50 wolves taken so far in Minnesota's new hunting season

  • Article by: STAFF REPORTS
  • Updated: November 5, 2012 - 9:02 AM

One of three geographical hunting zones will close to hunters late Monday.

Fifty wolves were killed over the weekend in Minnesota's controversial inaugural wolf-hunting season, which opened on Saturday, and one of three geographical hunting zones will close late Monday.

Thirty-two of the 50 wolves -- the tally as of the end of the day Sunday -- were killed Saturday and the rest on Sunday, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

A total of 3,600 licenses were issued for the 16-day early wolf season. There is a 400-wolf quota -- 200 in the early season that runs concurrently with the firearms deer season and 200 in a second hunting-and-trapping season that will open Nov. 24.

Twenty wolves have been killed in the DNR's Northwest Zone, where the target is 133, eight in the East Central Zone, where the target is nine -- that zone will be closed to wolf hunters at the end of the day Monday -- and 22 in the Northeast Zone, where the target is 58.

Meanwhile, the deer-hunting season turned deadly for one hunter who was killed just after 9 a.m. Saturday when he was struck by a bullet fired by another hunter in Turtle River Township, about 9 miles northeast of Bemidji, according to the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office. The two men were acquaintances but were not hunting together.

Authorities identified the victim as Donald Bixby, 64, of Bemidji. His daughter said the former logger had missed recent deer seasons because of health problems but had been able to go back out in the field this year with a handicapped permit.

The hunter who shot Bixby, Phillip B. Nyland, 48, of Bemidji, did not have a cellphone with him, but he sought out someone who did to summon help, authorities said. Rescue personnel and sheriff's deputies found Bixby dead at the scene. The Sheriff's Office is investigating.

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