ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A Minnesota-based group asked Gov. Mark Dayton to put a stop to the wolf-hunting season Friday afternoon at the State Capitol.

The group “Howling for Wolves” says too many wolves are dying, even though the number that hunters can kill in Minnesota was slashed in half this year, compared with 2012.

Last year, 413 wolves could be harvested. This year, the number is set at 220.

After last year’s season, it was estimated that the state’s wolf population went down by a fourth since 2008, which is why the number of licenses was reduced for 2013.

Still, the group says the hunt is cruel, and it’s ruining a population that’s dear to Minnesota. Maureen Hackett, founder of Howling for Wolves, says the state’s wolf population is at its smallest since 1988.

“Now it’s just about an emergency. The wolf population is likely going to way of every other big-game species,” Hackett said. “They are extinct in almost every other state. We have just a few thousand wolves.”

Hackett also says many of the wolves are two years old or younger, and they are needlessly dying.

As of Friday afternoon, hunters have harvested 62 wolves in this season’s hunt. Click here to see up-to-date statistics.


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