Twin Cities men discuss modern masculinity

NPR has been working on an amazing series that explores “what it means to be a man in America today.” Today on our Friday Roundtable, Kerri builds on that series with three men from the Twin Cities and explores how we define masculinity.

To prepare for the conversation, I called some men around the region and asked: What does being a man in America mean to you?

“Ummmm… I don’t think I even have an answer to that,” says Eli Flasher, a 30 year old from Minneapolis.

This, I found, is a common response. Conversations about masculinity have become predominantly scientific, and distant from our own experiences. Beyond that, it seems that what it means to be a man really is changing, and hard to pin down.

Flasher suggested I ask his colleague Dan Finn, 63, the same question. Dan was much more sure in his response: “Being a man, you gotta be willing to compromise.” And that was that.

I reached out to several other people, looking for an array of opinions on what it means to be a man in America today.

Tom Horgen, an editor and reporter for the Star Tribune’s Variety section:

For me, being a man means rethinking traditional notions of masculinity. As a new father, I want nothing more than to protect my daughter — which sounds like a very old-school, manly-man thing to say, right? But I’m hoping to protect her from all the ill effects created by a hetero male-dominated society. She’ll grow up knowing that her self-worth will never be determined by a man. She could become an engineer or a UFC fighter or a chess grandmaster — all areas traditionally reserved for dudes. So I guess being a man in today’s America means re-evaluating what it used to mean to be a man.

Josh Le of the Minnesota Zoo:

[In] general as a nation (especially the younger generation), we are becoming more self-oriented (#SELFIE nation) and really caring about what others’ perceptions are of us. Men are still facing the question “am I manly enough?,” much like women facing the question, “am I pretty or skinny enough?” I definitely see in my day-to-day life men and women still leaning toward traditional roles and values, just in a more modern world.

Scott Artley of Patrick’s Cabaret:

Well I’m a queer man and the Performing Arts Curator here at the Cabaret… I think there are so many moments where I look to the expertise of the women in my life to help me understand what it means to be a man.

I put a call out on Twitter asking listeners to contribute their understanding of what it means to be a man:

Abdirizak Bihi, director of Somali education and social advocacy for The Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota:

 [Being a man] is about a continuous balance between what I was expected to be because of my culture and ethnicity, and what is expected of me now… embracing my sensitivity and emotions.”

Bihi said he sometimes feels like two different men in one body – speaking to the complexity of modern masculinity.

Paul Raeburn, the author of “Do Fathers Matter?” and chief media critic at the Knight Science Journalism Tracker, was on The Daily Circuit earlier this month to talk about the science of fatherhood:

I look forward to the day when we no longer need to ask what it means to be a man in America, or what it means to be a woman. Yes, men and women are different–but with regard to parenting, jobs, and income, they ought to be equal. We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.

So, what does it mean to be a man? Tune into The Daily Circuit Friday Roundtable at 9 a.m. and leave your ideas in the comments below.

  • Scott44

    Oh my gosh, what a bunch or crap!! These people are just not thinking right. I love the wolf, it ia an awesome animal, but it needs to be controled. On a side note, this deer feeding is a waste of time and money.

    • Scott Wildazzoveratv

      I have a huge respect for Nature, an active outdoorsman, hunter, hiker and spend most of my time in the woods. I believe and support the people paid by the state to manage the populations. The State biologists know what they are doing, lets let them decide what to do.

      I have been to Yellowstone where hunting is banned and I honestly don’t believe that habitat is natural either as the animals have no fear of humans and the bear population is completely unbalanced.

      This statement may anger some people but there was a good reason the wolves were eliminated. If we don’t know our history we are going to…..

      A managed population and control over a huge predator population seems like the correct option. Lets give the trained biologists an opportunity to do their jobs.

      Kind Regards


      • Cindy Lynn

        By “trained biologists” are you referring to those that called off the last scheduled moose hunt at the last minute because – uh oh, something’s up with the moose population? Hopefully it’s not too late for the moose. To keep from pushing the wolf to the same brink – again (under the control of those same “trained biologists”), why not consistently gather actual data on the population numbers, the health of the population, ALL of the factors that contribute to wolf mortality, etc.? What we’ve heard so far from the DNR is – we don’t know for sure and we’re working on a wolf management plan that might take a year to complete (after two wolf seasons), oh – and a brochure for livestock producers regarding livestock depredation. The only thing we know for certain right now is that the decision to go forward with the recreational hunting of wolves within one year of their losing federal protection was made to benefit the DNR’s “primary and secondary clients” – the hunters and trappers, and livestock producers. There was no baseline population study done prior to the initial hunt. The numbers the DNR presents puts the wolves very close – and possibly at or even under – the 1600 minimum number. Maybe there are “trained biologists” somewhere capable of performing this “job.” The MN DNR has shown that – left to its own devices (and at the will of its “clients”) – it cannot and will not. I do know our history. I also know it does not repeat itself. There are “management” alternatives to the recreational killing of wolves (the DNR has stated the hunt is not for population control and it’s well documented that the indiscriminate killing of pack members does not reduce depredation occurrences, but does make depredation more likely given disruption to the pack structure, etc.). Why not take every available precaution to ensure the health and welfare of the only remaining native wolf population in the lower 48? If not now, when?

      • Sandy

        Wow, your so totally clueless Scott Wildazzoveratv. Unbelievable!! I’m not angered by your ignorant post, just amazed at how clueless and misinformed you are. Wow.

    • starry_night23

      Millions of dollars spent to save wolves just to turn around and let sociopaths kill them for fun? You are not right. Wolves manage themselves better than humans. Why do people like you think it’s humans responsibility to control nature at every turn. Please sit down now.

      • Scott44

        Sociopath, are you practicing medical advice without a license? I sure do hope you do not eat any meat. Wolves manage themselves better? Are you alos a trained wildlife biologist? I do not and have never said that I want the wolf gone. I live in an area that is very highly populated with the wolf. Controlled and exterminated are two way different things.

        • Sandy

          We cannot tell the difference by the way your posting on here.

    • Sandy

      I guess after the wolves are nearly extinct here in Minnesota, we should “control” the populations of bunny rabbits, squirrels, mice, eagles, fish, raccoon’s, swans, muskrats, dogs, cats, etc….? Just to let you know, we are not “god”.

  • Steve in Saint Paul

    Wolves are a special interest for me, and I have published a book on wolf restoration in North America. On the whole, I respect and trust the professionals who designed and are running the Minnesota wolf hunt. This hunt is already being closely monitored. If the present regulations become a threat to the long range prospects for Minnesota wolves, the current managers will make appropriate adjustments.

    • hoosiercommonsense

      Balderdash. If your DRN doesn’t even know how many wolves are around, they haven’t done the slightest basic research. They are not professionals. Since they don’t know how many wolves are present, what if their carefully designed hunt accidentally kills the last Minnesota wolf? Oops! Sorry! Time to start on the beavers, I guess. Nuts.

    • Elaine

      Have you read “Playing God in Yellowstone?” by Alston Chase?

    • Sandy

      Really? Closely monitored? Yeah right. The DNR doesn’t even know the wolf population right now even after the two wolf eradication seasons. They also didn’t take into account the other mortality causes of wolves such as disease, weather, mange, car kills, poaching, and the SSS (shoot shovel and shutup) evil mentality that occurs in Wolf Country. So right now we may very well be at the 1988-1989 wolf population levels. Also, this winter was very rough on all wildlife, including the wolves. THE MN DNR has lost credibility these last two years, especially now that we all know who their primary and secondary clients are. For your information, they are the hunters and trappers and the livestock producers. This wolf hunt was for them.

  • Christine
    No wolf should EVER be murdered under any circumstances! Humans need to step down and take a good look at the disasters that they have caused in nature every time that they think there idiotic ideas are superior to Mother Natures!

  • Chuck

    “DO NOT” stop the wolf hunts. Wolves have been sighted as far south as Kenyon, MN.
    If you had ever been chased out of the woods by a pack of wolves who were chasing a deer by you, you would agree with me. The Minnesota deer herd had deminished so much that wolves are begining to eat cats and dogs to keep from starving to death. Is that what you want? Will it be our kids next? Lets see, starve or be shot? good question.

    • starry_night23

      Nice fear mongering. Ridiculous. Deer are overpopulating everywhere in Minnesota. They run down the streets in my suburban home town. Wolves eating cats and dogs? Ridiculous. Perhaps people should keep an eye on their pets and stop blaming apex predators for their irresponsibly.

    • Sandy

      Your so misinformed and spreading this misinformation like a bad tumor. You must really hate wolves.

  • Kuma

    Another slap in the face to Native peoples who have learned over more time on this continent than us white folks how to live with our relatives.. They learned to live the wolves. Wolves were not the enemy. Why must the DNR persist in fooling themselves that they can control everything in nature?

    • Scott44

      Another slap? Unless your are American Indian you have no place in saying that. I have “Native” blood in my body. But then again my forefathers came to this country in the late 1700’s and my “Native” forefathers were here after crossing the ice bridge that connected modern day Alaska to Russia. SO you tell me what is “Native” and what is not?

      • Sandy

        For your information, kuma’s statement was fine and not offensive. What I do find offensive is your post. I don’t believe you have Native blood one bit and if you are, I bet it’s very little considering what you have been posting on here.

        • Scott44

          For your information, never mind I dont need to prove myself to you or anybody.

  • Skinnyski

    My neighbors were wolves. For the past 7 years, a large male wolf included my property in his regular circuit–I would find his fresh foot prints in the snow on the lake or down my driveway every 3 to 4 days during the winter. He would pass through occasionally during the Spring and Fall, but leave with the Knife Lake deer herd for the summer.
    After the first wolf hunt, I spotted his track a few times and a neighbor saw him once running down the lake. After the second year of the hunt, his track is gone, as well as the track of the two younger wolves who would come into his territory when he was on the farside of his territory.
    This winter I have seen lots of deer and deer trails and tracks, a few fox tracks, and the usual number of otter tracks. The wolf tracks are missing completely.
    I find it odd that one of the areas that had the highest winter wolf populations is now almost bereft of wolves. I suspect the hunt had something to do with that and I think if you ignore the decimation of the wolf population to win political points, you are extremely bad at your job. .
    It is shameful that MN has given up on protecting our environment for whatever frivolous human whim that passes for the political/corporate intelligence.
    I am old, but the young people of MN are being robbed.

  • Gary F

    I think we wait to change any legislation until we know how the current lay affects the wolf, deer, moose populations and how many farm incidents we have.

    Have fewer wolves died of starvation over the winter? Has the reduction of wolves caused a spike in the deer population? Does it affect the moose population? Conflicts with farm animals?

    Lots of emotion. I think we need to see how this is playing out for a couple of years.

  • Beth Aaron

    Humans really stink. Our answer to everything we’ve already made unbalanced, is to kill. We teach children to kill the animals they love, then wonder why bullying and violence are so infused in our culture????Humans have already affected the natural world almost beyond repair, meddled in areas we never should have, entitled ourselves to encroach into every eco system on earth, to it’s detriment, and now there’s a question about killing MORE!!! Every problem we struggle with is man-made from our hubris, arrogance, wrong minded false assumption that as GUESTS here, we own the place. Our behavior among animals who share this earth, I find repugnant.

    Our system of laws is two faced in how it protects companion animals from harm, while every other species is “fair game,” if that species, due to no fault of their own, needs to find FOOD in their disappearing habitats. We DO have moral boundaries. Leave the wolves alone!!!!! All over the planet, humans make a holocaust on other living beings and then are shocked when that blatant abuse of power, that dangerous teaching of using FORCE to kill animals, circles back into humans harming humans.
    As far back as Pythagoras, it was understood that violence to animals is connected to violence to humans;
    “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

  • PaulJ

    Peer reviewed experts should decide, that’s just how most things are done. If the experts can’t decide, then the decision gets political and governor Target (Dayton) decides.

    • hoosiercommonsense

      Time to unelect.

      When we visit your great state, we come for the beautiful, exciting and slightly dangerous wilderness. The wolf is part of that wilderness. If the animals disappear, the wilderness is dead and silent, and we go somewhere else. Tourism is the third largest industry in the country, and probably the fifth largest in your state. Can your state afford to lose it over human cruelty?

      • Sandy

        I agree, election time is coming up. We need to elect eco knowledgeable people into office. Not the gun toting, animal killing special interest legislators we have now.

        • hoosiercommonsense

          Better hurry, Sandy. The gun toters are becoming more plentiful, and maybe WE are becoming extinct.

          I’m a gun owner, but it scares even me to know that here in Indiana, there are 135,000 more (at least) gun owners than there were just last year. Seems we need a human balance as well as a balance of nature.

          • disqus_UrSe7lB5M0

            Well, I’m not against gun ownership. I myself have one but it’s for defense not to kill animals for sport.

        • JDan

          So you are saying the DFL majority in both houses and the governor are to blame, because they are “gun toting, animal killing special interest legislators”?

          • Sandy

            From what I have seen, it’s the northern DFL that are pushing for the wolf killing. And they also fully support the sport hunters who as well.

    • Kelly

      Scientists have overwhelmingly states, that the only consequences of a wolf massacre, is a devastated environement

      • JDan

        That might be an overstatement. Devastated Wolf population yes, environment?

  • truthpurveyor

    There is no reason for a wolf hunt, so anything to avoid or limit it, I support. Minnesota and other regions of the U.S. need their predator animals, such as wolves and coyotes, for a healthy ecosystem. Wolf killers participate in this activity for one reason…the fun of killing. No one is putting wolf meat on the dinner table.

    • PinguinoRoja

      Wolf hunts may not bring meat on the dinner table.. but it certainly can prevent population crashes from occurring. If you are unfamiliar with this Biology 101 concept: When a population far exceeds its carrying capacity (which is based on their resources), you sometimes see what is called a population crash. Instead of just a few individuals going hungry due to limited amount of resources, the entire population suffers and causes a widespread die-off.

      You see this played out over and over again with deer. Some years you will have a good amount of vegetation, and their populations skyrocket; then one year there is very little water leaving very little vegetation. Instead of seeing that extra 5-10% over the carrying capacity die-off; you can see 50-90% die-off if the populations aren’t controlled. Wolves are no exception to this… neither are humans when you look at the grand scheme of things.

      So; we can sit here and throw our emotions into the ring when it comes to the wolf populations… in the end it does not matter. If we don’t license out hunters to kill off wolves, I am sure the DNR (or some farmers) will be more than happy to keep the population in check. If you really cared about the wolves though, you would support some form of population control in order to keep their population sustainable over time.

      To be more on point: I would certainly support the DNR conducting annual population/food resource surveys; and I think that hunting licenses/fees would absolutely help to pay for that.

      • hoosiercommonsense

        What gun-happy folks mean by “keeping the population in check” is shooting, trapping or poisoning every last wolf they see whether it’s doing anything destructive or not. You can’t fool us. You just want something to shoot at.

        • julierl

          Well put.

      • Sandy

        Who do you think you are in thinking that humans are the only ones who can determine which sentient beings die because there is a healthy population? Wolves have always regulated their own populations for centuries before man came to this land and started killing off species of animals. This is also why there weren’t 7 billion wolves on this land before Columbus landed here. Self regulating. Female wolves forego their estrus cycles if the population is high, there is a natural balance. Sure, the senseless slaughter and massacre of animals in the name of “management” is very emotional. But for some, it’s a cultural issue as well as the Native people see the wolf as a relative with a shared destiny.

    • JDan

      They do get fur from the animals. Just a thought.

      • Sandy

        Fur is no longer needed in this day and time. Just a thought.

        • JDan

          What i am saying is that they are not just being killed and left to rot. Their furs are being used. I guess I just do not see the difference between hunting wolves vs. other animals(Coyotes, deer, rabbits, ducks, etc.).

  • ironkitten

    There is absolutely no justification for continuing the wolf hunt. None.

  • MeecheMill

    The wolf hunt should be banned! The only reason it passed is because the legislators were uninformed as to their actual numbers and for greed! They caved into the so called macho hunters who gladly buy a license in hopes of killing an innocent wolf just to br able to sY, “i killed a wolf”. This is a status symbol for these idiots

  • Lois G

    Ending the wolf hunt is a number one priority for thousands of Minnesotans who have signed petitions and made their wishes known. Murdering wolves is horrific and serves no purpose except to create a trophy for a sick killer. Especially troubling is trapping where wolves can be left to starve and die in pain and agony simply for walking through an area where they have always been free to roam. The unfairness of trapping should make any ethical hunter as sick as I am.

  • Pearly

    Oh boy here we go. Nothing gets the MPR
    crowed fired up like animals, conservative women and weed. Should be

  • Jim G

    Accurate census numbers are essential for modern wildlife management. This means that in order to make informed decisions an annual wolf census must be taken to assess the population’s health after the past two years’ wolf hunts. Beyond that, even though wolves have moved into my hunting grounds in southern Ottertail County, I do not support hunting wolves at this time. I hear rumors and anecdotal reports from local farmers, but I would like to know the real numbers of wolves in our area. That specific information would substantially add to the discussion and get the horror stories of wolf attacks off the front page.

  • hoosiercommonsense

    Firstly, is anyone else absolutely astounded that your DNR could conduct a hunt of ANY type without minutely detailed, documented and researched evidence as to its necessity?? Unreal!

    What does DNR say? “Hey, boys, let’s just mosey out this morning and shoot us some wolves?” Or do they just wait for a livestock producer to give them permission? Who runs your state government anyway? Is it you, the people, the DNR or the livestock people?

    Wow. This bill sounds like a very good idea, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough to save one of the most unfairly maligned and harassed creatures in this misguided country. The wolf is a disappearing animal that in the West is being hunted from helicopters at present, as if trapping and poisoning weren’t enough. Only a few thousand are left. What a big threat!

    Meanwhile, in Germany, for example, the repopulation of wolves is being encouraged and supported by the government and the people.

    I think every wolf in America should be put under the care and control of the nearest Native American tribe. Let them be the DNR. They lived alongside the wolf population and every other animal population for centuries and kept nature in balance by understanding on an elemental level that wolves and man are part of a fine-tuned ecosystem. Unfortunately, “modern” man came bumbling along and started shooting everything just for fun.

    Leave the animals alone. They were here first.

  • Jamie

    Pretty sure the number of available permits is already based on the DNR’s wolf population numbers and is adjusted along with the population. Also, the season ends prematurely if the number of wolves taken meets their population control quota.

    From the DNR’s regulations:

    Areas open to wolf hunting and trapping will close at either the pre-determined dates listed in the regulations or sooner if the target harvest for the zone/season is reached. If the target harvest is reached or projected to be reached by the time harvested wolves must be registered on a given day, the zone or season will be closed the following day.

    • julierl

      Why are you so confident that all wolf kills are being reported? Naive.

  • truthpurveyor

    Please save us your condescension by calling any argument against wolf-killing “emotional.” Our farmers should use nonlethal methods to protect their livestock from wildlife, but simply refuse to do so. Why should they invest the money to do so, when others are so eager to destroy wolves, coyotes, bears, etc.? Most government scientists have been trained that wildlife must be “managed,” (i.e. killed) to help farmers and hunters. Modern wildlife scientists (outside state governments) are more concerned about healthy ecosystems and protecting our wildlife. Journalists should NOT only interview wildlife managers in the government.

    • Sandy

      Well said!

  • M.R. Burton

    The DNR is doing an appropriate job of managing wolves and the hunt. No one, not ranchers, sportswomen and men, want to eradicate wolves. What amazes me is how metro legislators and residents who have never seen a wolf or a kill site, or a petrified cattle herd, or an historical deer or moose habitat void of those aminals, think they know how to balance this issue. Like forests and waters, we need to manage as conservationists, not irrational environmentalists who want no trees harvested or animals consumed.

    • Sandy

      Cattle herds do not belong in the northwoods or especially in wolf country. As for the deer and Moose herds, what do you expect wolves to eat? Grass? I don’t think so. As for the ranchers and sportsmen and women, they do want to eradicate the wolves. It is they who are pushing for the wolf hunts and who are the DNR’s primary and secondary clients per the DNR’s internal memorandum. As for those so called “irrational environmentalists”, they just want the senseless killing of wolves to stop. Why hunt wolves?

    • julierl

      We have already consumed an enormous amount of trees and animals. Give what is left a break. Read some history.

  • eaglewolf

    Well I live on a reservation I have been around here for many years Alaska all over the US I have never seen so many animals and fish wasted in my life and now they want to protect wolves when they are actually devastating the dear gross rabbit population there is none maybe if you were actually here watching this you would know better than to talk like you do

    • Sandy

      Obviously Wolves are not an important part of your culture or heritage. The wolf is sacred to mine and is a relative. I will defend my family members of which I’m doing now here in Minnesota.

  • Millard Johnson

    I don’t know about Minnesota, but in Washington and Oregon, the DNR does an excellent job of keeping the population of wildlife in reasonable balance. It seems every time hunters, animal rights people, ranchers or other pressure groups introduce their agenda, the ecology gets out of balance fairly quickly.

    We can’t go back to the days before the white man so someone has to make the population management decisions. Some decisions are best made in the political arena – wildlife management is not one of them.

  • Kelly Lund

    Certainly sounds like a reasonable bill — consideration of only accurate & validated numbers & incidents are essential from unbiased peer-reviewed panel. This is a very tentative population & should be treated with all due respect. Final decisions made via this bill need to also include important perspectives from scientific expertise regarding the maintenance of healthy ecosystems and wildlife protection as well.

  • Andrea Schaerf

    I would like to know more about the reasons people want to hunt wolves. It doesn’t seem to be to control the population as it is with other wild animals. Maybe looking at the wolves in the context of the other wild critters in their environment. That would be interesting.Then add what our part in the wolf hunt is. do we want to protect farmers?

  • GreaseMonkey77

    This is typical feelings over facts liberalism at its finest.

    • Kelly

      Scientists have unanimously said that no science was used in the delisting. The delisting was based on greed, lies , AND the emotions of hate and fear

      • Jamie

        Which scientists have unanimously agreed? Do you have a reference for this?

        • julierl

          Yes, the peer review required by the US Fish and Wildlife themselves, as part of the de-listing protocol. Do the research yourself.

      • Sandy

        You forgot to mention politics too. The delisting was due to politics as well.

  • peggy

    First a point of clarification. The decision to have a wolf hunt was the legislature’s, not the DNR’s. The biologists that are responsible for managing predators structured this hunt based upon many factors, including current population status, other causes of wolf mortality etc. The goal of the hunt is not population reduction, so the question has never been do we HAVE to hunt wolves. Rather, the scientific question is CAN we hunt wolves? The answer is yes, the wolf population can withstand a hunt that takes population into account and not return to dangerously low levels. Should a population crash take place, there is an automatic re-listing process that happens. Rest assured that Minnesota is doing a balanced job with wolf management. Look around at other states in similar situations and the goal of the hunt is population reduction.

    • Kelly

      The DNR was planning the massacre with the Cattlemen’s Ass’s before the wolves were even delisted. The DNR fought for the slaughter, and are responsible for it happening

    • Elaine

      The wolf hunt was initiated based upon “pent up” demand for hunting and trapping. Sounds pretty scientific to me.

    • Sandy

      The DNR has not taken into account the number of wolves killed due to disease, weather, mange, car kills, poaching, and the evil mentality of the “shoot shovel and shutup” psychotic behavior. None of these mortality issues is ever recorded by the DNR. So, that begs the question of how many wolves are left after the initial wolf killing seasons in addition to the above mentioned deaths of wolves? Also, the other wolf killing states of Wyoming, IDAHO, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Montana hate the wolf and want all the elk and deer herds for themselves.

  • Brett Vawter

    When will this absurdity stop??? We DO NOT need to manage wolves. Do we manage eagles??? What controls that predators population??? it’s called nature people, the most experienced “manager” However nature does not make decisions based on how much hunters are going to spend like the D.N.R does. So when do we have an eagle hunt??? they were brought back from the brink just like the wolves… oh but they aren’t wanton wasteful killers like wolves so we don’t need big macho men trophy hunters to come save us from them.

  • yahoo

    Yes, thoughtful and scientific is Senator Foung Hawj’s wolf bill…baiting to hunt anything should be outlawed as it is totally against any sense of a “fair hunt”… Wolves self regulate their populations so allowing hunting of wolves only will drive them back toward extinction.

  • DavidShellenberger

    Wolves should be protected regardless of any census. They self-regulate their population.

  • Scott44

    Does anybody here trap mice, squirrels, rats? Do you eat them, if not then why are you trapping them?

  • Kelly

    Yes, people who kill wolves are not hunters. They are excessively cruel. People who spend their lives studying these animals all say how human they are!

  • Eugene Crandall

    As usual the
    DNR is not getting the credit they deserve. Every game species gets a thorough
    study by the Wild life managers in the DNR. If the truth be known, and this is
    conjecture on my part, if the animals they study NEVER get hunted it wouldn’t
    bother the managers a bit. That’s not their job. HOWEVER, as a hunter, i feel
    it is my job to help with the rebalance of nature. I do not remove myself from
    the ecology of the area. We humans have so skewered the balance that we Have to
    do something. Doing nothing is irresponsible, if not criminal. Letting
    “nature take its course” is not an answer.

    Just because
    someone hasn’t been paying attention (ie. howling for wolves and other groups
    like them,) there have been and are studies going on, for decades. Tons of data,
    thousands of hours of study, and now you want more? Were have you been?

    You are late
    to the party and now you want us to start over so you can catch up? I don’t
    think so.
    Know this – NO species has ever gone extict or ever will, from regulated hunting. Many have been brought back from the edge of extinction only by the hard work of

    • Matt in Finland

      I agree that hunters do a lot for wildlife and habitat. I know. I am both a hunter and a dedicated conservationist.

      And I agree that DNR wildlife professionals probably aren’t getting the credit they deserve.

      That said, they can only do what the legislature and funding allow them to do.
      And I’m not sure that a population estimate every five years is enough when we don’t yet fully know how wolves respond to hunting pressure.

      • Ducks Unlimited always comes to my mind. Responsible hunters want their grandchildren to be able to hunt the same way. Hunters for sustainable wolf hunting would probably help fund all the census work needed to understand and support a healthy wolf population.

        Trouble could still come from hunters who don’t care about the future, and only want a wolf head for a wall, or something like that. I don’t know how the responsible hunters deal with that, but I’m guessing they’ll be best able to understand the problem people, and come up with solutions.

        As for livestock losses, they need to be tracked, too, and compensation made, where a managed wolf population results in increased livestock losses. Otherwise people who aren’t benefiting are bearing too much of the cost.

    • hoosiercommonsense

      The passenger pigeon? The Carolina parakeet? Hunters hunted the passenger pigeon almost to extinction, this bird that darkened the skies of this country in the millions until HUNTERS killed them…all but one lone male. He died in the Midwest, calling for a mate who never showed up, because there weren’t any. How tragic.

    • julierl

      Wolf hunting can’t be regulated. I know you’ve heard of SSS (Shoot, Shovel and Shut Up). Do you think the crazies who are on fire to kill as many wolves as they can are going to obey any regulations that might be on the books about wolf hunting? You may feel you are a reasonable and ethical hunter but you don’t represent typical wolf hunters at all. You are naive if you think the “few bad apples” don’t pose a significant threat to the wolf population – it’s been reduced greatly in the past 2 years and can’t afford any more reduction and fragmentation of population and Balkanization of wolf territory.

  • beerenauslese

    I get the feeling the DNR has no idea what it is doing. I have land east of Ely about an hour near Isabella, in the heart of wolf and moose country, surrounded by national forest, and I only saw a timber wolf one time. Restrictions on hunting should be far more serious. An attempt to tag as many wolfs as possible should be made. Hunting may be a major past time in Minnesota, but it needs to be regulated much more seriously. Blaming wolves for the killing of livestock is easy. The reality is likely to be much different. Dogs, coyotes and fox are probably far more prolific predators than timber wolves, and serious research should be done to identify what is really happening.

    Moreover, ecosystems are fragile, and blanket hunting regulations for the entire state make no sense. For trout streams and lakes this is understood, and trout fishing is strictly regulated in comparison to hunting for deer, beavers, wolves and even moose, which in my opinion needs to be banned entirely. Beavers, for example, provide an extremely important ecosystem service on my lake, but hunters keep decimating their population, and the beaver dam is not maintained, the water levels of the lake fall, and all the other species, the fish, etc. suffer as a consequence. If we accept that the beaver plays this important role on this and probably many other lakes, the DNR can identify the lakes where this is the case and ban beaver hunting. Similarly, with wolves, if any hunting is allowed, it should not be allowed in the Arrowhead or Lake of the Woods county.

    • Scott44

      it should not be allowed in the Arrowhead or Lake of the Woods county.
      Taken from your statement, So you are saying “Not in my backyard”. And I also disagree with you about the beaver.

      • Sandy

        I take it you own a cabin in the Arrowhead or Lake of the Woods area why you hate the beaver? The beaver is another main player of a healthy ecosystem. Why hate them because they exist?

        • Scott44

          I do not own a cabin, I live in the tip of the Arrowhead. I don’t hate and never said I hated beaver, as a matter of fact I make part of my yearly income from trapping beaver. And yes before you say anything I do eat beaver meat regularly.

      • beerenauslese

        I am saying that the Arrowhead is the kernel of the wolf population in Minnesota. Hunting in this area will undermine the ability to maintain a stable population. Same goes for Canada Lynx, which is not allowed to be hunted in most of the Arrowhead if I am correct. Even with a modest understanding of ecology you should realize what I am saying is correct. It’s the same principle as not overfishing a single species in a lake, which knocks everything out of balance. Also on the lake, which is not stocked by the DNR, outsiders came in a few years ago and took as many walleyes as they could. The lake used to have an impressive population of 2 pound walleyes, but I haven’t caught one for years now. Now we only catch northerns and some small-mouth bass, which have out-competed the smaller walleye population.

    • ResqDogz

      Well stated!

      We have a small cabin on an inland lake in the Arrowhead, and have had similar problems with others repeatedly killing our native beaver.

      One party even hired a trapper to trespass on the property of another neighbor and slay ALL the resident beaver, solely for their own selfish purpose of lowering the lake water level so they could build a year-round residence closer to the shoreline (by eliminating the naturally occurring wetlands in the area they coveted)!

      Not content to incessantly wage war upon our own species and environment, “mankind” – the quintessential oxymoron, if ever there was – continues to wantonly slaughter other “lesser” species for mere sport…. whether by hunting or trapping… regardless of the true status of herd populations, or the consequence to innocent companion animals – “collateral damage”, slain in illegally placed traps.

      We need a flood of :”Biblical” proportions, to rid this planet of the worst pestilence ever inflicted upon it: our own species!

      As it is, we ourselves may very well be the delivery mechanism of such a global cataclysm, as we blindly accelerate global warming and continue to pollute our atmosphere, ground water, and oceans.

    • hoosiercommonsense

      In addition, the Canadians are finding that in one province, wolves seem to be mating with coyotes, probably due to the imbalance in nature. Coyotes that look more like wolves are turning up in and near places where humans live or pass through, such as town and jogging trails. And unlike most coyotes, which avoid humans, these mutated animals are very interested in human activities and will observe them, while being unobserved themselves.

  • Question: “Should the Minnesota wolf hunt be contingent on a census?”

    Question about the question: “I know, it’s a complicated issue, but don’t you know that there’s more to the issue than that? It’s not just about a census.”

    Answer: Yes, there’s good evidence that our wisest and fairest course would be to follow our Minnesota Wolf Management Plan–in its entirety. The “hunt” is barely mentioned in the plan, and when it is mentioned, it is with the requirements that the rest of the plan be pursued, scientific research be done, and public input be sought. None of these requirements were met before the “hunt” was rushed into action. The “hunt” is all about recreational wolf hunting and trapping opportunities, which are only one part of wolf management. Yes, the “hunt” should be contingent upon the Minnesota Wolf Management Plan–in its entirety

  • Ayrabella

    Wolves should never be hunted down and trapped. Period.

  • Stephanie

    This winter has been unbelievably difficult for humans, we might give nature a break and see how they survived it. It may have saved the wolves who have been land locked for so many years on their little island in Lake Superior by freezing up an icy bridge for them but for many other wolves it has likely been deadly. I have no objection to hunting (not trapping, which I believe is cruel) as long as it is done with long term health of the species in mind. After all, when the animals are all gone, hunting is just in video games.

  • GeoCWeyer

    I think wolf hunting should continue on a sporatic basis. It need to continue because without it the wolves have lost the reason to avoid humans and their canines in the forest. I want the wolves when they hear a gun go off and see a hunting dog to go in the opposite direction. Right now we can’t even let our dogs out alone at our cabin. Sporatic hunting will be enough. I am against the trapping again because it endangers domestic dogs. With traps being set we can’t even walk through the forests with our dogs fearing that thy will run into a trap. Baited reaps would even be worse. Wolves aren’t easy to hunt. They are much easier to trap.

  • JQP

    yes. Data is good.

    • Jamie

      Datum is good. Data are good – and french fries – french fries are good.

  • Matt in Finland

    I’m not a fan of the wolf hunt, but if it continues, it should be contingent on a more frequent census.

    Under the current wolf management plan, a census is conducted every five years. I’m concerned that it might not be frequent enough.

    We know that these last two winters have been hard on the deer, and that means the wolf populations will take a hit, too, although delayed by a year or two.

    Its possible that the wolf population could completely tank due to hard winters, low deer populations, and hunting pressure before the next census is completed, and we wouldn’t know. Problems like this have happened in fisheries management when population responses to natural variability are not well understood.

  • JSW

    I go with Aryabella… wolves should be hunted to extinction and never brought back to any level above zero. They kill baby deer and little sheep in flocks and farmer’s calves and even go in people’s yards and kill their cats and dogs and wolves have been getting more aggressive and attacking people visiting parks and it won’t be long before they come into people’s yards and attack them there, too.
    sarcasm off.
    Every tree hugger wants a census performed every other week. I think those who’re howling for a census should go take the census, let the DNR scientists do something more important such as chase Gypsy Moth infestations.. But we all know those howling for wolves won’t do anything more than howl for others to do their bidding, so the idea is moot.
    There’s nothing wrong with the wolf hunt as it is now- which is how the wolf howlers wanted it originally. Now they’re attempting more encroachment and will continue to do so until they get what they want, no wolf hunting, or hunting of any kind since the wolves have to eat.

    • Matt in Finland

      So, are saying the Howling for wolves folks wanted the hunt originally?
      That’s sure not the impression I got.
      But I wouldn’t know, cause I’m not part of that group.
      I don’t care for Howling for Wolves, because they seem to be largely from the twin cities, and don’t seem to have any respect for hunting in general.
      I hunt, and I want to continue to do so.
      And I also think having a healthy wolf population is good the health of the deer herd. At least that’s what the science suggests, and what Ojibwe people tell me.

    • Patrick Bateman

      I can’t even begin to explain to you how redneck and backward your thinking is.

      • Matt in Finland

        Please attack the ideas, not the people.

        • Patrick Bateman

          I am sure that if you can understand context, you will see I am not “attacking” the people, but the very idea that they are stating. So when you decide to play referee, make sure you know what you are talking about OK, champ 🙂

          • Matt in Finland

            I understand the context a lot better than you know. I live in the woods with wolves, and among wolf lovers and wolf haters. People in my community have gone to jail for killing and for defending wolves.

            You were attacking the idea by using an ad hominem attack:
            If you think X, then you are Y.

            That doesn’t say WHY the idea is bad, just that it is bad.

            OK, CHAMP?

  • Eaglewolf

    Well hunted and lived in Alaska as said before been places places where there is nothing left not even a rabbit it’s happening here it’s not just the wolves it’s the waste of Fish and game that icy besides the wolves coyotes and mountain lions recently turned loose in Minnesota ask your DNR about that I have them running all over here

    • Matt in Finland

      So, if predators eat up all their prey, then how come all the prey weren’t extinct before European settlement and the advent of predator control?

  • eaglewolf

    Another thing you should know on the waiters Indian reservation where this has been started to not hunt wolves they call them sacred for there is a wolf client there’s also fish and bird clients their own people have not voted on this for their tribe and there land I think knowing them as I do they would rather eat deer meat then have wolves

    • Matt in Finland

      So, your telling me that wolves aren’t sacred to Aniishinaabe people?

      Cause that’s not what just about every elder I’ve ever talked to has said.
      I know that some Ojibwe hunt wolves, but I’m told that this started during the fur trade era, and is more economic than cultural.

      I will agree that deer are mighty tasty animals.
      But I’m pretty sure there is enough meat to share with the wolves most of the time. The biologists say that hard winters kill a lot more deer through starvation than do wolves.

  • Charlie

    Hunting or better yet trapping by baiting wolves is a pursuit followed by caveman malcontents that only care about shooting big bucks from their four-wheelers

  • Vanessa

    Wolves are VERY important apex predators in their environment. They should NEVER EVER be hunted or trapped in ANY circumstance. Live and let live!!! Respect nature and God’s creation!!!

  • Buck

    The answer is, “yes!”, and the DNR should be beholden to ALL the people of Minnesota, not just agricultural, and hunting special interests. If the majority of Minnesotans are against the wolf hunt, and poles show they are, the hunt should be stopped.

  • David

    yes wolves are an iconic animal in MN, partly because they’ve been annihilated in almost every other state. To make sure MN stays a haven for wolves we need an annual census before any hunt.

    And wolf baiting/Trapping should be completely illegal. one of the most inhumane ways and least sporting ways of taking these animals. that you’re allowed to feed the wolves year round and then put a trap in the same spot during open season is ridiculous. the hunters who say it’s too hard to hunt wolves with a rifle sound like whiny little bitches.

  • Sisu MN

    Yes, that would be the very minimum. These animals do not need to be hunted at all, the farmers and the Deer hunters association are running this show/DNR.
    Trapping should be banned entirely.

    • Sisu MN

      Let me add the legislature is being run by these interests also. Hoping that will change after the people have spoken.

  • Flummerie Junket

    That is the VERY LEAST they could do! We should not be hunting them! The genocide on wolves needs to stop and the DNR needs to stop catering to the hunters.

  • Kathleen Zweber

    As a hunter and farmer in Northern MN, I believe that any action involving wolves should be based on more than just a census. Minnesotans deserve a MN Wolf Management Plan that is based in science and ethics, the wishes of MN citizens and also respects treaties between our government and First Nations. A census is only *part* of that plan, and only one of the tools available to monitor the health of MN’s wolf population. It is because science, popular opinion and treaties have not been respected that I oppose a recreational hunting and trapping season for wolves. There is enough data from existing and on-going studies to merit questioning whether the seasonal hunting and trapping of predatory pack animals to “manage” population really does reduce conflict between wildlife and agriculture or if such practices actually contribute to depredation. Any MN Management Plan that involves hunting needs to take all factors into account, not just numbers.

  • Nita

    Do I know all of the facts here? No! I don’t know who started what and why for sure. But, I do know this, cruel traps are not humane for any animal and traps are being used right now. That should be outlawed first. Next, we need wolves to balance the ecosystem. After studying them, I respect their position in nature. Finally, my belief is that hunting needs to be regulated and only allowed under certain conditions for all animals. Hunting for meat, or population control if out-of-control, is one thing; but I will never agree on “trophy hunting” any where, any time.

  • dmk

    When I was a child I thought the DNR was a pro animal state agency. Now as a adult I know differently and seeing them let hunters kill our moose to extinction in the state and then spend huge amounts of tax dollars to collar and document there extinction it is painful to watch. Wolves are valued by Minnesotans and deserve much better than a state politically motivated slaughter. Its not good science. The voices of the citizens have been silenced, so a few could have fun shooting cainines. The photos coming from these hunts are horrific.

    • thomas

      they used lotto money proceeds to fund the collaring of the moose, they let hunters hunt them even when they knew their numbers were dropping, the dnr has changed their motto too, not it says for commercial uses,, guess who that means, all the special interest groups, ranchers, atv groups and hunters and sadistic trappers..

  • D Burkhardt

    Yes, of course they should do a wolf census! The DNR and hunters are not taking into account the complexity the wolves social order and the toll that is taken when specific family members are killed. Allowing a wolf hunt immediately following the removal of wolves from the Endangered list has resulted in a total loss of confidence in the DNR, and that is why so many people are upset. The DNR has done an awful job “managing” the wolves and the moose populations, and will result in much greater costs to our state.

  • joeogrodnik

    A census would be only be the first step and the second step would be educating people on facts about the wolf and how it differs from herd animals. The hunt does more damage then people understand. Trapping needs to be outlawed.

    • Scott Buchanan


  • Guest

    No, it shouldn’t be dependent on census or public opinion. It doesn’t matter how many or how few wolves there are. The hunt should be stopped for the simple reason it’s wrong to kill animals and heinously wrong to kill them for sport. Throughout history humankind has committed atrocities based on the belief there is too many of something, or the wrong kind of something, or it’s OK because we are having fun. Eventually compassion wins out and the horror is revealed. Let us reach compassion sooner rather than later on the wolf hunt.

  • Guest

    No, it shouldn’t be dependent on census or public opinion. It doesn’t matter how many or how few wolves there are. The hunt should be stopped for the simple reason it’s wrong to kill animals and heinously wrong to kill them for sport. Throughout history humankind has committed atrocities based on the belief there is too many of something, or the wrong kind of something, or it’s OK because we are having fun. Eventually compassion wins out and the horror is revealed. Let us reach compassion sooner rather than later on the wolf hunt.

  • Lisa

    Wolves should only be killed if they are a threat to livestock, and then only if other deterrents have failed. Wolves should not be killed for sheer sport, pelts or trophy. Trapping should have been outlawed decades ago as inhumane. Many of us find it unethical to kill animals for fun or allow them to suffer in traps. We wish the DNR and legislature would listen to us as well as the hunting lobby. We have a right to have a voice in the way our wildlife is treated. So yes, the hunt should be subject to the will of all citizens of this state, not just the hunters and DNR.

  • Barbara Joy

    The hunt MUST be stopped…my understanding was that if the wolves were ever to be delisted there was to be no hunt for at least 5 years and then only if certain conditions were present.

    No Minnesota has less then 1/2 the wolves they did 3 years ago, they have fragmented packs, many of these animals will die as a result. The brutality and hatred of the anti-wolf people who for the most part are Tea Party/Koch Brother followers is shocking to me. I see it in Arizona where there are 37 Mexican Grey wolves left and the AZ Legislature has introduced and steamrolling 3 anti-wolf bills through in violation of ESA and other federal laws…they have decided to EXTERMINATE this precious sub-species…what is behind this hatred?

    After investigating, it is Americans for Prosperity, funded by Koch Brothers, who funded and have everyone who filmed Wolves in Government Clothing on their payroll. This is what hatred and evil looks like.

    STOP the HUNT. Howling for Wolves and Maureen Hackett have fought HARD and this bill is a GREAT start and better ones will be written and in the mean time, this will stop the insanity!!!

  • Linda S Froiland

    We need to stop the hunt, yesterday at the hearing a hunting advocate said” the guys around the world were watching this”. Why should any outside interest, such as the Safari Club and others say what happens to our natural resources here in the state of Minnesota. Stop the Hunt we all know this needs to happen sooner rather then later.
    The DNR is guilty of playing into the hands of those with guns and an utter disregard for our nature.

  • doggiemom

    STOP THE HUNT. These wolves belong to all Minnesota citizens and not those who pay a fee to the state and then to out to trap them or shoot them. Shame on these “hunters” who kill animals for sport, never planning to eat them even though that doesn’t make brutal killing alright. STOP THE HUNT and never start it again.

  • Vern

    I think any sort of help would be “nice” (a severe understatement…). I don’t think the Minnesota government cares about wolves. The same exact day wolves were removed from the endangered species list was the same day the wolf hunt opened. In 2 hunting seasons, both ended early, the wolf population was cut in half. The DNR also makes money off of hunting licenses for them and for deer, which is what wolves survive off of. Basically the hunt is shooting wolves so that we can shoot deer. Money is tied into it.

  • Diane M. Gubrud

    Stop wolf hunts all together. Do Not compromise Not one wolf.

  • Dan

    I have read many of the comments here and can see a lot of them are based on little more than emotions. I live in wolf country in NW MN and I believe there has to be a middle ground. What I am hearing is either “ban the hunts”, or “kill ’em all”. I am not a big fan of the Minnesota DNR, but so far I believe the DNR has done a pretty good job of management. They need to set target populations that are in balance with the local agricultural economies. Things have changed drastically since the wolf population was decimated in Minnesota. To bring them back using nothing more than historical population data of 100 or more years ago would be ridiculous. A census of some sort, maybe not annual but possibly every other year, or even every four years, would be a good addition to a management program that already seems to be working just fine.

    • thomas

      well dan – just controlling them is only one part of the issue, haven’t you seen the videos of these psychos gut shooting them to make them die a slow and painful death, Wisconsin the home of psychos use dogs to rip them apart, traps that the trappers use to torture them while they are defenseless, snares, poison, those are the issues and nothing deserves to die in that manner.

  • Chuck

    Sounds like there is a system in place run by ostensibly competent people with experience. If the system is flawed, I would depend on their expertise to explore ways of fixing it. Spending more time, money and effort, in attending to the agenda of an outside group, smacks of more radical environmentalism. Whether or not this is the case, it seems more emotion based than science. Again, I would depend on the experts in place.

    • thomas

      chuck if you haven’t been following the wolf issue, most science based opinions say the dnr is wrong with their management plan and could endanger the wolves – inbred wolves would get sick and die off eventually, scientist say the minimum number of 1600 may be to low. mn is wolf country and i for one am proud of that fact. if you live in wolf country you take extra precautions or move..

  • john milk

    The DNR should be free to manage wolves as they are to manage any other species. I love wolves. I love them so much I want them to be as plentiful and healthy as deer and ducks and bass and every other species that makes this country great. Neither ranchers nor animal rights activists are capable of making rational decisions as proven by the 118 commments below.

  • LaSkip

    The Minnesota DNR, funded in part by hunting liscensing, has a history of killing animals without viewing other options to their management. They are employed also by Minnesota tax payers. All of the people who pay for the DNR should have a say in the decisions that are made. There are less invasive options for managing animal/human interactions. We are all stock holders.

  • thomas

    let me add that Michelle Benson is not getting my vote for re-election, when i asked her to consider a vote to stop the hunt – she told me she won’t want a wolf or coyote in her backyard, then i say to Senator Benson, move to a different state – because the majority of Minnesotans loves the wolves and wildlife in our state..

  • Melissa Smith

    SEC JEWELL AT THE DEPT OF THE INTERIOR TODAY, @ 202-208-7351 and simply state you would like Secretary Jewell to Withdraw USFWS’s wolf Delisting Proposal.

  • Tim Ray

    anyone notice that the pro-wolf groups and pro-hunter groups are all ignoring the facts…let the DNR do its job….in Alaska groups are up in arms about shooting from the air….look if something is getting out of control take care of it. in Alaska we let the natives harvest seals from the edge because….there are not enough females, besides they make great coats, now i need white socks, see any polar bears around???

  • Tim Ray

    Thomas, while i encourage you to vote, it is easy to poison meat and eliminate the problem if you people would care enough about nature you would house your cats…years ago when i lived in Minnesota i shot over 23 of them in the woods….i am 15 years out of Minnesota, thank you God