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Published November 04 2012

Hunters kill 45 wolves on first weekend

TOWER, Minn. – Hunters participating in Minnesota’s early wolf season found the animals to be elusive on opening day.

A total of 3,600 licenses were issued for the season, which started Saturday. By nightfall, 32 wolves had been killed, the Star Tribune reported Sunday. By 6 p.m. Sunday, another 13 had been killed – bringing the total to 45, the Department of Natural Resources said.

“I think people did pretty well, but I’m not terribly surprised by the numbers,” said Steve Merchant, DNR acting wildlife chief.

The region’s wolves were taken off the endangered list last January. Minnesota has set a quota of 400 wolves for the season, including the early hunting-only season and a hunting-and-trapping season that begins Nov. 24.

Opponents of the wolf hunt were upset that the animals were killed in the first place. Howling for Wolves and the Northwoods Wolf Alliance protested in Duluth and on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation near Cloquet.