A wolf hunting and trapping season could begin in Minnesota as soon as next fall, following Wednesday’s news that the state’s gray wolves will be removed from the federal government’s threatened species list and management returned to the state within 30 days.
But details of a wolf season have yet to be worked out, Department of Natural Resources officials said Wednesday.
“We’re considering a season that would involve both hunting and trapping,’’ said Ed Boggess, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division director. “It could be in effect this fall; it may take longer.’’
A limited number of licenses likely would be available through a lottery system.
“It would be a fall-winter type season,’’ Boggess said. “We’d have to limit the harvest, and we’d have to have management zones. We’re still looking at the details of how that might work.’’
Public comments would be solicited before a season was launched.
“We will not implement a season without the opportunity for public comment,’’ Boggess said.
Minnesota’s management plan establishes a minimum population of 1,600 wolves to ensure long-term wolf survival. The state’s wolf population has stabilized at about 3,000 animals today, the DNR estimates.