Since the season opener on Saturday, Nov. 3, sixty-two wolves have been killed in Minnesota, shutting down one of three designated zones after meeting quota, according to the Star Tribune and Duluth News Tribune.
The first ever managed wolf hunting for Minnesota began on Saturday, with the smallest of the three hunting zones in Minnesota closed down after meeting its quota. Hunters were able to rifle hunt in the same zones that they hunted deer.
Upon opening, 32 wolves were killed Saturday,18 on Sunday, and six registered Monday, according to the Star Tribune. Hunters in the East-Central zone had killed eight by Monday - the early season harvest quota is set at nine. After hearing the news, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources decided to close down the zone after shooting hours, according to Duluth News Tribune.
The season, which will last 16 days, issued a total of 3,600 licenses for wolf hunting. The licenses were given out through a lottery of 24,000 applications. The entire season has a quota set at 400, "200 in the early season that runs concurrently with the firearms deer season and 200 in a second hunting-and-trapping season that will open Nov. 24," the Star Tribune stated.
Other zones that have yet to reach quota are the DNR's Northwest zone, where the quota is 133 and 29 have been killed; and the Northeast zone where the quota is 58 and 25 have been killed.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, Minnesota's wolf population is approximately 3,000. When more pups are born in May, the population may grow by 6,000 wolves, stated L. David Mech, a senior scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota. The population will then drop again in February when wolves are either killed by other wolves or by the state.
The second wolfing season will begin on Nov. 24 and go until Jan. 31. The DNR hopes to reach their target of 400 wolves killed by that point.