MDHA Sets Up Wolf Sightings Website Link

Wanted: Your wolf sightings.

The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association has set up a link on its website for reporting documented wolf sightings across Zone B — the approximately 70 percent of Minnesota that falls outside of the state’s primary wolf range.

Digital trail cameras offer a good option for photographing gray wolves, as shown by this wolf photographed early in March on Oak Island of Lake of the Woods.

In a news release, MDHA executive director Mark Johnson said the goal is to gather better information on wolf numbers outside of Zone A, the core of wolf range that basically covers the northeast one-third of Minnesota. The boundary separating the two zones falls between Roseau and Warroad in the northwest part of the state.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is proposing to conduct a wolf population survey beginning this fall and continuing through early spring of 2013, according to MDHA. The last survey, in 2004, produced an estimated population of about 3,000 wolves in the state.

With the recent removal of wolves from Endangered Species Act protection, the DNR is proposing a limited hunting and trapping season this fall.

“Wolf presence throughout Zone ‘A’ is well known, but their expansion into Zone ‘B’ is not,” Johnson said in the news release. “MDHA’s objective is to collect documented and verifiable wolf sighting information in wolf Zone ‘B’ and to provide this data to DNR for consideration toward the 2012-2013 Minnesota wolf survey. DNR has the duty of managing Minnesota’s wolves. Good management needs good information. Our hope is that this wolf reporting opportunity will provide DNR with valuable usable information.”

According to Johnson, MDHA is requiring anyone reporting wolf sightings in Zone B to provide photo documentation along with geographic information such as the township, range and section or GPS coordinates, along with their contact information.

Johnson said digital trail cameras set out with bait or scent attractant in potential wolf areas would be a good way to document sightings.

For more information and to access the wolf sightings page, click here.