Weather Forecast


Field reports: Minnesota DNR raises wolf quota. license numbers

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources last week announced details of the state’s 2014 wolf hunting and trapping season. The agency will add 500 additional licenses over last year’s total and increase the number of wolves that can be killed by nearly

14 percent.

As reported in Friday’s News Tribune, the DNR said it will make 3,800 hunting and trapping licenses available for the coming season, and will allow up to 250 wolves to be killed before the seasons are closed, up from 220 last year.

The DNR said a winter population survey showed the state’s wolf population is stable and can sustain a more liberal hunting and trapping harvest.

The move to kill more wolves is likely to please some farmers and hunters who say too many wolves roam the northern third of the state, killing too many livestock and white-tailed deer. But the increase in permits also has angered wolf supporters who have been working to overturn the state’s recreational wolf hunt since it began in 2012.

The first 2014 hunting season will run Nov. 8-23. A second hunting — and trapping — season is set for Nov. 29 to Jan. 31. The seasons will close early if harvest quotas are reached.

Hunters and trappers can apply for 2014 wolf licenses, which are awarded in a lottery, starting Aug. 1.

To apply, applicants need to pay a $4 fee, show proof of a current or previous hunting license and choose one of three available license options. The statewide bag limit is one wolf and licenses are not zone-

specific. Lottery winners will receive a wolf hunting booklet with their notification. Wolf license fees are $30 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.

Big changes for Minnesota deer hunt

Fewer Minnesota deer hunters will get the chance to shoot antlerless deer this fall, under conservative deer hunting regulations announced last week by the Department of Natural Resources. Faced with fewer deer in many areas of the state after two severe winters and high hunter harvest rates for the past decade, the DNR has dramatically scaled back antlerless permits.

After years of allowing many hunters to shoot more than one deer, the DNR will allow hunters to harvest only one deer across most of the state in 2014.

Much of Northeastern Minnesota will be so-called bucks-only zones where no antlerless permits will be available. It’s the first widespread bucks-only regulation since 1997.

Only bucks may be shot in 14 deer permit areas in Northeastern Minnesota, including areas 108, 117, 118, 119, 122, 126, 127, 169, 176, 177, 178, 180, 181 and 199.

Lottery deer areas, with a few antlerless permits each, include areas 101, 103, 105, 110, 111, 152, 155, 156, 159, 171, 172, 173, 179, 183, 184 and 197.

Only around Duluth, in area 182, can hunters buy up to four extra permits and take up to five deer total. It’s one of the few areas of the state where wildlife managers say far too many deer still roam.

Hunters can enter the lottery for antlerless permits beginning Aug. 1. The deadline to apply is Sept. 4. Hunters may apply using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses. If hunters are selected for both licenses, they must select the one season in which they want to shoot an antlerless deer.

Deer hunting licenses, lottery applications and special hunt applications are available at any DNR license agent, by telephone at (888) 665-4236 or online at Lottery winners will be notified in October.