45 wolves killed in opening weekend of Minnesota hunt

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Hunters and trappers in northern Minnesota killed more than 40 wolves over opening weekend, about 40 percent of the target harvest for the early season, WCCO reports. The Star Tribune puts the number at 45.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources set this year's target for the hunting and trapping season at 220 wolves, down from about 400 last year, due to a 25 percent drop in population. However, the DNR said the long winter created ideal conditions for a large number of wolf pups this spring, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

The early season target is 106 wolves.

Minnesota held it's first-ever regulated wolf hunt last year after gray wolves were removed from federal protection. MPR says 66 wolves were killed in the season's first weekend last year.

Wisconsin's wolf hunt began Oct. 15 with a target of 251 wolves. Just three weeks into the season, hunters and trappers killed 204 wolves.

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