DNR explains why wolf hunt will expand this season

GreyWolfHowl.jpg
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is upping the number of wolf hunting and trapping licenses available this year to 3,800, an increase of 500 from last year.

Asked why, Dan Stark, a large carnivore specialist for the DNR, cites two factors -- the DNR's most recent estimate of the wolf population, which shows an increase from last year, and the success rate of hunters and trappers trying to nab a wolf.

See also:
Gray wolf advocates to protest DNR over hunting season

First, here's the year-by-year estimate of Minnesota's wolf population:

MNWolfpop.jpg
DNR

And here's a geographical depiction of the size and range wolf packs radio-collared by the DNR for the 2013-14 survey (there are roughly 470 wolf packs in the state as a whole):

WolfPacksGEO.jpg
DNR

Stark says the DNR uses the radio-collared packs "to get estimates of average territory size and the number of wolves in each pack."

"The other portion [of the population estimate] is we estimate the wolf range in Minnesota based on observation of wolves in the northern part of the state, or really anywhere, but mostly it's the northern and central part of the state," he continues, adding that the wolf range "roughly lies north of a line between Hinckley to Little Falls and then up to the northwestern part of the state."

Asked what stood out about this year's wolf population estimate, Stark tells us, "The one difference between this past winter and previous surveys is that pack territory size was smaller than it was the previous winter."

"Instead of averaging about 60 square miles, it was about 50 square miles," Stark continues. "That was the main piece of data that had the most influence on this year's population estimate in regards to why it's different than the previous year."

Shrinking pack territory size could've resulted from the severe winter we experienced in 2013-14, Stark says.

(For more, click to page two.)



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109 comments
la80
la80

Get more facts at Howling for Wolves on the MN recreational/trophy hunt and sign the petition to stop this hunt. Most of the wolves are killed with baiting/snaring/trapping and they're under the age of 2. Did you know that it's illegal to bait deer but not wolves?



http://www.howlingforwolves.org

Dave2
Dave2

The most shameful part of the Minnesota wolf hunt is the snaring, trapping, and hunting over bait. This is not sport, nor is it justifiable or acceptable as a pursuit by hunters of principle. These are the ways of the meat hunter, ways to harvest quarry in a quantity that would otherwise be beyond their capabilities.

Done in a sportsmanlike manner – simply stalking or posting – wolf hunting would be difficult, …and the DNR knows it, that’s why these meritless and cruel methods are allowed. They know that, without them, the wolf kill would be small.

So, the DNR allows these unworthy hunting tactics and we let wolves, an historical part of the wilderness food chain, - that we just spent forty years trying to save - die in agony in the jaws of steel traps and the slicing wires of the snare; ...or not to die, but trapped and helpless, wait to have their skulls crushed by the clubs of their executioners. And then, along with these shameful forms of killing, and to eradicate any aspect of sportsmanship at all, we allow them to be shot over bait. Where is the dignity of the hunter in this?

But we do this so the DNR can boast of a successful hunt and prove, in their own minds, that the hunt was necessary and justified, …and we do it so that the State Legislature and the Governor can feel satisfied that license fees for killing wolves will now be added to state coffers, …and, we do it so that hunters, some of them not worthy of the name, can sport a wolf pelt in their amusement rooms.  

If a wolf hunt is actually necessary – a very unproven and hotly contested issue – it should at least be done in an ethical, humane, and sportsmanlike way. ….As it is, there is not much honor in any of this.

Xayechua Yang
Xayechua Yang

We need to also start a season for the purple crested firebreathing dragons. Ha wolves aren't even real.

Adam Epps
Adam Epps

I love when someone has a typo when calling people morons. I don't have a stance on this as I am ignorant, but I just thought that was funny. Good job Shawn on calling out the morons whilst having a typo.

Adam Epps
Adam Epps

But... The red wedding happened last season....

Shawn Laughton
Shawn Laughton

If any of you fuck tards lived in Northern Minnesota you would understand why this is something that needs to take control. Your all morons.

Keyser Soze
Keyser Soze

Looks like I'm trapping as many as I can and releasing them in uptown.

Doug Ludemann
Doug Ludemann

Wolf populations in MN recovered enough for them to be delisted and hunted a decade ago. Against the wolf hunt? There's little scientific basis for your position. Either you're emotionally charged and therefore willfully ignorant, or you just haven't read the science yet, and are therefore ignorant. Stop squaking and read science.

Damon Wickland
Damon Wickland

Let me know when there's a human hunt.Oh ya been there done that.Was in the military for 6years.Then I guess it's just Human nature to wanna KILL!

Enelya Clarke
Enelya Clarke

Take away their home and kill them because THEY are overpopulated. Oh humans.... Why can we not learn or love

davesalmonson
davesalmonson

2,423 wolves estimated in the state, 3,500 wolf hunting licenses to be sold. Hmmmmm

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

Wolves don't attack humans... You'd be more likely to be attacked by a deer.

Thomas Boos
Thomas Boos

People who are upset over the wolf hunt, should all buy tags to hunt them, and then not hunt them. Also once you get one, you will be in a priority line to get them year after year, thus killing less wolves.

Devon Majerus
Devon Majerus

Self defense is the only rational reason I can think of, especially after humans have spent the last how many years destroying their natural habitat.

Hunter Warne
Hunter Warne

I'll never understand people like Elisa Maria, who think they know more than the DNR. Unreal.

