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Legislators hear both sides of wolf-hunting issue

With bills advancing in the Legislature to open a hunting season on wolves, some opposition to the plan is surfacing.

With bills advancing in the Legislature to open a hunting season on wolves, some opposition to the plan is surfacing, reports the Fargo Forum.

The current plan is to allo,w the shooting in the area northeast of Brainerd if it appears the wolf is an immediate threat to livestock or domestic animals, but in the rest of the state wolves could be killed at any time for almost any reason, the story said.

But a Senate committee heard this week from some opposed to the hunt, the story said:

Brad Sagen … chairman of Northeast Minnesotans for Wilderness, complained that wolf hunting could drive the animals out of their normal habitats into areas where they usually would not roam.

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Catherine Zimmer of St. Paul, a former Alexandria-area resident, said that hunting wolves hinders her hobby: wildlife watching.

The hunting proposal is possible now that the federal government took the gray wolf off the endangered species list.

There are about 3,000 gray wolves in the state. Hunting and farming interests have supported the hunting bill, which would likely set wolf hunting season to coincide with deer hunting.