Minnesota opens it second wolf hunting season since the animals came off the endangered list on Saturday Nov 9. PLEASE SIGN PETITION HERE:


The Department of Natural Resources has set the target harvest at 220 wolves, down from 400 for last year’s inaugural season when hunters and trappers killed 413. The DNR lowered the target in response to a new population estimate of 2,211 wolves in Minnesota as of last winter, down about 25 percent from 2008.

Applications for wolf licenses dropped by almost half this year to about 13,000. Officials suspect it’s because only 3,300 licenses were available, the novelty has worn off, and the success rate was low last year.

Howling for Wolves has kept up its efforts to stop the hunt. The group has scheduled a rally for Saturday in Ely, in the heart of wolf country, with plans to bus in supporters from the Twin Cities. As of Friday, the group had collected over 51,000 signatures on its online petition to suspend the hunt.

"People really care about this," the group's founder, Maureen Hackett, said Friday. She also said the resumption of hunting and trapping has not increased tolerance for wolves, as some predicted, but is generating more anti-wolf rhetoric than ever before.

"It puts these animals that have been persecuted back in the crosshairs of hate," she said.

From the Wolves at GOOD WOLF



NOVEMBER 7, 2013
Please take action here:

That’s right. You have read right. Some sick people, decided that it was ok to capture feral cats and turn them into baits for wolves, and chopping them. I don’t think it can get more sick than this. People on Bowsite.com have some sick mind.

Woody Sanford Date: 06-Nov-13

“Chopped up feral cat works great in AK but up there it’s not like you set bait out and sit it. They hit it as they come through an area but they keep moving.”

Everyone is totally ignoring this man, so here he adds :

“Wolf bait doesn’t come prepackaged with a ribbon at the super market. I’m dead serious about the cats. Used to get them from the pound, just chop them up and leave the fur on. They act like its crack.”

That’s how they seem to roll in Minnesota. You might not want to leave your cat outside if you live there or Alaska



Posted: Oct 07, 2013 7:46 AM MDT

Updated: Oct 07, 2013 8:22 AM MDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Applications for Minnesota wolf hunting and trapping licenses have dropped by almost half this year.

Last year was the Minnesota's first wolf hunt since the animals came off the endangered list. About 23,500 hunters and trappers applied for licenses. Dan Stark of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources tells the Duluth News Tribune (http://bit.ly/GInmUZ) the number dropped to about 13,000 this year.

Stark said several factors might have contributed. He says there was some novelty last year for the first season, there are fewer licenses available this year, and the success rate for wolf hunters and trappers was low last year.

A total of 3,300 licenses were available this year, down from 6,000 last year. The target harvest is 220 wolves, down from 400 last year when 413 were taken.

Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthnewstribune.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. 




On a serious note, Governor Dayton made some illuminating and disappointing comments on the wolf hunt during an interview with MPR at the Fair:
The wolf hunt was to control the population. 

Fact check: The MNDNR has repeatedly stated and written that the hunt was not designed to control the population. In fact, the wolf population was stable for 10 years without a hunt and is now in a steep decline.

Governor Dayton suggested that the recent wolf bite incident justifies the wolf hunt. Fact check: last week's bizarre incident of a wolf biting a 16 year old boy is the first documented wolf attack in MN history.

Teen recovering after apparent wolf attack at northern Minnesota campground
By Dave Orrick
POSTED:   08/26/2013 12:01:00 AM CDT | UPDATED:   5 DAYS AGO

Aug 29:
Wolf suspected of biting teen didn't have rabies

The attack reportedly occurred early Saturday in a campground along the shore of Lake Winnibigoshish in the Chippewa National Forest.

The teen, who was sleeping at the time, suffered nonlife-threatening cuts to his head and puncture wounds to his face.

If confirmed, it would be the first documented wolf attack of such severity in Minnesota and likely in the continental U.S.

A wolf believed responsible for the attack was trapped overnight Sunday and destroyed Monday morning.

Tom Provost, regional manager for enforcement for the state Department of Natural Resources in Grand Rapids, described the attack as a "freak deal" and "incredibly abnormal behavior."

There are two documented cases of fatal wolf attacks in North America, one in Alaska and the other in Canada, according to the DNR and a review of scientific literature.

