Minnesota concluded its second wolf season when the Department of Natural Resources closed the east-central zone on Saturday, Dec. 28.
A total of 3,433 licensed hunters and trappers harvested 237 wolves during the early and late seasons. The harvest target was 220 wolves.
“Wolf season target harvest limits are set conservatively to not negatively affect Minnesota’s wolf population long term,” said Dan Stark, DNR large carnivore specialist. “The targets for each hunting zone are used as triggers to close the season. Hunters and trappers have another full day in the field after a zone’s closure is announced.”
Minnesota’s wolf population was estimated at 2,211 wolves last winter. The target harvest is based on about 10 percent of the mid-winter wolf population prior to pups being born. Wolf populations rapidly increase in the spring when pups are born and decline at various rates annually depending on mortality factors in addition to the wolf season.
The DNR will complete an assessment of Minnesota’s wolf population status this winter and summarize data from the 2013 wolf season before setting the 2014 wolf season.
Additional information about wolves is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/wolves.