The 2013 wolf hunting and trapping season in northwestern Minnesota closed at the end of shooting hours on Friday — bringing to 216 the number of wolves killed so far this season in Minnesota, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
That’s only four wolves short of the total DNR target of 220 wolves to be killed statewide this year — a quota that officials say they anticipate the state will meet as hunting continues in the east-central wolf zone.
Wisconsin closed its season on Thursday, with 257 wolves killed, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. That’s six wolves over the target quota.
The Wisconsin hunt has generated considerable controversy this year because that state has allowed hunters to use dogs to track and kill wolves, a practice not allowed in Minnesota.
In Minnesota, hunters and trappers in the northwest zone had harvested 86 wolves by Thursday evening — three wolves shy of that zone’s target. DNR officials called for the closure Friday anticipating that the target harvest would be met.
Wolf hunting and trapping continues in the east-central wolf zone through Jan. 31, or whenever the target harvest is expected to be met. As of Thursday, hunters and trappers killed five wolves in the east-central zone during the late season. The target there is 10.
The late wolf season closed in the northeast zone on Dec. 18; hunters killed 37 wolves.
During the early hunting season, which concluded on Nov. 25, hunters took 32 of 33 wolves in the northeast; 56 of 73 wolves in the northwest; and no wolves in the east-central zone.