Buy a wolf license to save a wolf


Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Evidently, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and a majority of the Minnesota Legislature—the parties responsible for ramming a wolf hunting season through the Capitol five years ahead of schedule.

When the federal government removed gray wolves from the endangered and threatened species lists in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in January, the wolf haters ramped up their bloodthirsty lobbying efforts for a 2012 season to start shooting them legally for the first time in Minnesota since the 1970s.

The DNR states that “Minnesotans clearly value wolves. Public opinion surveys and attitudes demonstrated during development of the state’s wolf management plan show people view the animal as ecologically important, scientifically fascinating, aesthetically attractive, recreationally appealing and significant for future generations. Only a small minority fear and dislike wolves or believe Minnesota would be a more desirable place without this apex predator.”

Yet it was that “small minority” that drove the legislature to start killing wolves this year rather than wait five years to see how the population stabilized after federal delisting, as the original plan called for. That same “small minority” has been shooting wolves illegally for decades and is now just looking for cover for their cowardly deeds. It’s one of the few federal crimes that I hear people–including one state lawmaker–openly admit to committing.

‘Pent-up enthusiasm’

DNR Fish & Wildlife Director Ed Boggess told a legislative panel earlier this year: “There’s been a pent-up enthusiasm, a pent-up demand to hunt wolves.” It’s not likely that “enthusiasm” is driven by a sudden popularity of wolf fur among hunters.  And it’s certainly not for their meat.

The wolf season has little to do with protecting farmers from wolf depredation of livestock, either; they already are compensated for those losses. It has equally little to do with population management of wolves. According to the DNR, Minnesota’s wolf population—the largest in the lower 48 states—has remained “relatively stable” at around 3,000 for the past decade without a hunting season.

A total of 6,000 wolf licenses will be made available via lottery (5,400 hunting and 600 trapping/snaring); 95 percent will be sold to residents and 5 percent to nonresidents. A quota of 400 wolves will be allowed to be killed during the season.

So the legal killing of wolves has been signed, sealed and delivered by the State of Minnesota, and the season is set. Nothing more that can be done about it, right?

Well, perhaps.

$34 to save a wolf?

If you’re willing to invest $34, you can buy a chance on saving one wolf’s life. Simply enter the lottery for one of the 6,000 licenses—a $30 wolf license must be purchased to enter the lottery, which costs another $4—and if you win the right to kill a wolf, don’t exercise it.

There’s nothing that requires you to use a wolf license just because you buy one. Since there’s a cap on the number of licenses sold, every license that is won in the lottery but not used reduces the chances that the wolf kill quota set by the DNR will be reached.

Ordinarily, this might be seen as unwise meddling in a scientifically-based hunting season. But there is nothing scientific about this wolf hunting season. It’s a purely political response to satisfy the bloodlust of a vocal minority of wolf haters. A season on wolves is not necessary to maintain a desirable wolf population. In fact, the DNR hasn’t even determined what Minnesota’s maximum wolf population should be, only that it shouldn’t fall below a winter population of 1,600.

So if you think a season on wolves is one of the most idiotic things to come down the pike since a mourning dove season, step right up and invest $34 on a chance to buy a wolf a reprieve from the executioner. It may not stop the jackpine savages from shooting wolves altogether, but at least you’ll get the satisfaction of making them work a little harder to “get their wolf.”

As a deer hunter who knows the value that wolves provide in culling deer herds of their unhealthy numbers, among other benefits for the soul, I plan to do just that.

This post was written by Karl Bremer and originally posted on Ripple in Stillwater.

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Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 05/25/2012 - 11:56 am.

    Minnesota legislature and their Wolf Kill Hype….

    So the Minnesota Wolf Kill is what the legislature came up with in another inane attempt to justify their campaign slogan of creating jobs.
    The hunting beneficiaries and their surrogate mother, the NRA, should all be all smiles as state after state fall victim to this nonsense legislation…all in the name of eliminating this phantom-human predator, the big bad wolf.
    The wolf is there for a purpose…just as is the deer. They take care of themselves…human meddling only screws up nature, as it has many, many times in past years.

  2. Submitted by Lance Groth on 05/25/2012 - 12:52 pm.


    Great plan, I’m going to sign up too. I haven’t been so disgusted and angry about a government action in many years, as I am about this wolf hunt. Even more so that there is a trapping component. People who trap should be obliged to submit to psychiatric testing, in my opinion.

    Thanks for the idea!

  3. Submitted by MIchelle Valadez on 05/25/2012 - 09:26 pm.

    Great idea!

    How do we sign up for the wolf hunting license. I’d buy them all if I could.