"It's the first one that I'm aware of where there was actual physical damage to the victim," Provost said when asked about whether any nonfatal attacks in Minnesota measured up to this one.

Investigators, including University of Minnesota veterinarians, were looking into whether rabies, human habituation or a possibly debilitating jaw condition could explain the attack.

Here's what happened, according to Provost:

On Friday evening, an animal that several campers said was a wolf caused trouble in the West Winnie Campground, which is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The animal tore through at least two tents, puncturing an air mattress in one.

The 16-year-old victim, who was camping with family and friends, was sleeping alone outside the tents, along the lakeshore. Between 4 and 4:30 a.m. Saturday, a large "dog-like animal" approached the boy from the rear without being detected, Provost said.

"Before he knew it, it had bitten him in the back of the head," Provost said.

The DNR declined to identify the boy but said he lives in northern Minnesota.

The boy freed himself and kicked the animal to force it to retreat, Provost said.

The boy's friends and family gave him first aid. He was taken to the Bemidji hospital, where a 4-inch head wound was treated.

Officials from the Forest Service, DNR and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe tried unsuccessfully to capture a wolf near the scene.

Later, a wolf approached a DNR officer a quarter-mile away. The officer fired at the wolf, but missed, and the wolf ran off.

U.S. Department of Agriculture trappers eventually caught the wolf that was destroyed Monday.

Authorities planned DNA tests in hopes of determining whether the 75-pound male wolf was the animal that attacked the boy.

While the wolf appeared to be of average weight for its size, Provost said an initial examination by a veterinarian revealed a jaw defect that prevented the animal's jaws from aligning properly, as well as a missing tooth.

"It was preliminarily thought that it could have been struggling to feed itself in a normal wolf manner," Provost said.

Perhaps the wolf was unable to take down a deer, and perhaps it knew the campground might be a source of food, Provost said, emphasizing that he was speculating.

Rabies test results on the dead wolf were expected by Wednesday.

Until a few years ago, the number of documented wolf killings of people in the history of North America was zero, according to the most authoritative research on the topic, "A Case History of Wolf-Human Encounters in Alaska and Canada," published in 2002 by Mark E. McNay of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

In his examination of 80 instances where wolves showed a lack of fear around people -- and in some cases did attack -- McKay found three cases where wolves appeared to see humans as prey. All involved small children, and two involved wolves that had been habituated to people.

Since his report was published, two adults -- one in Canada and one in Alaska -- have been killed by wolves.

The West Winnie Campground remained closed Monday. Traps were being set for another night to make sure there are no other wolves in the area.

The DNR offers the following tips for an encounter with an aggressive wolf:

In the rare event that you do have an encounter with an aggressive wolf, wildlife officials say:

-- Don't run. Act aggressively, stepping toward the wolf and yelling or clapping your hands if it tries to approach.

-- Do not turn your back toward an aggressive wolf. Continue to stare directly at it. If you are with a companion and more than one wolf is present, place yourselves back to back and slowly move away from the wolves.

-- Retreat slowly while facing the wolf and act aggressively.

-- Stand your ground if a wolf attacks and fight with any means possible (use sticks, rocks, ski poles, fishing rods or whatever you can find).

-- Use air horns or other noisemakers.

-- Use bear spray or firearms if necessary.

-- Climb a tree if necessary; wolves cannot climb trees.

Dave Orrick can be reached at 651-228-5512. Follow him at twitter.com/OutdoorsNow.

Governor Dayton stated that he did not hear from "one single person" concerned about the wolf hunt during the 2012 legislative session. Fact: a number of groups met with Dayton's staff in April 2012, including HFW, HSUS, Sierra Club Northstar Chapter, Center for Biological Diversity, and Audubon Minnesota. Did you write or call Gov. Dayton?

Suspend the Hunt -Sign and Share: Every signature counts, but we especially need Minnesotans!  Our goal is 50,000 Minnesotan names and addresses. We need Minnesota addresses to show lawmakers that their constituents want the wolf hunt suspended.  Last session lawmakers asked how many of their constituents supported the wolf hunt moratorium. We are coming back prepared. Commit to getting five signers to our petition today! Use the letter kit at the link to make your plan to get us to 50,000 signatures

The Unsession: Governor Dayton wants your ideas on how to improve MN government. The wolf hunt is a waste of state resources and does nothing to protect Minnesota wolves for future generations. Suspend the 2013 wolf hunt!

