North Shore man sentenced for illegal killing of two wolves

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 11, 2013 - 8:50 PM

He killed two wolves with his vehicle before hunting was legal and then buried the carcasses.

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FILE - In this undated photo provided by Jayne Belsky via the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, is a gray wolf in a wooded area near Wisconsin Dells, Wis. After months of contentious debate, Wisconsin's first organized wolf hunt is finally set to begin. The hunt officially begins Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 and will run through February. (AP Photo/Jayne Belsky via the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, File)

A North Shore man was sentenced Monday for intentionally killing two gray wolves in Minnesota’s Superior National Forest with his vehicle while they were still an endangered species and then concealing the carcasses with his prison-bound cohort.

Kyler J. Jensen, 32, of Finland, Minn., was sentenced in federal court in Minneapolis to the time he has already served, about three months, for purposely killing the wolves in February 2010 on Forest Road 369 (Sawbill Landing Road) and moving them to a work site, where he dug a hole with a bulldozer and buried the animals. He later retrieved the remains, intending to destroy the evidence.

Conspirator Vernon L. Hoff, 55, also of Finland, was sentenced to one month in prison and fined $2,500 on Thursday for lying to authorities about the wolves being killed.

A jury convicted Hoff. Jensen pleaded guilty.

According to evidence presented at Hoff’s trial:

Hoff lied to a federal conservation official when asked whether he spoke on the telephone with Jensen about transporting two wolf carcasses that Jensen had killed. Hoff denied that any call had taken place.

After the call, Jensen loaded the wolves into his vehicle, traveled to Superior National Forest and buried them with a bulldozer under Hoff’s direction.

At the time, the gray wolf was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. It was removed from that list in Minnesota in January of 2012, allowing for the animal to be hunted recently.

Jensen has had many minor scrapes with the law over the past 11 years, most involving driving violations, drugs and alcohol.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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