Minnesota DNR survey: Most oppose wolf hunt

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 22, 2012 - 9:25 AM

Critics call methodology flawed. DNR says the hunt is on.


The Department of Natural Resources said it had hoped to get reaction to specific hunting proposals when it set up the online survey.

Photo: Jayne Belsky, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

About 80 percent of the more than 7,000 people responding to an online survey by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) opposed a wolf hunting and trapping season.

But the results won't stop this fall's planned wolf season.

The question of whether to have a season was resolved by the Legislature, said Dennis Simon, DNR wildlife chief. "It was a public input process, it wasn't a poll. ... The Legislature and governor directed us to have a wolf season. So we will have a season.''

The DNR's survey, which was not limited to Minnesota residents, closed Wednesday after accepting public comments for a month. The agency received 7,351 responses -- 1,542 people supported a wolf season, 5,809 opposed it.

"Frankly, I'm not a bit surprised,'' said Howard Goldman, senior Minnesota director of the Humane Society of the United States, which opposes the wolf hunting-trapping season.

Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, which supports the wolf season, said the survey is flawed and doesn't reflect public opinion in northern Minnesota.

"I took the survey, and it didn't ask where you live,'' said Johnson. "It's totally unscientific. What's the use of it when it's not limited to Minnesotans? I'd say zip.''

Simon said it's uncertain whether the DNR will be able to determine how many comments came from outside Minnesota. "It was wide open -- anyone could go on the site and take it,'' he said.

Goldman said his group did not encourage out-of-state anti-hunting groups to take the DNR's online survey. "I thought it should reflect the opinions of Minnesotans,'' he said.

Nancy Gibson, co-founder of the International Wolf Center in Ely, said the results clearly indicate the public is still divided on the question of a wolf hunt, even if the survey was hijacked by anti-hunting groups. "It's a surprise to me," she said of the number who responded, and the overwhelming anti-hunting sentiment they expressed.

Both Johnson and Goldman had wanted the DNR to hold public meetings around the state, which the DNR decided not to do, citing time constraints.

Simon said the agency had hoped to get public reaction to the specific wolf hunting proposals. The agency will analyze those comments and release details of the survey next week.

The DNR also plans to finalize the wolf hunting rules next week, Simon said, so that the regulations can be included in the DNR's hunting and trapping season regulation handbook.

The proposal was to split the season into two parts, an early hunting-only season, beginning Nov. 3, to coincide with the firearms deer season and a late one, Nov. 24 to Jan. 6, that would permit trapping and hunting. DNR officials have suggested the season would close if a 400-wolf quota is reached. Simon wouldn't say whether the final rules will deviate from those proposals.

Staff writer Josephine Marcotty contributed to this report. Doug Smith • 612-673-7667

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 12:05 PM
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson 12:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Detroit - B. Farmer 12:10 PM
Minnesota - Y. Pino
Seattle - C. Young 12:35 PM
Boston - B. Workman
Baltimore - B. Norris 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
San Francisco - T. Lincecum 3:05 PM
Washington - J. Zimmermann
Houston - C. McHugh 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
St. Louis - S. Miller 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan
Atlanta - E. Santana 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Leake
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez 6:10 PM
Milwaukee - W. Peralta
San Diego - A. Cashner 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Miami - T. Koehler 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:25 PM
Texas - N. Tepesch
LA Angels - C. Wilson 8:05 PM
Oakland - J. Lester
NY Mets - J. deGrom 8:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Dallas 6:00 PM
Washington 6:30 PM
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Houston 8:00 PM
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Chicago 6:00 PM
Toronto FC
Montreal 6:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Chivas USA 6:30 PM
New England
Houston 6:30 PM
D.C. 7:30 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Vancouver FC 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Indiana 4:00 PM
Minnesota 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question