Minnesota wolf season starts Nov. 3
by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
August 17, 2012
Consistent with state law, the state's first regulated wolf season will start with the beginning of firearms deer hunting on Saturday, Nov. 3.
The season will be split into two parts: an early wolf hunting season coinciding with firearms deer hunting; and a late wolf hunting and trapping season after the firearms deer season for those with a specific interest in wolf hunting and trapping.
A total of 6,000 licenses will be offered, with 3,600 available in the early season and 2,400 in the late season. Late season licenses will be further split between hunting and trapping, with a minimum of 600 reserved for trappers. The target harvest will be 400 wolves for both seasons combined and will initially be allocated equally between the early and the late seasons.
The early hunting only season will be open only in the northern portions of Minnesota where rifles are allowed for deer hunting. It will start on Saturday, Nov. 3, the opening day of firearms deer hunting. It will close either at the end of the respective firearms seasons in the two northern deer zones (Nov. 18 in Series 100 deer permit areas or Nov. 11 in Series 200 deer permit areas), or when a registered target harvest by zone is reached.
The late hunting and trapping season will begin Saturday, Nov. 24. It will close Jan. 31, 2013, or when a registered total target harvest by zone or total harvest of 400 in both seasons combined is reached, whichever comes sooner. The late season will be open only where rifles are allowed for deer hunting. The use of bait and electronic calls will be allowed.
Wolf hunting licenses will be $30 for residents and $250 for nonresidents. Nonresidents will be limited to 5 percent of total hunting licenses. Wolf trapping licenses will be $30 (limited to residents only). A lottery will be held to select license recipients. Proof of a current or previous hunting license will be required to apply for a wolf license. The application fee will be $4. A wolf season regulation booklet is being developed.
The early wolf hunting season (legal firearms or archery) will be concurrent with the deer season and open only in that portion of the state where rifles can be used to hunt deer.
The early season dates are Nov. 3-18 in 100 Series deer permit areas (northeastern and east-central Minnesota) and Nov. 3-11 in the rifle zone portion of 200 Series deer permit areas (central and northwestern Minnesota). The early season will close before those dates if the target harvest by wolf zone is reached sooner.
No trapping will be allowed in the early season.
The late hunting and trapping season will open Nov. 24 statewide. It will close Jan. 31 or when the total target harvest by wolf zone is reached, whichever is sooner.
Licensed wolf hunters will be responsible for checking each day to assure that the season is still open.
Landowners and tribal authorities may close land under their control to wolf harvest at their discretion.
The bag limit is one wolf per licensee.
A person cannot purchase both a wolf hunting and a wolf trapping license. A person with a hunting license may take a wolf only by firearms or archery; a person with a trapping license may take a wolf only by trap or snare.
3,600 licenses will be available for the early season and are only valid for the early season.
2,400 licenses will be available for the late season (at least 600 trapping) and are only valid for the late season.
The number of hunting licenses offered to nonresidents will be capped at five percent for both the early and late seasons.
Licenses must be purchased prior to the opening day of the respective seasons.
Application materials will be available online in mid-August with a $4 application fee.
A person must have proof of a current or previous hunting license to apply.
Trappers born after Dec. 31, 1989, need a trapper education certificate or proof of a previous trapping license to purchase a wolf trapping license.
The application deadline will be Sept. 6; online winner notification will be no later than Oct. 14. Licenses will be available for purchase no later than Oct. 15.
Groups of up to four individuals many apply as a single group and may assist another licensed wolf hunter but may not shoot or tag for each other.
Applicants can apply for only one of three license types: early wolf hunting; late wolf hunting; or late wolf trapping.
All animals must be registered by 10 p.m. of the day of harvest (can be done electronically at ELS agent, online or by phone).
Harvest registration information/reporting will be available online and via a toll-free phone number.
Harvest registration must identify the zone in which the wolf was taken.
Carcasses must be presented for collection of biological data.
Season closure and notification
The season for each wolf zone will close at the end of legal shooting hours on the day for which hunters and trappers are notified that the closure will occur.
Notification will be available via a 1-800- number and DNR website indicating whether the season is open or closed in each wolf zone.
For more information, click on the links below.