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Lawmakers, DNR debate specifics of wolf hunting season

One disagreement involves the timing of a wolf hunting season. The DNR thinks it should come after the firearms deer season has ended. But bills in the Legislature would have the seasons run concurrently. Next fall's hunt will be the first since the gray wolf came off the Endangered Species List.
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One disagreement involves the timing of a wolf hunting season. The DNR thinks it should come after the firearms deer season has ended. But bills in the Legislature would have the seasons run concurrently. Next fall's hunt will be the first since the gray wolf came off the Endangered Species List.

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DNR: Limited wolf-hunting season possible in 2012

The DNR says it's considering a limited hunting and trapping season this year. The agency says it's trying to ensure the species' long-term survival while also addressing conflicts between wolves and humans. The announcement comes shortly after the federal government said it will remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list.

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The state DNR is about to take over management of the gray wolf again after the federal government takes the animal off the endangered species list. Officials are still working out the details, but they say a hunting and trapping season could start up as early as fall and would likely involve a lottery system. They would take public comments before launching the season.

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The Game and Fish bill signed into law Thursday allows Minnesotans to legally hunt and trap wolves for the first time in nearly four decades. The legislation gives the DNR authority to set harvest limits and conduct a hunter lottery. About 3,000 wolves live in Minnesota right now and the agency plans to reduce the population by about 400 this fall. The gray wolf was removed from the Federal Endangered Species List in January.

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Minnesota takes over management of its 3,000 gray wolves from the federal government on Friday. The DNR suggests a lottery system to award wolf hunting licenses.

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