Minnesota wolf hunters have killed 66 wolves as of 10 p.m. Monday in the first weekend of the state's first regulated wolf hunt.
The DNR set a quota of 200 wolves for this first season, which runs concurrently with the deer rifle-hunting season. The opening weekend harvest is in line with the agency's expectations, said DNR wolf expert Dan Stark.
"Typically about 50 percent of the harvest occurs the first weekend, and that's when most of the hunters are out there," Stark said. "We aren't going to know exactly until the end of the season, but it's likely to track that pattern."
The number of wolves killed so far in Minnesota is higher than at the beginning of other states' hunts, Stark said. He also said the agency will survey hunters about their methods and how long they hunted. That information will be used to make any needed changes to next year's hunt.
At the end of Monday, the DNR closed the east-central wolf hunting zone around Lake Mille Lacs where eight of the zone's allotted nine wolves were killed over the weekend. Hunters will be able to kill another 200 wolves during a second season beginning at the end of the November. That season will include trappers as well as hunters.