt quota”). There has been an alarming decline in Minnesota wolf populations, which is a clear indication of the damage that open hunting seasons can do to a vulnerable population.

The gray wolf was prematurely removed from the list of endangered species in the Great Lakes Region in 2012, and Born Free USA is part of an important lawsuit to restore protection there. Delisting wolves has allowed Great Lakes states, including Minnesota, to implement open trophy hunting seasons that encourage the most inhumane methods of hunting.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has now proposed delisting gray wolves nationwide. As demonstrated by the damage done to wolf populations by hunters in Minnesota, their recovery is far from over and their survival is still precarious. It is risky and irresponsible to play guessing games with hunting quotas when the wolf population clearly cannot sustain such abuse.

I am hopeful that the DNR will retain these lower hunting and trapping quotas so that the crucial conservation efforts that have brought wolves back from the brink of extinction will not be undone.

Kate Dylewsky is a program assistant for Born Free USA.

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Greg Price on 08/05/2013 - 04:59 pm.

    there is no accurate count on wolf numbers…

    Dont know how you can make such an unsupported statement as this. The DNR itself does not have an accurate assesment of wolf numbers. My friend north of Duluth MN can substantate that wolf numbers are up and deer numbers are down in the arrowhead. Has anyone looked at the actual deer harvest in the arrowhead? It has been on the decline since they started playing the “protect the wolf game…”

    Wolves are fine in limited numbers…and the way to limit them is by hunting. Tree hugging organizations like yours do not take the total impact of growing wolf populations into account as to the rest of the environment as well. What would the moose and deer numbers be at if there was a lesser number of wolves. Organizations with unlimited budgets to play the legal game do more hurting than helping what they are actually attempting to represent.

    Sell your wolf tags to the tourists and bring in that outside money… seems like governor Dayton and the rest of the Twin City Hall crowd cares very little about Northern MN residents anyway.

    my $.02

  2. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/06/2013 - 09:17 am.

    North of Duluth

    The deer population north of Duluth has been health and abundant. In 2006 the deer were doing so much damage to the tree saplings that the DNR actually increased the number of hunting permits and allowed more deer kills per permit along the north shore.

    Deer populations fluctuate for a variety of reasons. bias observers always make up their own explanations. Blaming wolves has been a Western tradition for centuries.

  3. Submitted by Joe Smithers on 10/21/2014 - 01:38 pm.


    What will you do when the wolves have eaten most of the deer and you have nothing left to hunt? What will you do when the wolves start to target the livestock you raise when they are unable to find deer or other wild animals to feed on?

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