Press Release: Wolf bill introduced to make good on broken public promise


MINNEAPOLIS, MN (February 21, 2013) – Today, legislation will be introduced into the Minnesota State Senate to reinstate a five-year moratorium on recreational wolf hunting and trapping. Chief author, Sen. Chris Eaton (DFL - Brooklyn Center), will introduce SF#666, co-authored by Minority Leader Sen. David Hann (R - Eden Prairie), Sen. David Senjem (R- Rochester), Sen. Terri Bonoff (DFL - Minnetonka), and Sen. Sandra Pappas (DFL - St. Paul). The bill calls for a five-year wait before another wolf hunting season can be proposed, and only for population management purposes after other options are explored.

Sen. Chris Eaton says, “This is about fairness and doing the right thing for the majority of Minnesotans that do not want a wolf hunt. Rushing to a recreational wolf hunt immediately following their delisting from Federal protections is not in the best interest of our state and it does not reflect our state’s values. Minnesotans want to have a reasonable dialogue on this issue and a five-year wait will allow us to determine how best to manage our wolves responsibly.” Seventy-nine percent of DNR survey respondents opposed the recreational hunting, trapping and snaring of wolves.

Wolves control their own numbers. There is no known population problem that needs to be addressed by a recreational hunt. DNR reports indicate the wolf population as stable and not expanding from 1998 to 2008. The DNR did not conduct a population count prior to the 2012 hunt. Problem wolves are killed by certified predator controllers and state law already allows wolves to be killed by private individuals with fewer restrictions when they are perceived to be a threat to people, livestock, and domestic animals.


The stated intention of the inaugural wolf hunt was for recreational purposes. We had a five-year wait on wolf hunting and trapping in law since 2000 that was removed during the government shutdown behind locked doors in 2011. The five-year wait was based on the original agreement documented in the Minnesota Wolf Management Plan that stated “Population management measures, including public taking (i.e., hunting and trapping seasons) or other options, will be considered by DNR in the future but not sooner than 5 years after Federal delisting by USFWS.” Wolves were delisted on January 27, 2012. The inaugural wolf hunting and trapping season started on November 3, 2012 in violation of the plan and the public’s trust.

Wolves are important for maintaining the health of our north woods ecosystem and other wildlife populations that support hunting and fishing. Tourism from wildlife viewing is a sustainable $531 million industry according to a 2006 DNR report. At a time when economic concerns loom large for many Minnesotans, our legislative leaders need to realize the economic danger an unnecessary recreational wolf hunt poses to our state.

In 2012, one in four wolves were reported killed: 298 by farmers and property owners and 413 by the hunting and trapping season. This does not include deaths due to poaching, disease, and car collisions; data that has not been disclosed by the DNR. A five-year wait will allow our state time to assess the current wolf population and the impact of the 2012 take on our wolves.

“A recreational hunt for trophies and pelts continues the historical persecution of wolves and sends the wrong message to young people about tolerance and inclusion in our multicultural society”, says Maureen Hackett, M.D., founder of the wolf advocacy group Howling For Wolves.

Howling for Wolves was created to be a voice for wild wolves and those who are concerned with their survival. We aim to educate the public about our wolf population and the advocacy that is necessary to keep wild wolves in a self-sustaining existence. For more information and resources:

Maureen Hackett, M.D., the founder of Howling for Wolves, is a physician, a triple board certified forensic psychiatrist, and a former United State Air Force officer. In 2003, Hackett was instrumental in the passage of Minnesota law providing for tobacco-free state hospital grounds.   

Download the press release as a PDF.

February 21, 2013