St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A smaller Minnesota wolf population means fewer hunting and trapping licenses will be available when the wolf season opens, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR set the statewide target harvest of wolves at 220, 180 fewer than last season.
Starting August 1st, hunters and trappers can apply for 2,000 early-season and 1,300 late-season licenses. That’s a reduction from 3,600 early-season and 2,400 late-season licenses in 2012. The deadline to apply for the hunting and trapping license lottery is September 5th.
“The changes are a management response to the most-recent wolf population estimate,” said Dan Stark, the DNR’s large carnivore specialist. “As with other game species DNR manages, adjustments are made to regulate hunting pressure and harvest to ensure long-term population sustainability and provide hunting and trapping opportunities.”
The DNR’s 2013 wolf population survey estimated 2,211 wolves last winter compared to 2,921 in the winter of 2008. The most-recent estimate does not include the birth of as many as 2,600 wolf pups this spring, some of which will survive into winter and be counted in next year’s population.
“DNR’s population survey confirmed Minnesota’s wolf population remains firmly established on the landscape,” Stark said. “We can manage seasons for a sustainable population of wolves like we do for dozens of other game species.”
The DNR sets wolf seasons and quotas based on long-term sustainability, as it does with more than 50 other game species, including many other furbearing mammals.
The DNR received strong direction from the Minnesota Legislature to conduct a wolf season and manage wolves as a prized and high-value fur species by setting the season when pelts have value.
The DNR’s goal for wolf management, as outlined in the state’s wolf management plan, is to ensure the long-term survival of the wolf in Minnesota and resolve conflicts between wolves and humans. The state wolf management plan includes wolf-specific population and health monitoring, research, depredation management, public education and law enforcement efforts.
The 2013 wolf season opens on November 9th.
Posted to the web by Krista Burns