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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Now that Minnesota has created a 3rd Wolf hunting zone(Northwest) outside of the chippewa Indian lands(northeast and east-central zones), expect that the 265 wolves in this Western zone to perish based on the 3600 hunting licenses that will be awarded,,,,,,,,,,Minnesota like the Rocky Mtn States wants to make sure as many Wolves within the quota are killed as they are allowiing baiting and trapping(in addition to rifle hunting)......... Off course, state biologists never mention the pack disruption and social chaos that killing wolves generates,,,,,,,far more disrutption to the population than just the wolves killed by hunters and trappers,,,,,,Packs get splintered and decimated, ,,,,,,The ironic thing is that this "splintering" can actually can cause additional livestock predation because of lone wolves seeking the easiest prey to eat----cows and sheep...............As nature writer and hunter George Wuerthner has said on this blog many times,,,,,,,,,, there is no scientific or ecological services reason for hunting carnivores other than to sell hunting licenses...........The article below reeks of gnorance about predator/prey dynamics and the health of the land

 Inaugural Minn. wolf hunt gets longer by 25 days

 by: DOUG SMITH Star Tribune,com

DNR also will allow the baiting of wolves. As many as 400 total
may be taken in two seasons, but the odds of bagging one are pretty
 slim.(nonsensical statement--66% of the targeted wolves are in non
Chippewa Indian controlled land with 3600 hunters out
in the field with a license to kill a wolf--blogger Rick)

The state's first wolf season will be 25 days longer than previously announced and baiting will be allowed -- but deer hunters hoping to bag the iconic predator still will find it a long shot.
Only a fraction of the 200,000 deer hunters in the wolf range will get one of the limited number of wolf hunting licenses, and at best they will have just a 5 percent success rate.

By comparison, firearm deer hunters have about a 33 percent success rate.
Still, Department of Natural Resources officials don't expect those slim odds to deter deer hunters from snapping up the 3,600 wolf licenses available in the first of two hunts, which will be distributed in a lottery.

"I'm confident we'll get that,'' said Steve Merchant, DNR wildlife programs manager.
DNR officials released details of the new wolf hunting and trapping season on Thursday. Besides extending the season, hunters will have to register their kills the same day and the state will be broken into three hunting zones.

But a 400-wolf harvest quota is unchanged and will be split evenly in two seasons -- the early one that coincides with deer hunting and a late season starting Nov. 24. That means the 200,000 deer hunters must divvy up 200 wolves.

The second wolf season, which also allows trapping, begins after the deer season, and 2,400 licenses will be available, including a minimum of 600 for trappers. That season had been set to close Jan. 6, but is now extended to Jan. 31. "We had a significant number of people who wanted to extend the season, and there was no biological issues for not extending it,'' said Merchant.

A bigger change is that the area where wolves can be hunted is divided into three zones instead of two, each with harvest targets. The DNR will close zones if the quotas are reached.

The northeast and east-central zones parallel the 1854 and 1837 treaty territory boundaries with Chippewa bands, who have off-reservation hunting rights. "This allows us to work with tribal interests in allocating and managing the wolf harvest,'' Merchant said.

Target harvests are 265 in the northwest zone, 117 in the northeast and 18 in the east-central.
Most bands oppose hunting wolves, and some plan to prohibit hunting them on tribal lands. But if bands decide to harvest some wolves, that could force the DNR to reduce non-band harvest quotas.
"We just need to be prepared,'' said Ed Boggess, DNR fish and wildlife division director.

In another change, hunters now will have to register their wolves by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest; previously, hunters had until the following day to register their kills.

Baiting wolves will be allowed because there is no state law prohibiting it, officials said. But the DNR may seek some restrictions at the Legislature.

Officials said they tweaked the final regulations because of public input.The DNR took public comments during a monthlong online survey, in which 79 percent of respondents opposed a wolf hunting and trapping season. But officials released details of that survey Thursday, which showed that about 3,000 -- or 42 percent -- of the responses came from people living outside Minnesota.
People from 42 states, the District of Columbia and some foreign counties took the survey, which was open to anyone. The top five states to respond, behind Minnesota, were Illinois (690), Ohio (435), Wisconsin (342), Michigan (311), and Indiana (207).

Also, anti-wolf-hunting groups accounted for about 2,000 responses, including 1,747 that came through, a group that has campaigned against the hunt.

DNR officials said the survey wasn't a scientific poll, nor was it
to be used to decide whether to hold a wolf hunt, because the Legislature had already mandated that.

Officials estimate the state's wolf population at about 3,000, and although the wolf hunt has been controversial, wildlife biologists say killing 400 wolves won't harm the population. Wolves tend to fill voids left when other wolves die or are killed."We don't expect any change in the population with this level of harvest pressure,'' said Dan Stark, DNR large carnivore specialist.

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