How to kill a wolf

By Paul Tosto

I don’t hunt. But when I heard about plans by the DNR to hold Minnesota’s first wolf hunt in decades, my first thought was: That’s going to be one tough prey.

Wolves make their living being smart and fast. Killing them won’t be easy.

“Hunting wolves in the northwest has certainly proven to be a challenge, and will no doubt be difficult in Minnesota as well,” said Jonathan O’Neal, owner of, an Idaho-based website with lots of detail on tracking and killing wolves.

In Idaho’s first wolf season three years ago, the wolf quota was only 220 animals. “Even with that small quota, the season had to be extended several months because of the difficulty sportsmen had hunting wolves, and it ended without the harvest goals being met,” he said.

Last season was better as the state allowed trapping and lengthened the season, “but many hunting zones still closed without the quota being filled.”

Here are some of O’Neal’s recommendations for a good hunt:

Scout heavily for tracks, wolf kills and den sites well in advance of the season to find wolves and try to pin down their home range and travel habits.

Use wolf howlers to locate and call wolves in.

Use prey distress calls (rabbit calls, calf elk cries and fawn bleats) to call wolves in.

Take advantage of every fresh snowfall to make tracking easier.

Minnesota’s wolf population is much larger than Idaho’s, and the DNR here will allow some baiting. But the wolves learn quickly, O’Neal said.

“Wolves will definitely become even more difficult to find the longer they are hunted. They learn quickly and adapt their travel & hunting patterns to minimize human encounters.”

— Paul Tosto

  • matt

    Hunting wolves made simple:

    Method 1

    1. Release story of politician’s sexual misconduct.

    2. Wolves come running.

    Method 2

    1. Have an IPO for your neat-o whiz-bang website to raise a Billion $$.

    2. The few people that get special insider access to the shares before the rest of the worls are not made instantly more super wealthy.

    3. Wolves come running.

    Method 3

    1. Let it be known that a Govenor and legislators are willing to take tax dollars from working familys to build marvelous stadiums to make rich people richer.

    2. Wolves come running.

    Method 4

    1. Use affect instead of effect in a comment forum.

    2. Wolves come running.

    Method 5

    1. Crash a plane with Liam Neeson somewhere in Alaska.

    2. Wolves come running.

  • Bonnie

    if talk of baiting or trapping starts to surface, they will come running, and I’ll be one of them

  • Egg

    Hunting is cruel. People say they kill them for overpopulation, when humans are the most overpopulated species on the planet. I’m not going to get into how much I hate it though. Basically, I’m glad if wolves adapt to hunters, they’ll need it.