Keep howling,

Howling for Wolves


'Do not feed the wolves'

by Dan Kraker, Minnesota Public Radio
August 22, 2013

For the past several weeks there have been increasing sightings of a group of eight wolf pups near the tiny northeast Minnesota town of Brimson. Several people have seen passersby feeding the wolves, which wildlife experts say habituates the wolves to humans and endangers their safety. News of the wolves has spread quickly via social media. People have also been seen feeding wolf pups this summer on the Echo Trail near Ely. (MPR Photo/Dan Kraker)

BRIMSON, Minn. — "Don't feed the wildlife!" is a message frequently trumpeted at campgrounds around Minnesota. It's usually meant to warn people not to feed deer or bears.

But this summer wildlife managers are expanding that message to wolves.

In at least two locations in northeast Minnesota, people are feeding wolf pups -- easy meals that could have very negative consequences.

At Hugo's, the bar and general store that Gary Hepola runs with his wife in the tiny town of Brimson, about 40 miles north of Duluth, it doesn't take long to see a wolf pup.

"You'll notice they have no fear here," said Hepola as he pulled his pickup out of the parking lot. "They'll come right up to that window."

Gary Hepola
Sure enough, the young wolf, with pointy ears and splotches of gray, white and tan fur, ambles right up to Hepola's open window. "What are you doing? Get off the road!"

Hepola said the wolves have grown steadily bolder over the past six weeks or so. He has seen people place piles of food on the side of the road to lure the wolves in close to snap pictures.

"I've chewed a few people out [and] said, 'Don't be feeding the wolves,'" he said. "People don't realize they're going to become adults. They're cute now -- not so cute when they're big."

Hepola fears that some of the pups might not even make it to adulthood. One of eight was killed by a car last week.

That number could grow, said Nancy Hansen, assistant area wildlife manager in Two Harbors for the Department of Natural Resources.

"They are at a very busy intersection," Hansen said. "It's going to get busier, with hunting season coming up, so I'm concerned."

Hansen said the wolf pups are using a stretch of forest near the intersection of two county highways as a rendezvous site. The adults in the pack leave the pups to hunt and return with food.

Wildlife experts say people sometimes see wolf pups alone, perhaps think they look thin, and assume they have been abandoned and need food. Hansen said the DNR is trying to educate the public otherwise.

"Basically, we really need people to police themselves," she said. "As neat as it is to see these animals, this is not a normal situation, and anything they're doing to get their picture taken with a wolf pup or feed a wolf pup, it's not good for the pups."

Hansen said officials cannot relocate the pups, because they would either die away from the pack or just return to the rendezvous point.

"If we can't turn it around, we'll probably have to capture the pups, they'll either have to be moved to a facility, or destroyed," she said.

Hansen said she has never seen a situation like the "Hugo's wolves" as she refers to them. She said news of the wolves has spread like wildfire on Facebook, and more and more people are flocking to see them.

Jess Edberg, the information services director at the International Wolf Center in Ely, is dealing with a similar situation on the Echo Trail near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

"The wolf pups were walking across the road, sitting on the road, watching vehicles go by, and somebody did see there was fresh food put out there the other day," she said.

Edberg said every year or two she hears of emboldened wolves not fleeing from passing cars. In those situations, she said, it's not enough to simply not feed them. She said even a passive observer can encourage wolves to frequent an area.

"We want to make sure that wildlife have a healthy fear avoidance of humans, so honking your horn or yelling, not encouraging the animal to be there is going to be helpful for the survival of that animal," Edberg said.

At Hugo's Bar in Brimson, owner Jody Hepola said the wolves have become something of a tourist attraction.

"The store's been busy," she said. "Lots of people come in to comment and get a snack while they're out looking for the wolves, and lots of phone calls, asking, 'Are they're really wolves up there? What time of day, where can we see them?"

But Hepola said she would gladly give up the increased business. She wants the wolves to learn to fend for themselves. 




