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Wolf hunting gets committee OK

Published (3/9/2012)
By Bob Geiger
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Wolves in Minnesota should beware because a plan to hunt them has begun to make its way through the committee process.

Creation of wolf hunting season and Department of Natural Resources’ efforts to recruit anglers and hunters were approved the House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee March 1. Containing these provisions, HF2171, awaits action by the House Government Operations and Elections Committee.

Sponsored by Rep. Tom Hackbarth (R-Cedar), the bill would create a wolf hunting season starting later this year. It provides for taking up to 400 of the estimated 3,000 wolves in the state. Up to 6,000 licenses to hunt wolves would be sold for $26 each, plus a $4 fee to enter a lottery to win a wolf hunting license.

To encourage increased participation in state fishing and hunting, the DNR would be authorized to spend up to 5 percent of Heritage Enhancement Fund money generated by the Minnesota State Lottery. That totals $408,500 a year.

Falling participation rates among Minnesota anglers and hunters has caused the DNR to propose so-called retention and recruitment of outdoor sports participants.

A Senate companion, SF1943, sponsored by Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), is awaiting action by the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

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