TOWER, Minn. - The Department of Natural Resources says 50 wolves were killed during the opening weekend of Minnesota's first managed wolf hunt.
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.
The wolf hunt has been divisive in Minnesota. Howling for Wolves and the Northwoods Wolf Alliance protested in Duluth and on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation near Cloquet over the weekend. Two other groups are planning to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in hopes of putting the wolves back on the endangered species list.
DNR biologists say there are enough wolves in the state to hunt them safely without affecting the overall population.
According to an update on the DNR's website Sunday night, hunters reported harvesting 20 wolves in the North West region, eight in the East Central region and 22 in the North East region. The East Central region's target is nine wolves so state officials say wolf hunting will end there on Monday.
Before hunting each morning, hunters are required to check the season status by calling 1-888-706-6367 or by visiting mndnr.gov/hunting/wolf. Hunters are also required to register wolves by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest so that the DNR can accurately monitor the wolf numbers in each region.
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