Does wolf hunt reduce livestock losses? Maybe not, lawmakers are told

The Wolf Preservation Blog

Big Snow Wolf


Photo courtesy of Derek Bakken

“This week’s legislative hearing on wolf management by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources roamed all over the landscape, topically and philosophically, but for me the most interesting portions centered on “depredation conflicts.”

That’s a wildlife manager’s term for losses of livestock and pets, and you will recall that reducing those losses has been a significant rationale for the sport trapping and hunting seasons inaugurated in the fall of 2012.

But are the seasons working? In a solid three hours of testimony, I didn’t hear a single indication that the killing of 562 wolves by sportsmen, and another 430 by government agents and landowners, and who knows how many by poachers, is having an effect at all. Or ever will.

Whether Tuesday’s testimony before the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources will have any effect on state policy is equally dubious; it…

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