Minnesota's first regulated wolf hunt moves into a new phase Saturday when sport trappers will be allowed to try their luck for the first time since the region's wolves came off the endangered list last winter.
Trapping was not allowed in the state's early wolf season, which closed Sunday, Nov. 18. Hunters registered 147 wolves killed, which was fewer than the early-season quota of 200 but about double what the Department of Natural Resources had been expecting.
The early wolf season coincided with Minnesota's firearms deer season, and many wolf licenses went to deer hunters who bought them just in case they happened to see a wolf from their stands.
The season could run as late as Jan. 31. The state is divided into three wolf zones, which can be shut down individually if the zone's quota is reached. Dan Stark, the DNR's large carnivore specialist, said that's likely to happen in the northeast and east-central zones but not in the northwest zone.