lots of news on the MN wolf hunt lately. i wanted to know more.
the first regulated wolf hunt in minnesota just closed the northeast angle’s window due to its quota being reached. the northwest part of the state can still hunt, and from nov. 24-jan. 31, the second season opens to hunting and trapping. there was a lottery of 600 licenses throughout the state – heard on the radio that the majority of those were applied for by people living in the northern half of the state, with very few southerly type wanting to hunt wolves.
there’s been kind of a brouhaha about this in the state, as the wolf population was waning pretty badly mid-1900s. so much so that they were put on the endangered species list in the last half. they were removed from the list just this past january, after quite a long legal battle.
and since it took so long to get wolves off the list, state congress, which had wanted to start a hunt LAST year, shoved a hunt through legislation, and the DNR had to cut down its time for public input and assessment on the matter. which public opponents of the hunt sued over.
during the last 10 years, the wolf population has remained pretty steady at about 3000, and “The fact they remained at that number for so long indicates there maybe isn’t any room for anymore growth.” but the DNR has said that as long as the population remains at or above 1600, they’re good. anything below that and they will seek to start increasing numbers.
hunters are saying they’ve seen declining deer populations, but the DNR says that probably just isn’t true. the deer population in MN in around 1 million, and wolves take down maybe 6000 of them. wolves don’t eat as much as people think they do.
there is a general fear among those who live next to wilderness areas up in northern MN – pet dogs have been killed (mostly because they’re seen as competition) by wolves, and they are getting a little bold as far as how close they’ll come to civilization (walking down a street). but as far as i could see, there haven’t been human attacks or livestock attacks.
as you can tell from my pretty objective statements so far, i’m neither pro nor con on the wolf hunt. although, hunting for wolves is mostly for sport or for their skins, and also to protect livestock. it’s one thing to hunt for food and survival, but for sport is not the best reason to be hunting an animal, even a predator.