The state Department of Natural Resources says most of the wolves killed during the recently wrapped-up hunting season were taken using traps.
DNR Large Carnivore Specialist David MacFarland told the state Natural Resources Board on Wednesday that hunters trapped 80-percent of the wolves taken during the season, which ended last Friday. He also said hunting dogs were only used to track six of the wolves killed, during the brief window when they were allowed after the gun deer hunting season ended.
Hunters killed 154 wolves during the nearly two-month long season, four more than the quota set by the state. Of those, 123 were trapped, while all but nine of the other 31 were shot with guns. Three were taken using a bow.
The DNR also plans to hold hearings in January on what the state’s wolf population goal should be in the future. It’s currently set at 350 wolves, while the agency estimated in the spring that the population was at about 650 animals. A plan being drafted by the DNR would have four options; keeping the original 350 wolf goal, holding the population to between 300 and 650, having a minimum floor of 350 with no max, or holding the population to the 650 the state has now. Officials hope to have a final plan ready for final approval in March.