MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota opens it second wolf hunting season Saturday since the animals came off the endangered list.

The Department of Natural Resources has set the target harvest at 220 wolves, down from 400 for last year’s inaugural season when hunters and trappers killed 413. The DNR lowered the target in response to a new population estimate of 2,211 wolves in Minnesota as of last winter, down about 25 percent from 2008.

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Applications for wolf licenses dropped by almost half this year to about 13,000. Officials suspect it’s because only 3,300 licenses were available, the novelty has worn off, and the success rate was low last year.

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The group Howling for Wolves has kept up its opposition. It’s holding a public forum in Ely Friday night and a rally in Ely Saturday.

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