So far, 140 wolves registered in 2013 hunt
Marshall Helmberger

REGIONAL—Gray wolf registrations are down significantly over the same period last year— but that’s more a reflection of the lower number of permits issued to hunters in 2013 compared to last season, than anything else.

“The trends are pretty consistent with last year,” said Dan Stark, wolf hunt coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources.

Last year, the DNR issued 6,000 licenses, but trimmed that number to 3,300 this year, reflecting the overall decrease in the hunt quota for 2013.

In 2012, the first year of the Minnesota wolf hunt, the DNR allowed for the taking of 400 wolves total, split between an early and a late season. The DNR reduced the total quota for this year to 220, after the results of last winter’s wolf survey indicated a significant decline in the wolf population.

Last year, hunters took 147 wolves during the early season, which coincides with the annual firearms deer season in Minnesota. This year, hunters tallied 88 wolves (about 80 percent of the target harvest) during the early season, including 32 in the northeast zone, 56 in the northwest zone, and none in the east-central zone.

So far during the late season, which opened to both hunters and trappers on Nov. 30, a total of 33 wolves have been taken in the northwest zone while 19 have been registered in the northeast. The northeast zone includes all of Lake and Cook counties and roughly the southeastern two-thirds of St. Louis County.

Under the quota, hunters can take 56 more wolves in the northwest zone and 14 more in the northeast, as of Wednesday. Hunters and trappers can take ten wolves in the east-central zone, but none have registered any wolves to date in that zone. The late wolf season continues until Jan. 31, or until the quota is reached, at which point the hunt is suspended.

So far, hunters have brought a total of 12 wolves to the Tower DNR office for registration. Area wildlife manager Tom Rusch said the wolves appear to be in better condition than last year, when nearly half of the wolves registered were suffering from mange. “Only one has shown any mange this year, so far,” said Rusch. “We’ve seen some beautiful pelts.”

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6 comments on this item

I believe the 'pelts' look much better when the wolf is alive. Hopefully this nonsensical, barbaric slaughter will end soon. What kind of human spends (wastes) their time trying to shoot/torture in a trap a magnificent animal they are not going to eat? Honorable? Not by any logical definition. Personality defect perhaps. You should be ashamed.


Moose and deer used to look good when you could see them too. All I saw this season was wolves. Need more wolf tags.

A well managed hunt as it is at present is a way to go.

Without hunting for years some of the wolfs are getting just a little too tame and lost their fear of humans.

hard rock, it's not that bad. We had wolf control when I was a boy over 50 years ago, it was a normal and accepted way of life.

Shoe is correct, the wolves are no longer afraid of humans and therefore invade human environs, resulting in dead pets and livestock. Time to help them save themselves by making them afraid of human habitation once again.

I believe we will continue to have a limited hunt and trapping season until the numbers become manageable once again.

I scoured the DNR website looking for information on wolf predation on the moose population. Apparently there is no evidence that wolves are having an impact on the moose population in northeastern Minnesota. We are on Lake Vermilion and I have seen wolves in person several times and they have run the other direction each and every time so I'm not buying the line about a danger to humans. If it became evident that wolves were having a significant impact on the moose population I would be in favor of some type of control but not trapping. I must agree with "hard rock miner" that anyone who feels the need and right to trap any animal and cause them to suffer a horrible painful death is mentally defective.

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