Minnesota’s first wolf hunting season begins this Saturday, November 3. More than 23,000 people applied for wolf hunting licenses, and according to the DNR, 6,000 hunters received licenses. They’ll be allowed to take up to 400 of the state’s 3,000 wolves over two general hunting seasons and one trapping season.
According to a Kare11 article, the agency estimated a 7 percent success rate, and according to WEAU.com, DNR wolf specialist Dan Stark expects hunters to take about 70 wolves in Minnesota this year. In Wisconsin, however, where the wolf population was estimated to around 850, hunters have taken more than 40 wolves in two weeks.
In a WDIO.com article, hunters explained the draw of hunting wolves, including representative Dave Dill who authored the wolf hunt bill for recreation purposes and population management. The article quoted him as saying, “There’s a thrill that you were able to conquer this.”
Not everyone is thrilled about the opportunity, of course. The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves filed an emergency motion with the Minnesota Supreme Court to stop the wolf hunt, but the court denied it without comment. And the Ojibwe bands have banned wolf hunting on Indian-controlled lands.
Perhaps the only thing that’s truly clear in the debate over the hunt is that all sides feel strongly about their positions and emotions are high. In Wisconsin, according to the
Star Tribune, one hunter drew a 72-pound wolf into clearing with a recording of an injured rabbit and then shot him. When he posted pictures online, he received death threats.