The 614 leftover hunting licenses for Minnesota's early wolf season were snapped up within minutes Monday by hunters anxious for a crack at the iconic canine.
"I heard they were gone in 3 1/2 minutes,'' said Ed Boggess, Department of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Division director.
He said there was a line of buyers at the DNR's St. Paul headquarters Monday, although people could buy the licenses through any of the 1,500 electronic license terminals statewide.
"We sold about a half-dozen [to those in line] before they were all gone,'' Boggess said.
The DNR offered 3,600 early-season wolf licenses through a lottery, but 614 of those went unsold. They were made available on a first-come, first-served basis at noon Monday to hunters who applied for, but didn't receive, early-season wolf hunting permits.
Boggess said he wasn't surprised the leftover licenses were quickly sold.
"We had 23,000 applications for 6,000 wolf licenses,'' he said, including the 3,600 for the early wolf season, which starts Saturday, and 2,400 for the second wolf hunting and trapping season, which begins Nov. 24. "This is the way it goes for leftover bear licenses, too,'' he said. "They're usually gone quickly.''
Hunters and trappers selected by lottery for the late season must buy licenses by Nov. 15. Any leftover licenses will be made available to unsuccessful applicants beginning noon on Nov. 19, and to the general public on Nov. 21.