The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has finalized its rules for the state's first regulated wolf hunting and trapping season this fall and winter. The rules include several changes to what the DNR originally proposed in May, after hearing public input.
The state's inaugural wolf season will be conservative, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of wolves in Minnesota, while addressing wolf and human conflicts.
The state's wolf population is estimated at 3,000.
The season will be split into two parts: an early wolf hunting season coinciding with firearms deer hunting; and a late wolf hunting and trapping season after the firearms deer season for those with a specific interest in wolf hunting and trapping.
6,000 licenses will be offered by the DNR, with 3,600 available in the early season and 2,400 in the late season. Late season licenses will be further split between hunting and trapping, with a minimum of 600 reserved for trappers.
The target harvest will be 400 wolves for both seasons combined, and will initially be allocated equally between the early and the late seasons.
MINNESOTA WOLF HUNTING SEASON
Opening date: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012
Closing date: Jan. 31, 2013 (previously Jan. 6)
Target harvest: 400
Late season start: Nov. 24
Late season target harvest: 265 in NW zone, 117 in NE zone, 18 in east-central zone