Minnesota's second wolf hunting season gets started this weekend at a smaller scale than last year.
About 2,000 hunters will participate in the early season, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has set a quota of 100 wolves to be killed.
A survey last winter showed Minnesota's wolf population had dropped, but the DNR believes the conditions were right for a large number of wolf pups to be born this spring.
"A hard winter like we had last year is good for wolves, and we'd likely see wolves going into the spring in good shape and good nutritional condition because deer are stressed from a hard, long winter," said DNR wolf expert Dan Stark. "And so we'd expect pup production to be pretty good."
Last year 66 wolves were killed in the first weekend of the hunt out of the 200 that were allowed to be killed in the early season. The DNR halved the quota for both seasons combined this year to 200.
An advocacy group, Howling for Wolves, has asked state officials to cancel the hunt, saying the wolf population is declining too much.