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DNR sets wolf hunting seasons with license lottery and 400-wolf quota

Details are final for Minnesota’s first wolf-hunting and -trapping seasons in 38 years.

Early in the session, the Legislature authorized the hunts.

A lottery for 6,000 licenses will be held for two separate seasons, with a total quota of 400 wolves to be taken. There are an estimated 3,000 wolves in the state; the federal government took them off the endangered list last year.

The DNR’s plan:

  • The Early Wolf Season would begin on the opening day of the firearms deer season (Nov. 3) and would continue through the day that the harvest quota is reached or until the end of the deer season. The season will be concurrent with the deer season, and open in that portion of the state where rifles can be used to hunt deer.  Wolves could be taken by firearms or archery only during this season (no trapping).
  • The Late Wolf Season would coincide with the opening of bobcat season (Nov. 24). The season would continue through the day the harvest target is reached or Jan. 6, 2013.
  • The Late Season is open for both hunting and trapping and snaring. Trappers could pursue wolves without purchasing a small game license.
  • A person cannot purchase both a hunting and trapping license.

Two hundred wolves could be taken in the first season; 100 by hunters in the second season and 100 by trappers in the second season.

Shot wolves must be registered by 8 p.m. the day after the kill.

Some opponents to the wolf hunt are floating an idea: apply in the lottery for the $30 license, but don’t use it if you win. But the DNR says wolf license applicants must have a current or previous hunting license, to qualify for the lottery, so that would likely disqualify many protesters.

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