Minnesota House votes to ban wolf hunting and trapping
Minnesota lawmakers say no to wolf hunting and trapping. This week, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to ban “the recreational hunting and trapping in the state” as an amendment to the omnibus environment bill should federal protections be removed, according to MPR News.
This isn’t the first time the Minnesota House has voted against wolf hunting. In 2019, lawmakers passed the ban by one vote. While Minnesota doesn’t currently have a wolf season scheduled, it was the only state to allow hunting from 2012 to 2014 before a judge placed the animal back onto the federal endangered species list. During that time, over 900 wolves were killed.
Those against the proposed amendment say that wildlife decisions should be made by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).
“I’m appalled that this is on this table. It’s dangerous for our citizens, dangerous for our pets, and dangerous for Minnesota,” said Rep. Brian Johnson of Cambridge.
However, those who support the amendment allege wolves are competition to deer hunters and kill cattle and livestock. They argue that wolves threaten pets and possibly people even though there is only one documented wolf attack on a human, which occurred 10 years ago.
“This will take options off the table if wolves do get to be more and more of a problem,” said Rep. Kurt Daudt of Crown. “[If] you see one in your backyard in the metro area? You're gonna wish you could hunt it.”
Regardless, wolves are currently listed as a threatened species in the state and can only be killed “in defense of human life,” according to MPR News. State and federal trappers help manage the population, which is estimated at 2,700 animals. Last year, trappers killed 142 wolves while another 10 were killed illegally.
The proposal will now go to the Minnesota Senate for consideration although the current omnibus environment bill on the senate floor does not have the added amendment.
Stay tuned to GOHUNT for further updates.