Wolf hunting season opposed by 80 percent of DNR survey respondents
|The DNR believes there was a concerted effort to oppose the wolf hunting season.|
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.