Minnesota Expands Allowed Wolf Harvest for 2014

The state of Minnesota will issue 3,800 wolf licenses for the 2014 hunting season — 500 more than last year — and will allow hunters and trappers to kill 250 wolves — 30 more than last year’s target, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ wolf management web site.  The bag limit remains one wolf per hunter/license.

Wolf range in Minnesota in 2013.  Image source: Minnesota DNR.

Wolf range in Minnesota in 2013.
Image source: Minnesota DNR.

The DNR’s most recent population estimate for Minnesota is 470 wolf packs with 2,423 individual wolves, 212 more than in 2013.  “Estimates show a stable population with no significant change from the 2013 estimate of 2,211 wolves,” says the DNR’s large carnivore specialist, Dan Stark. “We will continue to evaluate the wolf population annually to ensure the wolf population remains well established across northern and central Minnesota.”

Minnesota’s current wolf management plan features a “minimum goal” of a statewide winter population of 1,600 wolves. If Minnesota’s wolf population falls below this minimum, the DNR says it will “take immediate and appropriate management actions to reverse the decline and restore the population to its minimum level in the shortest possible time”.

This will be Minnesota’s third wolf hunting season since the animals were removed from the endangered species list.

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