Minnesota wolf season update

Hunters had killed 74 wolves as of this morning in Minnesota’s inaugural wolf season, including 34 in the northwest part of the state and 32 in the northeast.

The Department of Natural Resources closed the season in the east-central part of the state on Monday after a hunter registered the eighth wolf, just one short of the zone’s target quota of nine.

Minnesota’s wolf season opened Saturday.

While the Northwest Zone has produced the largest number of registered wolves to date, it’s a big region. With that in mind, I contacted John Erb, a furbearer research biologist for the Department of Natural resources in Grand Rapids, Minn., to see if harvest information was available for more specific areas, such as Kittson or Roseau counties, which historically have had a high incidence of livestock depredation problems with wolves.

Erb said the DNR won’t have more specific location data until the early and late wolf seasons end, although the agency might try to compile a summary after the first season closes. The early wolf season coincides with the deer season, which ends Sunday in 200-series permit areas and Nov. 18 in 100-series permit areas farther east.

A late season that also includes trapping opens Nov. 24 and continues through Jan. 31 unless specific target harvests are reached before that time.

Erb said the online registration, which is required for all license holders who kill a wolf, only records the zone where the animal is taken. County and section data isn’t available until the carcasses are brought in for inspection, Erb said, and data sheets still are scattered around various area wildlife offices.

“It will take some time to collate them, enter data and map it out,” Erb said.

The DNR offered 3,600 licenses for the early season, which is limited to hunting, and 2,400 for the late season, which also includes trapping. The harvest quota for both seasons is 400 wolves — 265 in the Northwest Zone, 117 in the Northeast and 18 in the East-Central Zone.

More information about Minnesota’s wolf season, including the latest harvest numbers, is  available here.

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