Minnesota wraps up second wolf season

By KBJR News 1

Credit: .Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Gray Wolf, Canis lupus, Wikimedia Commons / Retron

December 31, 2013 Updated Dec 31, 2013 at 1:17 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Minnesota's second wolf hunting and trapping season has come to an end with a total of 237 wolves harvested.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the season ended when the east-central zone closed on Saturday.

A total of 3,433 licensed hunters and trappers harvested 237 wolves during the early and late seasons. The harvest target was 220 wolves.

"Wolf season target harvest limits are set conservatively to not negatively affect Minnesota's wolf population long term," said Dan Stark, DNR large carnivore specialist. "The targets for each hunting zone are used as triggers to close the season. Hunters and trappers have another full day in the field after a zone's closure is announced."

Minnesota's wolf population was estimated at 2,211 wolves last winter. According the DNR, the target harvest is based on about 10 percent of the mid-winter wolf population prior to pups being born.

Wolf populations rapidly increase in the spring when pups are born and decline at various rates annually depending on mortality factors in addition to the wolf season.

The DNR says they will complete an assessment of Minnesota's wolf population status this winter and summarize data from the 2013 wolf season before setting the 2014 wolf season.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns