Wolf hunting season opposed by 80 percent of DNR survey respondents

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Wikipedia.
The DNR believes there was a concerted effort to oppose the wolf hunting season.
Minnesota's first-ever regulated wolf hunting season is already unpopular with the vast majority of respondents to a Department of Natural Resources survey.

Of the 7,351 who participated in the survey, only 1,542 -- about 20 percent -- supported the hunting season mandated by the Legislature this year, according to Chris Niskanen, spokesman for the DNR.

There is some debate over how legitimately the survey reflects the general population, however. Niskanen says the DNR believes there was a "concerted campaign" by certain groups to mobilize in opposition to the hunting season. The full survey results will be made available next week.

Designed to control the population of the once-endangered gray wolf, the hunting season will begin this November, unpopular or not. According to the DNR, Minnesota is home to about 3,000 gray wolves, up from 750 in the 1950s.

The hunting will be split up into two seasons. The first will coincide with Minnesota's deer hunting season, followed by a late hunting and trapping season.

Six thousand licenses will be granted for the two seasons -- 3,600 for the early season, 2,400 for the late season -- and will cost $30 for Minnesota residents and $250 for out-of-state hunters.

The second wolf hunting season will end January 6, 2013, or when the quota of 400 dead wolves is met, depending on which comes first.

Previous Coverage:

  • Minnesota's wolf hunting season begins November 3
  • Controversial wolf hunting season may debut this year



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    11 comments
    TsullivanMN
    TsullivanMN

    The claims by the DNR that they are obligated by law to have a public take of wolves via trapping and hunting is factually incorrect. Sec. 51. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 97B.645, subdivision 9, actually states "...the commissioner may prescribe open seasons and restrictions for taking gray wolves but must provide opportunity for public comment."  The language that the commissioner "may" have a season clearly indicates choice and does not obligate the DNR to move forward with a public take, it is simply at their discretion as an option. Legally the DNR Commissioner has the authority to propose a hunt or not.  There is no biological reason for a public take of wolves in Minnesota where the wolf population has remained stable for over ten years without human interference in the form of hunting and trapping. Wolves’ numbers do not need to be controlled through human intervention because they control their own populations based on resources available in their territory. Due to wolves’ built in population controls, the Minnesota DNR has not established a maximum population goal for wolves as they do for other species. Deer actually need population controls while wolves do not. Wolves naturally face high rates of mortality, and according to the DNR Wolf Management Plan approximately 35% of adult wolves die each year from starvation, intraspecific strife (territory disputes with other wolves), and human related causes such as poaching and car collisions.  In addition to the mortality sources that have been studied, wolf populations will likely be negatively impacted by a warming climate (parasitic diseases) and the lightened state restrictions on killing wolves. The prudent and responsible action would be to wait and observe these impacts before rushing to a public take via trapping and hunting. While it has been historically low, wolf depredation of livestock is always a concern and we should be focused on supporting our farmers with non-lethal and lethal methods when necessary to control this problem.  The random elimination of wolves via a public take will not effectively manage this problem and may even increase depredation. We should be making every effort to stop wolf trapping and hunting in Minnesota because wolves are worth much more to all of us alive. The DNR states in their own Wolf Management Plan that “Wolves in Minnesota are a keystone ecotourism species, drawing tourists from around the world to come to view wolf tracks, scats, and kill sites, and to hear wild wolves howl.”  According to the Minnesota DNR website, wildlife viewing is a 400 million dollar per year industry in Minnesota and wildlife enthusiasts outnumber hunters 4:1.

    Joe
    Joe

     That's pretty much what I was thinking.

    Wolf48
    Wolf48

    Wolves eat deer right?  I have heard each adult wolf can kill 14 deer per year.  3,000 wolves in MN that means maybe 40,000 deer killed.  How many deer are killed by vehicles on the highway?  I see road kill deer all the time in MN.  I am a life long deer hunter but I am against killing wolves.  Why because they help control our over deer population.  Why is the DNR in favor of a wolf hunting season?  The answer:  they want the some $180,000 to help fund the expense of farmers and ranchers who lose cattle to wolves.  I say always follow the money trail. Trapping wolves in steel leg traps is not humane and should not be part of the wolf hunting season.

    Joe
    Joe

     I hear ya.  It just seems like population management is a bit premature at this time. 

    Joe
    Joe

     It's a good thought, however if they stick to their plan, then less than 7% of the license holders will be allowed to bag one anyway.  You'd need to buy up more than 93% of the available licenses before it started having any impact.

    Ak131209
    Ak131209

    For those who made comments that it makes you sick, cant believe people hunt wolves, & republican legislature? WTF do any of you fish or hunt? Probably not. Conservation is something that needs to be done. If there is no hunt, then the population gets out of control, then deer, moose, rabbits, ect. all die. then they do attack people at very small amount. Most of the folks that are making these posts never have hunted, and should or at least learn something about the sport. Mn is one of the largest walleye managements in the US. How do they achieve this, CONSERVATION. If the population gets too big, then the fish over-take the lake. I do agree that if the DNR want's only 400 wolves taken, then allow 400-450 permits. Do any of you folks remember when the DNR stop deer hunting for a year because of low numbers. The population exploded, then there were numerous deaths because more of the deer were running out in the road and getting hit by cars.

    Ben Overmyer
    Ben Overmyer

    I'm tempted to buy a license just to prevent someone who'd actually use it from getting it.

    Dave2
    Dave2

    How does this work: six thousand licenses at thirty bucks apiece, but only good for a total of 400 wolves? Do you get your money back if you haven't shot your wolf before the 400 mark is reached? If you don't get your money back, is that honest? Seems like if they are only going to allow 400 wolves they should only sell 400 licenses. …But then, why are we shooting wolves anyway?How will the DNR know when to turn off the hunt? What if hunters are in at their camps and don't come out with their dead wolves till the deer season is over? How many dead and wasted wolves will accumulate between reaching the 400 mark and the DNR getting hunters to stop hunting. And even if they know that the quota has been reached, Minnesota deer hunters are not famous for self-control in deciding whether to shoot or not. Boy, if this isn't a sickening example of a Republican legislature trying desperately to gain revenue without whispering that ugly unutterable, ...taxes.  Calling this bill a fumbling fiasco would be a compliment. And it doesn't even raise the question of why we needed a wolf hunting season anyway?

    Paul LaGiglio
    Paul LaGiglio

    I hear ya...preventative measures are never a good idea...  If the DNR is willing to allow a hunting season on wolves, the problem is probably about to blow up...I trust that they have a better idea of what is going on than you're average Joe...or Jess...or WTF?...or Chlorogoth.  Just saying...

    Joe
    Joe

     Ummm.... Starvation is one of the biggest reasons there IS a deer hunting season.  Lower the population, more food for the remaining animals.

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