Hunting season opens amid wave of gear sales

Wolf hunt protest
Members of the group Howling for Wolves protest the Minnesota wolf hunt in front of the Department of Natural Resources headquarters in St. Paul on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012.
MPR Photo/Elizabeth Dunbar

Minnesota's firearms deer season began Saturday. The season has a big impact on the retailers who sell hunting gear.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources attributes more than a quarter of a billion dollars in retail sales to deer hunting in the state.

This year, part of the state's first-ever managed wolf hunt coincides with the deer hunt. But retailers say they are not expecting extra sales because of the wolf season.

"It's going to be hard to tell, and there's really no special equipment folks need to purchase for hunting a wolf," said Mark Cook, who owns Bluewater Outdoors store in Bemidji. "They already have got rifles and ammunition, or if they're trappers they've already been trapping for years, so I don't anticipate a big economic boost because of this."

Up to 6,000 hunters will participate in the wolf season compared with nearly 500,000 who will hunt deer.

The firearms deer season runs through Nov. 25, depending on the area of the state.

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