Opponents renew effort to cancel Minnesota's wolf hunting season

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Critics of Minnesota's wolf hunt hope a new petition drive will help convince policymakers to cancel the hunting season planned for this fall.

Howling for Wolves and several other groups hope to collect 50,000 signatures on a petition they'll present to Gov. Mark Dayton, Forum News Service reports.

Last fall Minnesota held its first state-regulated wolf hunt since the animal was removed from the endangered species list. The opponents say the state's wolf population shrank after last year's hunt and is at its lowest level since 1988.

Last month the DNR announced plans to allow hunters to take 220 wolves this year. That's down from more than 400 last year. The agency's most recent count found that, while wolf numbers are down, they remain above the minimum targets set at the state and federal levels.

MPR reports the opponents of the hunt say if they lose their fight to have the season cancelled they will not take to the woods to disrupt wolf hunting. The group Earth First! reportedly published a manual this week instructing activists on how to sabotage or disrupt wolf hunters and trappers.

Wisconsin's DNR announced this week the state will permit non-tribal hunters to take 251 wolves there.

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A group opposed to the hunting and trapping of gray wolves is petitioning the Department of Natural Resources to cancel this year's planned wolf hunt in Minnesota. Howling for Wolves also has a billboard campaign in the Twin Cities. The group is rallying at the DNR headquarters in St. Paul on Thursday.

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