By Nicole Hendrickson | 04/01/13

I was appalled after seeing one-fourth of Minnesota's wolf population killed in 2012, shortly after federal de-listing from Endangered Species status.

As we have seen in our country’s history, cattlemen and trophy hunters decimated entire wolf populations throughout the lower 48 states.

I have three primary concerns in regard to the wolf issue:

Public input was not acknowledged.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) failed to live up to its promise — as outlined in its Wolf Management Plan — to follow a 5-year wait after federal de-listing.
We need to be more careful when considering the longevity of the wolf.
In our democracy, prevailing public attitudes usually shape public policy. With the wolf hunt, it is small interest groups of trophy hunters and cattle raisers that are getting their way. In every poll that I have seen, the majority of Minnesotans do not want a wolf hunt. As Sen. Chris Eaten has pointed out, we've pumped a lot of money into wolf survival, and as soon as protection is removed that money is down the drain.

The International Wolf Center sponsored a study in 1999 by Stephen Kellert, Ph.D., of Yale University, to measure public attitudes toward wolves in Minnesota; and the DNR published a poll in 2012 to assess public attitudes on wolves. Dr. Kellert's study concluded:

"The wolf is especially appreciated by Minnesota residents for its nonconsumptive value. By contrast, a majority of both northern and non-northern Minnesota residents remain skeptical about harvesting the animal for either fur or for sport, and are concerned that these forms of consumptive use could result in excessive and unsustainable mortality." 

The DNR’s 2012 poll had similar findings:

“79% of respondents oppose wolf hunting.”

So why aren’t our voices being considered? The majority of Minnesota’s residents value wolves.

'Primary clients, hunters and trappers'

Last month, I became aware that the DNR feels that its primary clients are hunters/trappers and livestock producers. This was confirmed through an Internal email that the organization Howling for Wolves commissioned through the Data Practices Act. In the email DNR officials state that, "we owe it to our primary clients, hunters and trappers, and to livestock producers as secondary clients, to do what we can to establish a legitimate harvest opportunity now that the wolf is under our management authority."

Now I understood why the hunt came to fruition so quickly.

Are we really leaving the protection of wolves up to hunters/trappers and cattle producers (the DNR’s primary clients)? It doesn’t look like a sound or logical plan to me. As we have seen in our country’s history, cattlemen and trophy hunters decimated entire wolf populations throughout the lower 48 states. I am confident that history often repeats itself.

Decline of the moose:

Elk, moose, bison, caribou and wolves used to occupy most of Minnesota. Based on my knowledge about the DNR’s management of moose in Minnesota and their sudden population decline for reasons outside of our control, there is good reason to believe the wolf population is at stake. This has been evident in the DNR’s management of moose. According to the DNR Moose Management Plan, “Minnesota’s moose (Alces alces) population, currently concentrated in the northeast corner of the state, is facing a decline where the cause is not understood.”

In 2012, there are 4,230 moose; in 2005 there were double that at approximately 8,150 (2012 Aerial Moose Survey.) The balance of life is fragile, and we can’t always rely on mathematical population models to determine success.

In every argument, I believe that one should acknowledge the other side’s position and a solution should be addressed. Without the protection from the law, I fear for the longevity of the wolf. History has shown me that hunters and cattle raisers are not responsible stewards of wolves. I am even more fearful because the agency that is supposed to work without bias has demonstrated its preference in aligning with hunters/trapper and cattlemen.

Poor process:

If the DNR had come up with some sound baseline data and research, considered public comment, abided by their wolf management plan, and consulted with tribal nations on the sacredness of wolves, maybe I would have just bit my tongue in opposing the wolf hunt.

For the sake of meeting in the middle, a more sustainable number — like 5 percent, as suggested by one biologist I spoke to during my research — would have been more appropriate.

So the battle goes on. Minnesotans are needed to take action and contact Sen. David Tomassoni, chair of the Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Committee, and Gov. Mark Dayton to be the voice to help preserve Minnesota’s wolves and the future of our state. 

Nicole Hendrickson is an educator, resident of Brooklyn Park, and a volunteer for Howling for Wolves and Northwoods Wolf Alliance. She is an  enrolled member of the Sokaogon Ojibwe community.

photo via winterandwolves.tumblr~dot~com

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