Three weeks after the Minnesota House passed a bill that included a wolf hunting ban, state lawmakers from both parties compromised and left out the ban. According to the Pioneer Press, the Republican-majority Senate never voted on the measure.
Wolves in the Great Lakes region are currently under federal protection so they cannot be hunted anyway.
In a letter sent to Minnesota lawmakers before the ultimate decision, RMEF Chief Conservation Officer Blake Henning expressed great concern over the possible ban.
“RMEF strongly believes that where wolves exist, they should be managed by state wildlife agencies just as they manage elk, bears, deer, mountain lions and other wildlife,” wrote Henning. “Wolf management should include hunting and trapping, especially in undermanaged populations that have a significant impact on elk, deer, moose and other wildlife.”
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota had a minimum of 2,655 wolves as of September 2018. That total is more than 100 percent above the federal recovery goal of 1,251 to 1,400 wolves.“Prohibiting wolf hunting in Minnesota after their removal from the endangered and threatened wildlife list would continue to negatively impact other wildlife and violate the standards of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which states wildlife need to be scientifically managed through hunting and fishing so their populations will be sustained,” added Henning.
(Photo source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)