DNR outlines wolf season details -- a two part hunt and trap

Minnesota’s first regulated wolf hunting and trapping season will be conducted this fall and winter. The DNR is proposing to split the season 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.

The early hunting only season will be open only in the northern portions of Minnesota where rifles are allowed for deer hunting. It will start on Saturday, Nov. 3, the opening day of firearms deer hunting. It will close either at the end of the respective firearms seasons in the two northern deer zones (Nov. 18 in Zone 1 or Nov. 11 in Zone 2), or when a registered target harvest quota of 200 is reached, whichever comes sooner.

According to Wildlife Program manager Steve Merchant, wolf kills must be registered almost immediately after taken.

“Persons will have to register the wolves that they take by the end of the day following the day of harvest. We will have a mechanism that will keep track of those registrations. It’s an electronic system where people can register their wolves by either taking them in to an ELS agent or use the telephone or online. As those people register those animals, it’s reported and communicated to us, so that’s how we will know.”

The late hunting and trapping season will begin Saturday, Nov. 24. It will close Jan. 6, 2013, or when a registered total target harvest quota of 400 in both seasons combined is reached, whichever comes sooner. The late season will be open statewide.

A total of 6,000 licenses will be offered, with 3,600 available in the early season and 2,400 in the late season. The target harvest quota will be 400 wolves for both seasons combined, and will initially be allocated equally between the early and the late seasons.
Tribal government may elect to hold their own wolf seasons, and Merchant said the DNR is consulting with them.

“We’re having continued conversation with tribes. I am unaware at this time of any tribes who have elected to hunt wolves, but they certainly may.”

Wolf hunting licenses will be $30 for residents and $250 for nonresidents. Wolf trapping licenses will be $30 and limited to residents only. A lottery will be held to select license recipients. The bag limit is one wolf per licensee.

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