Court rules Minnesota wolf season can proceed

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a request for a preliminary injunction that would have stopped the state’s inaugural wolf hunting and trapping season.

The decision is likely to be applauded by sportsmen and ag producers across northwest Minnesota.

The Court of Appeals decision means the planned wolf hunting and trapping seasons will go as planned this fall and winter. Consistent with state law, the Department of Natural Resources will issue 6,000 licenses, and the first season will start with the beginning of firearms deer hunting on Saturday, Nov. 3.

The late hunting and trapping season will begin on Nov. 24.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the petitioners, the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves, did not meet their burden of proving irreparable harm for an injunction to be issued, the DNR said this afternoon in a news release.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision,” DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in a statement. “It resolves any uncertainty that hunters and trappers might have had about the upcoming season.”

The petitioner’s lawsuit to challenge the way the season was established is still before the Court of Appeals and will proceed on its merits. A decision is not expected until next year.

Minnesota has an estimated population of about 3,000 wolves, and DNR officials say the goal of shooting or trapping 400 wolves won’t have any significant impact on the population.

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