Hunters go over wolf harvest target, prompting protest at DNR headquarters


Anti-wolf hunting activists held a demonstration today after it was revealed hunters and trappers killed more animals than a predetermined target allowed for.

Protesters from the "Howling for Wolves" group gathered outside the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources headquarters in St. Paul Thursday, MPR reports, after it emerged hunters had harvested substantially more wolves than they were supposed to.

Wolf hunting seasons in the Northwest and Northeast areas of Minnesota were shut down by the DNR on Wednesday and last Friday respectively, with final harvest numbers then revealing the targets had been breached.

Figures released by the DNR show that 103 wolves were killed in northwestern Minnesota – more than 25 percent above the target of 82 set by the DNR. Meanwhile 41 were killed in the northeast, against a quota of 35.

The DNR's large carnivore specialist Dan Stark told MPR the harvest number is a target, not a quota or limit, and said the excess kills should not have an impact on the population.

But Howling for Wolves members argue this stance from Minnesota's wildlife officials is putting the state's wolf population in danger, according to KTTC.

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Hunters in Minnesota are expected to see more deer than last year after the mild winter and early spring, but fewer hunters have antlerless deer tags this fall, the Duluth News Tribune reports. This is because the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is trying to conserve the number of does this year. “We’re going to see more deer and kill less deer,” Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association based in Grand Rapids, told the newspaper.