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Minnesota's first wolf hunting season opens today

Minnesota's inaugural wolf season begins today, Saturday, Nov. 3, when the early season hunt opens in the state's wolf range, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

The early wolf hunting season runs Nov. 3-18 in 100 series deer permit areas and Nov.3-11 in 200 series deer permit areas. A late wolf hunting and trapping season is set for Saturday, Nov. 24, through Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.

Wolf regulations have been mailed to hunters selected in the lottery and are available online at

Minnesota is divided into three wolf zones, with an early and late season in each zone. A wolf license is valid in any zone during the season for which it was issued.

A 400-wolf harvest target will be split evenly between the two seasons. A zone will be closed to hunting if and when the target harvest is reached in that zone. A zone may be closed before its target harvest is met to properly limit take.

Hunters must:

Register all wolves by 10 p.m. the day of harvest in order for the DNR to monitor zone-specific harvest levels. Registration is available via telephone, website or in person.

Obey zone closures, which become effective the morning immediately following the day on which a zone is closed.

Take responsibility for tracking season progress and season/zone closure each morning before hunting by calling 888-706-6367 or checking the DNR wolf hunting page at Season status and harvest targets will be updated in real-time for each zone.

Return any radio collars when they bring wolves in for the mandatory wolf inspection and to bring an ear tag along so that information on the tag can be examined and recorded.

Present the entire skinned wolf and pelt for inspection as outlined in the wolf hunting regulations so DNR can collect data on wolves for population monitoring.

Wear blaze orange during open firearms (including muzzleloader) deer season.

Hunters must not:

Party hunt for wolves.

Possess the site tag of another wolf hunter or trapper.

Use a dog or a horse to take a wolf while hunting or trapping.

Bait is allowed for the purposes of attracting a wolf to take by legal firearm, bow and arrow or trapping. But the deposit of carcasses not associated with legal baiting on public lands, or on private lands without the consent of the owner, constitutes litter.

Also, current statutes related to taking deer over bait prohibit the following:

Using bait that is capable of attracting deer if the hunter also is a licensed as a deer hunter for an open deer season.

Using corn or other grain, apples, pumpkins, etc. would not be legal in the above circumstance.

State law also prohibits hunter harassment.

Estimated at fewer than 750 animals in the 1950s, Minnesota's 3,000 wolves are the largest population in the lower 48 states. The population has remained relatively stable for the past 10 years.

When wolves in Minnesota were removed from the federal threatened and species list in January, wolf management became the responsibility of state and tribal authorities.

As required by the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will monitor wolves in Minnesota for five years after delisting to ensure that recovery continues.

Complete wolf hunting information is available online at Wolf management information is available online at