  4. Submitted by Tina Wise on 05/27/2012 - 07:47 pm.

    Wolf Hunting License

    It just amazes me that lawmakers came up with this to make Wolf advocates want to buy the license to keep it out of the hunters hands! Someone sitting in a room say “Hey let’s put it out to Wolf Advocates to buy the wolf hunting license”. But the money they make from these license will not go to finding ways for ranchers and farmers to use humane deterent means! It will not go to protect the wolves! It will determine how many hunting license to sell next year!
    We need to remember that wolves were on this land long before humans were, but because we walk on 2 feet and have a mouth! That we can decide what wildlife can live or not live! I just can not believe that we let greed and selfishness dictate the treatment of wildlife! You know there are going to be poachers out there, there always is! What happened to our common sense, nature does compensate with her wildlife….It is called the Darwin theory. But once again a rancher just can’t let it takes it’s own course. They think they have to obliterate them!
    They are to money hungry and power hungry to spend money on Humane deterents. Do I think you are a man by baiting and hunting them down! NO! A real man will take the time to use his head and find other ways! Believe me when I say I am one of many voices of the Wolf and wildlife! We put people in jail for hurting and maiming domestic animals, but an animal with a purpose in our Eco-System is hunted and trapped and cruely treated. I bet if we started putting heavy fines on these people that want wolves killed, for luring and baiting them, then cruely using traps and wires to catch them. That their complaining about the wolf! Let’s use common sense and humanity to find a peaceful way to co-exist!

    Thank You
    Tina Wise

  5. Submitted by Jess Edberg on 05/28/2012 - 10:44 am.

    license purchase

    It is important to note that in order to purchase a wolf license, the legislation states proof that the applicant holds a current or previous-year hunting license will be required to apply for a wolf license (one per person per year).

  6. Submitted by Elanne Palcich on 05/28/2012 - 09:28 pm.

    Howling for Wolves

    For more information on this subject, visit the website
    Environmental groups are afraid to sue on this issue because Sen. Amy Klobuchar has threatened to introduce Federal legislation if there are any more lawsuits regarding protection of the wolf. She is being influenced by the NRA, farmer constituents who may have experienced wolf predation, mining interests who want the wolf delisted so they don’t have to include wolf habitat in their environmental review for mine projects, and northeast Minnesota legislators who are still angry that the Federal govt. gave the BWCAW wilderness status. And there have been some pets lost to wolf predation, though likely a lot more will be lost to traps or wolf hunters.

    I believe people still need to contact the gov. who controls the Commissioner of the DNR, contact the DNR, and elect new state legislators who will undo the state law that was just passed. Also check Howling for Wolves. They ran some really good ads on TV prior to the legislative vote. Maybe we need a continuing public announcement campaign.

  7. Submitted by MARY WOLFE on 05/28/2012 - 10:23 pm.

    wolf license to save a wolf…

    Many pro wolf advocates think this idea may backfire…..much written about it when someone proposed this for Idaho and Montana…..If the state officials see a huge request for wolf tags..they will think it is not only a popular idea to hunt wolves, but a big money maker in revenue for the state by selling wolf tags. You will NOT buy up all the wolf tags…they will keep printing them…they don’t care if they sell 10,000 tags for 400 wolves…it becomes like a lottery…everyone with a tag has a chance to kill a wolf, the rest…well, they had a chance and didn’t succeed. This will also encourage the state to have other hunts for other wildlife.

  8. Submitted by Mark Johnson on 05/30/2012 - 01:26 pm.

    Wolf Hunt, not wolf extermination

    I find the ignorance and bias in the article incredible. A wolf hunt is not an extermination. It is a management tool that has been approved by the federal government and the MN Department of Natural Resources. It is controlled to a max of 400 wolves out of a population of at least 3,000 across the state. Even the most noted wolf researchers and scientists have said it will be of no detriment to the wolf populations and in fact will have beneficial effects. Another fact is that the wolf was delisted from the ESA in 2007 and for approx. 18 months stayed that way in MN until late 2008 when a lawsuit over technicalities gave the court room to order relisting. Wolves have met or exceeded every benchmark of the ESA. We should be celebrating delisting and management being passed back to the states. This is a good thing and another benchmark of success in bringing this apex predator back onto the landscape to stay. If you think a wolf hunt will extinguish the wolf population do your homework and learn the facts. Check with the International Wolf Center, or the Wildlife Science Center, or the DNR, or the USFWS, or check with the Wildlife Divisions of Alaska, Montana, Idaho or the Canadian Provinces. If you are opposed to hunting, that is your choice, but at least be willing to admit to the fact that a wolf hunt is a valid tool of management that not only provides valuable research but also the $500,000 to $1,000,000 annually needed to manage, research and pay for depredations of wolves. There is not one single hunting or farming interest group that wants the wolf desimated. In fact, they are all adamant that proper management and funding of all aspects of wolf management be provided. What they are insisting upon is simply management so the species is maintained but controlled. Last week a wolf crossed the road in front of me near Cromwell. Incredible animal. I’ll fight to keep wolves as part of our landscape just as I will fight to keep deer and loons and chickadees a part of it. I challenge each of us to take a step back and really examine the facts. There is too much inaccurate information being passed in “anti” articles, advertisements and blogs.

    • Submitted by Jim Nordlund on 06/04/2012 - 08:25 am.