Jessie Sill
Jessie Sill

What did I tell you Carrie Bear!! Just the proof I needed to prove my point!!!

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

Oh for fucks sakes Cripps stfu! It's apex predator and alpha male STOP TALKING ANYONE THAT DOESN'T STUDY THIS unless you are just stating an opinion that's one thing but don't Fox news my state's wildlife future with your bullshit puppetry!

Matt Stanton
Matt Stanton

Elisa, you're letting your emotions control your judgment. You're talking about wolves self managing like it's the 14th century. Humans moved into their habitat poisoning and killing them so they could move in and live comfortably. I'm guessing you don't live in a mud hut in the woods, so you too are part of the problem of displacing these wolves. We created a problem, and this is one of many solutions. I'm getting pretty enraged reading what some of the people in this section have called me, but I'm trying my best to stay rational and understanding. I suggest you do the same, or you end up sounding out of control and maniacal.

Reed Osell
Reed Osell

Amazing how the DNR has presented solid data on wolves, and yet the protesters just flail their arms and scream "no!" Despite having a hunting season last year, wolf numbers have gone up. Hunting a species is not even remotely close to exterminating it or decimating the population, as some people would have you believe.

Jake Nelson
Jake Nelson

for the record, i grew up in the sticks, and come from a family of hunters. the majority of these people signing up for tags are doing so purely for the sport of killing a wolf, and not for "returning balance to nature." you're foolish to think otherwise. i've also known people who've worked for the DNR, and most are as trigger happy as they are irrational.

Elisa Maria
Elisa Maria

Hahaha. You're kidding right? Ah. Shit.

Elisa Maria
Elisa Maria

Wrong. Study says: CLIMATE CHANGE. Check your facts.

Daniel Kormick
Daniel Kormick

Dillon they don't know why it's down on moose population TB and mange have been huge issues. Can't just spout facts that are not true to back your opinion

Matt Stanton
Matt Stanton

Not state wide, but in some areas they are scarce because of the harsh winter. Please read my last comment above if you really want to know where I stand. I'm just trying to bring some rational thinking to this comments section, but I don't think that's going to happen.

Elisa Maria
Elisa Maria

I will never understand people like Matt, Britt, and all the Sarah Palins & Ted Nugents. Name calling is so base but so is killing wolves. Ridiculous. Country folk think they know everything about the wild. I haven't always been a city dweller. Britt, keep an eye on your dog. Simple as that. Have some accountability. So fucking sad. All I can think of is another being, with the breath if life in their lungs... living in their beautiful wilderness home, foraging for a meal and being killed simply because someone thinks they need to control and dominate nature rather than coexist. So sad. Here, in the 21st century....

Cameo Reis
Cameo Reis

Matt are you seriously trying to say deer are underpopulated? The wolf hunt is not about population control. The DNR is corrupt just like every other aspect of our government. Its bout money and livestock.

Dusty Royer
Dusty Royer

Little Red Riding Hood will be relieved

Dillon Bloomquist
Dillon Bloomquist

Wolves are the reason why the moose population is declining! End of story

Brian Cripps
Brian Cripps

Very true Matt these are alpha predators they are not easy to hunt they know you are there the whole time that's why people don't see them all the time they stay hidden

Matt Stanton
Matt Stanton

I'm not here to argue and call people names. I'm just saying that there is a whole other world outside of the city that most people aren't exposed to. And, its very difficult to understand unless you live it. Hunting wolves is not solely about killing an animal cause you have tiny balls. It's about managing deer, caribou, moose, and livestock populations. Instead of calling people names in all caps over a computer, why not try to understand why this is happening? Why not open your mind and consider that not everyone lives in the same way in the same areas with the same lifestyle?

Sue Campbell
Sue Campbell

wow it is sad how people are willing to talk to eachother online, and then some of them have the nerve to claim they are just being passionate. Please folks, take it down a notch because there is no communication going on by screaming at eachother (at best) to 'get educated'

Britt Trovall
Britt Trovall

Can someone give me a good reason I should allow the wolf living in my backyard to play with my lab and lure her in the woods to kill her?

Elisa Maria
Elisa Maria

I love how humans think they need to control EVERYTHING. GET OVER YOURSELVES!!!! Wolves self manage. Does anybody read anymore without being spoon fed?

Elisa Maria
Elisa Maria

Britt, moose are dying because of CLIMATE CHANGE NOT BECAUSE OF WOLVES. Try reading. It's good for you.

Jah Rastajari
Jah Rastajari

Good, they are decimating the deer population by killing all the young fawns. Sorry hippies, its just true.

Matt Stanton
Matt Stanton

The increase in licenses is due to the very low success rate of hunting and trapping.

sabinam1
sabinam1

@la80 Thanks for the info. I've signed the petition.


davesalmonson
davesalmonson

The dnr does what the government tells them to do. The NRA and ALEC lobbied the federal and state representatives to change the laws so that weapons manufactures could sell more weapons, ammunition, and paraphernalia. Like night vision goggles and steel cable snares.

la80
la80

Hi Dillon, See the MN DNR's 2011 Moose Research and Management Plan. In their own words they believe warming temps are the primary reason for the decline in the moose population and state that advocating for a wolf hunt to stop the decline is simplistic.  Google it..it's out there if anyone is interested.

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