More than 23,000 apply for Minn. wolf hunt permits

Would-be wolf hunters are lining up for a shot at an elusive prey this fall, when Minnesota plans to open its first season since the gray wolf came off the endangered species list.

The state received 23,477 applications for the 6,000 permits that it will issue through a lottery system. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chris Niskanen said all but a few hundred applicants are from Minnesota, but people from 33 states filed paperwork.

Minnesota has set two seasons, with an early season beginning Nov. 3 to coincide with the deer firearms season. A later season is designed to allow trappers to take wolves with their thicker winter pelts.

The state has set a limit of 400 wolves, and hunting will be cut off if the number is reached. Niskanen said licenses will be awarded by Oct. 14. Residents pay $30 for a license; non-residents pay $250.

About 35 opponents of Minnesota's planned wolf trapping and hunting season rallied Friday in Duluth, holding signs and sometimes howling, calling for Gov. Mark Dayton to stop the hunt. American Indians were among the demonstrators.