Fewer people apply for permits to hunt wolves

Wolf on trail camera
Bryan Heiney of Duluth captured this image of a wolf on a motion-activated trail camera he has set up in the area where he hunts in southern Koochiching County in 2012.
Photo courtesy Bryan Heiney

The number of people who want to hunt wolves in Minnesota this fall and winter has dropped significantly from last year.

About 13,000 people have applied for licenses to participate in this year's wolf hunting season, compared to more than 23,000 last year, state Department of Natural Resources officials said.

After a survey showed the state's wolf population has declined, department officials decided to issue 3,300 permits this year. That's down from 6,000 permits last year.

"I'm sure last year with the novelty of it and trying to get in on the first-ever regulated wolf hunt in Minnesota's history probably caused some people to apply," said Steve Merchant, the DNR's wildlife population and regulation manager. "Other people thought, 'well geez, if the permits are down 50 percent it's going to half my chances of winning so I'm just not going to put in this year.'"

Merchant said applicants have about a 1 in 4 chance of getting a wolf license, about the same odds as last year.

The early wolf season begins at the same time as the firearms deer season on Nov. 9.

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