The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

January 29, 2014

Minn. DNR: Fewer wolves shot for predator control

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Fewer wolves are being shot or trapped for predator control in Minnesota, wildlife managers told a legislative hearing Tuesday evening as they defended how they've handled the resumption of hunting since the predators came off the endangered list two years ago this week.

The number of wolves killed because they were preying on livestock or pets fell from 295 in 2012 to 127 last year, said Dan Stark, large carnivore specialist with the Department of Natural Resources. He attributed the decline to the mild winter of 2011-12, not hunting. He said wolf depredation on livestock tends to increase during mild winters when it's harder for wolves to chase down deer.

He also said the total of verified complaints of wolves preying on livestock and pet dogs fell from 122 to 70 from 2012 to 2013.

Stark told a House environment panel the levels of predation conflicts probably hasn't been so low "since the about early 1990s, and so it's quite a bit lower than it's been in recent years."

Opponents of wolf hunting, who have tried without success to stop the hunt, denounced it as inhumane. They testified it threatens the species' long-term survival in Minnesota and disputed the idea that allowing recreational hunting and trapping is the most effective way to stop wolves from preying on livestock.

"There's only one reason for hunting wolves and that's for trophies and sport," said Howard Goldman, the state director for the Humane Society of the United States.

Hunters and trappers killed 413 wolves in the state's inaugural season and 237 in the season that closed Dec. 28. The DNR is expected to announce its plans for 2014 later this year.

"We understand that people have the right to protect their livestock, they have the right to protect human life," said Maureen Hackett, founder of Howling for Wolves. But she said the state should focus on nonlethal control methods instead of "indiscriminate" methods such as snaring, which she said cause enormous suffering.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Poet takes his act to Las Vegas LAS VEGAS — The old poet is dressed in black, his platinum-blond hair rakishly moussed. He stands amid the hubbub, facing a stern test of his crafted words and carnival-barker delivery. The venue is a smoky lounge called Ichabod’s, east of the Strip.

    July 23, 2014

  • Minnesota race track to refund horse owners ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota race track manager says the track will refund horse owners after an audit found it shorted race purses by nearly $437,000 over four years. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (http://bit.ly/1p9mtEh ) the Running Aces

    July 23, 2014

  • Bodies of Malaysia jet victims leave Ukraine KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Two military aircraft carrying the first bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines crash left the embattled plains of eastern Ukraine Wednesday, while British investigators began work on a pair of "black boxes" to retrieve da

    July 23, 2014

  • Attorney general sues 2 Minn. colleges ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against two colleges, accusing the schools of misleading criminal justice students about their ability to land a job in their field and about transferring credits to other instit

    July 22, 2014

  • sniper wife pic Jurors start considering Ventura case ST. PAUL — An attorney for Jesse Ventura asked a federal jury Tuesday to award the former Minnesota governor millions of dollars in damages for what he claimed is a lie in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle. Ventura testified during the

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Target debuts shopping app "In a Snap" will recognize images

    July 22, 2014

  • Feds to monitor Newark police Probe found pattern of unconstitutional policing

    July 22, 2014

  • Thousands without power due to storms MCGREGOR (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans are without electricity after powerful storms moved through central and northeastern Minnesota. Strong winds of 50 to 70 mph knocked down trees and power lines overnight Monday. Minnesota Power and Lake Count

    July 22, 2014

  • Ellison urges Minn. to aid Central American minors ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota congressman is leading efforts to bring more unaccompanied children fleeing Central America to the state. But, immigration advocates and nonprofit groups that serve refugees are concerned Minnesota might not be abl

    July 22, 2014

  • Detroit retirees back pension cuts by a landslide DETROIT (AP) — A year after filing for bankruptcy, Detroit is building momentum to get out, especially after workers and retirees voted in favor of major pension changes just a few weeks before a judge holds a crucial trial that could end the largest

    July 22, 2014