Minnesota may soon join the growing list of states that prohibit wolf hunting and trapping. Bills have been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature that would prohibit any option for a wolf hunting and trapping season from state statutes.

On Monday, the Senate introduced SF-2062, sponsored by Sen. Mary Kunesh, DFL-New Brighton. Likewise, the House companion bill, HF-2144, was introduced last week and sponsored by Rep. Peter Fischer, DFL-Maplewood. The bills, if passed by the House and Senate and signed by the governor, would prohibit wolf hunting even if the animal loses federal protections.

Wolf Hunting in Minnesota?

Minnesota’s current state law allows the commissioner to hold wolf hunting and trapping seasons. However, this is if and when the wolf is removed from federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. The new bills would entirely prohibit wolf hunting, leaving no room for any option.

Despite the desire of some hunters and cattle farmers for a state-sanctioned wolf season to reduce wolf numbers, statewide polling conducted by the Minnesota DNR and the University of Minnesota has shown that most Minnesotans want to maintain the current number of wolves in the state.

Maureen Hackett, president of Howling For Wolves, a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization, strongly supports the new legislation. Hackett has expressed that killing individual wolves to break up packs can cause more problems than it solves for livestock farmers. Stating wolves have social and biological systems to control their own pack behavior and numbers. Also saying, these packs must be left undisturbed for them to function as social packs.

Other bills have been introduced to require the DNR commissioner to hold a wolf season if delisting occurs. However, the new legislation may change the future of wolf hunting in Minnesota. Regardless of the outcome, the bills serve as a reminder that wildlife management policies must be continuously evaluated, and striking a balance between human interests and wildlife protection/management can be a complex issue.

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So, what are your thoughts on Minnesota looking to prohibit wolf hunting? How would you manage wolves in the state? let us know in the comments!

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