      Why is management deemed a foul word?

      Thank you Mr. Johnson. As a resident, having lived through the years of wolves running freely, I am glad to see facts and truths, rather than hype and fairytales! Hunting season will have little to no effect on wolf control or populations! what effects wolf populations are deer herd numbers, Moose numbers, and domestic livestock predation. The Minnesota Moose herd is in a death spiral. Be it disease, parasites, whatever, the moose herd is dwindling fast! This directly impacts wolf numbers! Hunting for 400 wolves will not! With two hard Minnesota winters in a row, (hasn’t happened since the 70’s) the deer population would be severely reduced! That would effect wolf population but not hunting. I see this 400 wolf hunting season as only a symbolic gesture to real wolf management. I believe wolf management, or better terminology would be wolf population control, would need at least a three prong fight! One, a hunting season in areas in the BWCA and Voyagers National Park, to remove and adjust wolf numbers to allow Moose herds to regain a “CHANCE” of survival. Two, wolves moved from game status to varmint status, in farming and agricultural areas. This would allow the domestic livestock, and family pet predation to be handled swiftly and dramatically! Taking out the wolf problem immediately to secure a much needed balance! Third, any persons or groups of people knowingly stopping or allowing wolves to cause harm and supporting their protection, shall be held liable for the damages to personal property, but also to wildlife. Indian reservations, and large block private landowners; knowingly stopping hunting of wolves, would be financially responsible for their damages, if they leave their land ownership boundaries! Management of wolves is good for all wildlife including man. The wolf numbers must be reduced to sustainable yes, but liveable numbers!

    • Submitted by Dave Larsen on 08/27/2012 - 08:57 pm.

      Ditto, and…

      Liberals and “environmentalists” like to ignore the inconvenient facts, thus, making it difficult to have an intelligent conversation or debate. I don’t understand how (most) libs and environmentalists can justify the effort they put into saving the life of an animal, more than the life of an unborn child. Chew on that one for a while…

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/03/2012 - 11:45 am.

    Packs are not herds

    Wolf hunts are not “management”, they just killing wolves. As the article states there’s no evidence that the wolf population is too large in MN, and even needs management. Furthermore, management techniques like hunting don’t work the same for all species. Wolf packs are not like deer or elk herds, they have a very different and intricate social structure, and males do not have horns, so you can’t easily identify what kind of animal you’re killing. Unlike a herd, where the killing of any individual animal has little if any affect, the killing of individuals that live in packs can be devastating to the pack.

    The killing of an alpha male or female in a pack can severely disrupt the entire pack and social structure. The killing of older experienced animals can dramatically change the survivability of the pack, and the survival techniques wolves deploy. For instance if you kill the expert hunters in the pack, the survivors will be more likely to look for easier non-hunted sources of food, i.e. dog food on the back porch, or the dog on back porch, or garbage. The loss of expert hunting skills in a pack actually increases wolf – human contacts, the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to be doing with wolf hunts.

    We don’t hunting license fees to fund wolf management.

  10. Submitted by Steve Johnson on 08/15/2012 - 02:54 pm.

    Wolves are dangerous

    I know a guy that was walking out to his deer stand and got surrounded by a pack of wolves, If it were me I would of started to shoot but he used to like watching wolves and taking pictures of them out in the fields. Now he is buying a license to hunt them. If you have ever been hunting and seen a wolf you know that there are way to many of them. Pretty soon there won’t be any deer because the wolves will have eaten all of the. This is why there are hunting season’s so the population stays where it is supposed to be. I would love to see all these people that want to protect the wolves walk out into a wood’s at night where wolves are present. If there is nothing to fear about them then this shouldn’t be a big deal.

    • Submitted by Linda Camac on 11/05/2012 - 12:11 am.

      not believable…..

      wolves are shy of man and the mere smell of one will send them running…. no fear of not enough deer…example there are over 400,000 elk in the NW..more than ever before….more than before the wolves were reintroduced!!! they just move around more b/c they know wolves are around…Your friend has been watching to many runs of the movie THE GREY…..a complete fictitious portrayal of the true nature of wolves.

  11. Submitted by Linda Camac on 11/05/2012 - 12:06 am.

    don’t buy wolf tags!

    The consensus is don’t buy wolf tags…….first, they won’t run out…they will keep printing more… Wisconsin they sold 10,000 wolf tags for 300 wolves! Plus if they sell a lot of tags, they will think this hunt a grand idea and a revenue maker….will inspire more hunts of other wildlife.

  12. Submitted by Barbara Lofquist on 04/16/2013 - 04:51 pm.

    wolf hunt

    I bought a bird license this year and then a wolf permit. I (of course) did not get a wolf permit. I am sickened by our legislature and the DNR (do nothing right). Their budget must not be supported at all by licensing fees. Put all of the money in the general fund. How about all of the moose the DNR is killing with those ridiculous, clumsy, cumbersome collars? I wonder how many get stuck on trees and brush causing additional stress?

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