Hundreds of opponents of Minnesota’s wolf hunting season gathered at the State Capitol Thursday (Feb. 27) to lobby — and howl! — for a makeover in the state’s recent approach to management of the totemic animal that, for many, symbolizes wilderness in the state’s North Country. The day-long “Wolf Day” was organized by Howling For Wolves, a citizens’ group that supports passage of a law that would place a new moratorium on wolf hunting in Minnesota.
More than 1,000 wolves have been shot, snared or trapped — legally — since 2012. Opponents argue that the hunt was re-established without proper hearings or proper management and the the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has ignored scientific data about the health of the wolf population and how many animals are killed by illegal means or die each year due to other causes.
“By failing to establish how many wolves die of all causes, including not performing a baseline wolf survey before the hunt, the DNR has chosen to ignore sound scientific methods,” said Dr. Maureen Hackett, founder of Howling For Wolves. “We are again putting the wolf’s existence in a precarious position that could lead to its extinction. There is no evidence that a wolf hunt helps avoid wolves predating on livestock and instead it can be made worse. The DNR has neglected supporting and implementing non-lethal methods for farmers and ranchers.”