Minnesota’s inaugural wolf hunting and trapping season will end Thursday because the 400-wolf target quota has nearly been met, the Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday.
Hunters had registered a total of 395 wolves as of Wednesday afternoon, prompting the state to close the season, said Dan Stark, DNR wolf specialist.
The wolf season had closed in the northeast and east-central zones, but has been open in the northwest zone. But the wolf kill there has increased daily, and stood at 181 Wednesday afternoon — just five wolves shy of the 400-wolf quota.
Hunters and trappers during the late-season, which began Nov. 24, had killed 248 wolves. Hunters in the early season killed 147 wolves. The late season was set to end Jan. 31, unless the 400-wolf quota was reached.
Announcing the closure on Wednesday gives hunters and trappers one more day to pursue wolves. The season for wolf hunters closes a half-hour after sunset Thursday; wolf trappers have until 10 p.m. Thursday.