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Trappers, hunters kill 17 wolves over weekend

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Minnesota hunters and trappers killed 17 wolves Saturday and Sunday, which marked the start of the second half of the state's first managed wolf season, MPR reports.

Hunters killed 147 wolves in an early phase of the wolf hunting season. The late season, which also allows trapping, runs through the end of January. MPR also has a photo essay of a veteran northwoods trapper.

The Department of Natural Resources says it will allow up to 400 total wolves to be taken, and will end the season early if that number is reached.

The wolf hunt has been controversial. Critics say it is too early to hunt an animal that just came off the endangered species list.

The hunt prompted protests from animal rights activists, including Howling for Wolves.

Legal action was not successful in stopping the hunt. U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have said the hunt won't harm the overall population.

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Hunters bag more than 60 wolves in opening days of season

Three days into the season, hunters in the northern wolf-hunting zones had taken over 60 wolves as of Monday, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Research biologist for the DNR, John Erb, tells the newspaper that about 1 percent of hunters have been successful. In western states in the past, hunting success have been less than 1 percent.